Category: Advice

2nd Advice of The Year: WRITE

The second piece of advice I have for the year is to write. If you wish to be a writer, you must write, and you must write often. Don’t only write when you feel like it or when the Muse whispers sweet nothings in your ear. I want every budding writer out there to be writing everyday of the year, 365 days (and during leap years). Write until everything that you are is on the page, then go out in the world, experience it, and write about the world you’ve experienced. Repeat until your last breath is drawn out of your corporeal form and your trembling fingers can no longer reach the keyboards.

This seems like a bit of odd advice, given that I haven’t updated the blog in a while, but make no mistake – I’ve been writing everyday. I write when I’m sleeping, cooking, cleaning, watching a show, playing a board game, sipping on tea, etc. Now, I can hear you saying “that’s impossible, Rose! No one can write when their hands are busy doing other things!” Ah, ye of little faith! Writing has more to do with your mind than the writing implements you use. When you are not physically writing out a story, a poem, a play, etc, you should still be writing and planning in your mind. A true writer never stops writing or thinking of writing. It is apart of everything they do, from traveling around the world to using the restroom (some great ideas come when your own the porcelain throne).

Apart from thinking and planning on pieces to write, however, I do want each of you to be writing consistently on a daily basis. If you say you have no time to write everyday, make time. Look at every famous musician, visual artist, sports star, etc. Each of them made time for their passion. If you want to get rich quick, then look into another profession and make room for those who are dedicated to the craft. I know this sound harsh, but those are the breaks.

That being said, you should figure out what you need to write. For me, I have to have a café or some sort of arrangement where I am far away from distractions; or simply disconnected from distractions as is the current case. As I am typing these words, I am in Antioch, with a group of friends, getting ready for an anime marathon. This particular anime is a nostalgia trip for most present, including yours truly, so it doesn’t matter if my attention is strained between typing and reading the subtitles. Likewise, before posting this article, I am disconnected from the internet. The only thing left for me to do is write up these words for you to read in a future I can not see.

So, as far as place, I can write anywhere so long as the distractions can be managed. I also have one secret weapon when it comes to writing everyday: my notebook. I never leave home without my notebook. It is a rare day indeed when I am without a pen and paper. Nothing fancy, just one moleskin notebook I have changed to reflect the freedom I grant myself when I write everyday and a ball point pen.

I recommend that you get yourself some sort of notebook, sketchbook, or a computer handy for whenever you feel the urge to write or to just get your writing done for the day. I also give every writer (amateur or not) permission to write the following:

I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today. I can’t write today.

If you write this over and over again, eventually something else will come up. You’ll write about your feelings, what’s keeping you from writing, what you are worried about, and everything that is in your head will begin to flow out. This is fodder for future pieces of work because you’ll understand yourself better and thereby will understand others and be able to write from a place of truth. Each writer has their own truth; you just have to write enough until you find it. In writing you live and in living you write. The sooner you learn this, the better.


1st Advice of The Year: Read

It’s been a while since I posted some advice, but seeing as the year is still young, I figured now would be as good a time as any to share a bit of advice I recently rediscovered.


Not just this blog (though, I am pleased as a purple python in Peru that you’re reading my blog), but magazines, newspapers, novels, poems, mysteries, romances, flash fiction, fan fiction, etc. Just read, everyday. Never stop reading.

Because the moment you stop reading, you stop writing.

This is not to say that all readers are writers, but it is to say that any writer worth their weight in paperback novels is a reader. It is as much a part of the craft of writing as learning good sentence syntax and how to spell check a document. The reason for the need for all writers to also be readers is simple: both are acts of communication.

A lot of study has gone into understanding writing and reading as acts of communication, so I will not rehash them again for you here (instead, please find your local English Department or Literary theorist – the Structuralists and Post-Structuralists are a hoot – for more information). What is important to understand is that as a writer, you learn from observations of others and by making observations of yourself. While reading, we can study the techniques of others, the observations they have made, and what observations we make in response to them. In this way, we take part in a larger conversation, a literary one that can stretch far into the very beginnings of human communication and even beyond.

That being said, I encourage you read what you love along with the “Masters.” By “Masters” I mean those illustrious individuals who have become the foundation for the literary arts as well as the measuring stick by which all writers are thereby judged. You know, those “dead” and “not-so-dead” authors who are mandatory reading for any high school student and/or freshman English major. Take your teachers advice: read them and study them

But don’t forget what got you into reading in the first place. If you love paperback romances that contain more clichés then a Saturday Morning Cartoon Show, then read them. If you love comic books with tight-wearing super heroes, read them. If you adore the “Masters,” read them more!

At the end of the day, what will get you to your writing desk, lap, chair, café, what-have-you, is what you love. More than fame, fortune, or the pursuit of the perfect novel, love for what you do and the work of others in your field will get you going and keep you going for years to come.

Looking for “Inspiration”

Advice of the week: procrastination does not need to be your enemy, so long as you have a piece of paper and a writing implement at hand. Case in point: I haven’t posted a blog in a while. Was it because I didn’t have things to write about? No. Did I not write poems during the time I was away, also no. I was procrastinating.

This is not to say that sitting on the couch watching Glee all night is all apart of the writing process. It might be for some, but often that isn’t at all apart of what writing and creating art is about.

The type of procrastination I am talking about is when you step out of your comfort zone for a bit and look at the world around you. Be as observant as possible and live for a while without actively thinking about your work.

Often the solution to your writer’s block is not found on the blank page. It’s found in your the world around you.

Best part about this type of active procrastination: it helps you fall in love with your own work all over again.

So, while I WASN’T writing, I was searching for inspiration in the everyday life of a graduate student in San Francisco: doing laundry, cleaning my room, paying bills, revisiting old poems, playing the guitar, reading, talking with friends, family, colleagues, perfect strangers, and walking. Lots of walking. The beautiful thing about city life is walking through it and finding all the wonderful things that tourist have yet to find.

First walking trip was to the Golden Gate Park. Tourist haven you say? Not on a cloudy day.

There I found so much material for writing and for life in general that I can’t wait to visit again. Here are some photos I took while there:



Walking through Golden Gate Park help clear my mind enough to realize why I felt I was hitting a block in my poetry: I haven’t yet given myself permission to write about certain topics. The more personal it a work got, the more I put it off. So, I took a deep breathe, read up on some poets that were doing what I wanted to do (something that I’ll cover in the next posting), and dived right in. Got about 3 poems done after that. The last one was the hardest to write because it was in ghazal for and about a very personal subject. It’s entitled Dancing Wings and although it needs extensive editing, I think it is one poem I am proud of simply because I gave myself permission to write it.

Next time I’ll cover what it means to give yourself permission and what it takes to write like the greats.

Talk you next time.

Peace love and pancakes.

Advice from two sources that all artist should take to heart.

This is a quickies update for two bits of literature you should devour as soon as possible.
The first is Art&Fear, a novel about the process of creating art and what artist commonly go through, emotionally, physically and mentally.

The second is an article by Austin Kleon, another blogger. It is called “How to Steal Like an Artist.”

Steal Like An Artist

Enjoy. 🙂

Update and advice

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. When life happens, it rarely gives you time (or energy) to take it all in while writing. If you follow me on Facebook or know we personally, you probably have a good idea as to why I haven’t updated in a while.

But to recap for those not-in-the-know:

1) Resigned from full-time job

2) Helping my family with various issues (not going into that here)

3) Trying to organize life

4) Health issues

This is, of course,  just a summary but it does hit on something I think all writers have to deal with in their own lives.

Things that inform and simultaneously get in the way of our writing. Be it tragic events or happy ones, there are just so much to life that demands our attention away from the craft. How do professional writer’s manage their time is a constant question I deal with and the answer often bowls down to prioritization and sacrifice. You may have to sacrifice something in order to get your work done but you need to prioritize the things and people in your life in order to find out what can and cannot be sacrificed.

A good way to deal with this, is to think of what you can and cannot live without.

Can you live without updating your Facebook or reading a webcomic for 15 minutes? Yes. Can you live with not seeing your sister who is in the hospital? Most likely no.

That was easy, but what about everyday issues like bills, job, school, taxes, etc.

Those too can be prioritize, but just in a different manner. Think of how much time a task takes to complete, if you have everything you need to get it done, and when it needs to be done. Bills? Are they due tomorrow or next month? School? When is that presentation due?

The best advice I can give for the job issue is to never take it home with you, unless you work from home (in which case designate a time when you stop working everyday and just don’t go back to it for the rest of the day).

Other time management skills and tips exist out there, so find the one that works best for you. These are just some that have helped me, recently.

The most important tip for writers, however, is to never go a day without writing. Write anything, even if it is a word you like. The practice is apart of the craft. As with any craft, if you don’t practice you don’t improve.

This has been a public announcement by Rose.

Take care now.