The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard

Maybe, Maybe not, but it is at least fancier…

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I love a fountain pen. There is something so functional about their design.

Then there is the way they feel when your writing on the page.

But they are a bit like listening to music on vinyl.

If you’re into it, then its the purest way of indulging yourself and your hobby.

The main issue is it’s a pain to set them up and get going. Then there is the cleaning and the maintenance.

A keyboard is just much easier and quicker. Which is a shame because you don’t get the same feeling.

I used to try to write my first drafts with my beloved pen. It took ages, then I had to type it all out. By the time I had done that it was an hour or so wasted.

Plus I would be editing as I went which was a nightmare. I quickly changed to using the keyboard and haven’t looked back.

I still use my pen for notes and for day to day business. But it’s no longer a writing tool which is a shame.

I’m interested to know if you’re taking the time to read this what your opinion is?

Do you prefer a pen or keyboard?

Please leave a comment I would be interested in your opinion.


Taking the first steps in Poetry

Poetry is another great way to flex your writing muscles. Its also one with few rule’s!

Poetry, the ultimate in short storytelling.

If you have been thinking of flexing your creative writing muscles. It’s a great place to start.

There are very few rules in poetry at least when you’re starting out. It’s more about free thinking and expression.

You need some structure to the verses but that’s really about it. What you do within those is up to you.

As a way to start writing short stories and fiction, poetry is pretty hard to beat.

Got writer’s block or need an exercise that gets you into the zone?

Poetry again is great for that, you don’t need to share it and it doesn’t need to make sense. What it will do is open up your mind, get you writing, and provide some inspiration.

Since there is no word count and minimal editing required, the pressure to produce the goods is not there.

If you have ever thought about trying it, I’d say give it a go.

Poetry as an art form for a writer is seriously underrated. It’s a very useful tool to get your mind ready for a day’s writing. It will also take you to places as a writer that you never thought you would go.

Poetry has taken me into the world of short storytelling and longer fiction pieces. Something I never thought possible.

Switching to poetry on my writing days when I start to struggle also keeps me in the zone for longer.

What are you waiting for? Give it a go today!

I tried Grammarly, here is why you should too

It’s a great tool to learn how to improve your writing

Let’s get this out of the way first. I’m not being paid by nor am I in anyway connected to Grammarly. I simply tried the free version and saw a huge improvement in my writing. Because of that I wanted to share.

Writing tools, they are everywhere. So is the advice on what to use. It can be confusing, there is so much information online.

As someone who started writing online recently. I resisted that advice for a long time.

Why would I want to write in a program where a computer tells you how good your writing is?

It’s a valid question.

There are people who will insist that it’s pointless and won’t help you in the long run. They believe that the computer will take over writing for you.

For the rest of us though, these free to use tools can be invaluable. Many of us who decide to write don’t have a formal education in it. Writing is hard enough without having to worry about structure and grammar all the time.

While we should edit our work without mercy. There is nothing worse than our internal editor showing up to ruin the writing process.

That’s where free writing tools come into their own. You can write in them without distraction. Knowing that when you are finished the software has run through your work. There is a list of tips there that you can action to start the editing process.

This approach works for me, for two reasons:

1. I love a long sentence. These programs train me to keep it short and structured.
2. I struggle with Grammar, if I don’t have help then my writing is hit and miss.

For structure I use another program called Hemmingway which I wrote about here:Trying HemmingwayA game changer for writers?

Once I’m done writing the story and reviewing it in Hemmingway. I move onto Grammarly.

Once that review is done, I move onto Medium and format it there. The last step is that I then read out loud, make any changes, and publish.

How Grammarly helps me in this process is:

– It gives me suggestions to clean up my spelling, grammar, and punctuation
-It gives direction to the clarity of my writing. The direction, the engagement, and the clarity of what’s on the page come from the suggestions provided by the software.

As a free resource (there is a premium option) it’s fantastic. I don’t know of any other resource, that helps me as much in my writing.

Over time, my writing has improved. My understanding of grammar and punctuation has also increased and it’s helped me find my voice.

As a result, I spend less time using these programs to edit, which leaves me more time for writing. The engagement in my writing has increased and as a result, I find myself motivated to write even more.

If you have read the advice about these tools and thought it was all just hype. I would say take another look and spend 5 minutes exploring them.

I think you would be pleasantly surprised at what they have to offer and the lessons we can learn from using them.

Getting Creative — The Brave Writing Choices

Experimentation comes with risks, but its the only way to improve

The first brave choice any writer makes is publishing.

What started for me as a series of listicles or even worse dumping thoughts on a page, has taken a turn.

I’ve realized that to improve I need to experiment.

If I stick to what I know and I’m comfortable with I’ll never improve.

This is not about money or followers or stat’s, I enjoy writing and want to be the best writer I can be.

That means being brave which in my case means trying to be creative.

You see my first love is non-fiction.

As much as I enjoy fiction, I’m a binary kind of person.

I can thank being an engineer for that.

To get out of my comfort zone I need to embrace other forms of writing.

Today that experiment was poetry, which I must say I enjoyed.

Something I would never have imagined myself writing.

The opportunity to experiment was there and I’m glad that I took it.

What’s next?

That’s a good question and I’m not too sure.

Getting out beyond my comfort zone is a must if I want to improve.

Writing in different styles and genres. Improving my editing skills. These are all areas I need to delve into and its scary.

Until I started writing I had no idea how intimidating it could be.

The brave the choice to publish, how steep the learning curve is and how big the world is for a writer.

If your willing to be brave and experiment there are a whole world of possibilities.

Conventional wisdom says we should find a niche and stick to it to be successful.

That might be true but the world is full of brave choices.

They almost always lead to something amazing and unexpected.

The first brave choice as a writer is always hitting the publish button, the second?

Well that’s up to you.

Beginners Guide to Writing

If you ever wanted to try, there is no time like the present

Image by George Walker

If you have always wanted to write and didn’t know where to start, or if writing is a more recent dream, I have great news for you, its never been easier to get started, to learn from others on the same journey as you, and if you wish its never been easier to publish.

Writing can be a strange and frustrating pursuit if you let the process take control of you but it really doesn’t have to be that way.

There are so many ideas about what writing is and is not, and when you can really call yourself a writer.

None of them actually matter, the truth is writing is such a personal thing that, the only correct answer is the one that fulfills your passion and yuor expectations.

The important thing is to start at a pace that works for you, you may be shy, you may not know where to start and like most of us who want to write, you may be overthinking the whole thing.

The great thing to remember is that their really is no right or wrong, a word on the page or the screen, leads to a sentence, which leads to a paragraph which can lead to something magical.

It doesn’t matter if it takes five minutes, days, months or longer as long as its comfortable for you.

You could start journaling for yourself with pen and paper, a lot of people starting out enjoy the challenge, it lets us play around with words and structures and also has the really wonderful benefit of getting thoughts and feeling out of your mind onto a page, reducing stress and anxiety and also clearing your mind.

You could set up a blog, all you really need is a fantastic resource like medium or a website such as a free WordPress site and a smartphone and your all set to share your writing with the world.

You can draft and edit and play about with your writing as much as you like, and if you want to publish your writing and share it with others your one simple click of the mouse or touch of the screen away from becoming a published author.

As your confidence builds and if you want to pursue writing as something more than a hobby you could even apply to join the medium partner program and be paid for your work.

Again what you do with your writing, if and how you share it and if you want to make it more than a hobby are all up to you. No one is right and no one is wrong, what works for you is best.

One thing I can guarantee you though from someone who spent a long time, overthinking it and terrified to share anything in public, is that your far from alone, there is a whole community who stood in those same shoes and made the first step. In turn that means there is huge amount of help, resources and support out there to get you started and writing with confidence.

So what’s stopping you?

Change is here, let’s embrace it

In the last 10 to 15 years the world has been changing at an astonishing fast rate. At the same time Humans, dread, hate and generally do everything we can to avoid change. Some of the change we have seen is for the better and some we could argue is for the worse such is the way of the world.

2020 is definitely causing widespread change across the globe and in all areas of our lives like never before, we just need to get comfortable with it and embrace the changes.

Winston Churchill once said that “to improve is to change and to change often is to be perfect”

We all have the power and ability to change our outlook to suit our circumstances, and likewise we all have the ability to be comfortable with and embrace change.

t’s an opportunity to pursue new hobbies or take up old ones. It may be the opportunity to take a new challenge in a new country or it may be unfortunately also be a forced change in circumstances.

Whatever it is try to embrace it, remember that change itself does not have to be negative, we control what we think and we control how we react. If our thoughts and reactions are positive then change itself is nothing at all to fear.

How and when changes come to us are largely uncontrollable from a personnel perspective and what we cant control should never be a source of worry, apprehension or regret.

How we react to the change, make the most of it and use it to thrive, that we do control.

At the end of the day who doesn’t seek perfection? Even just a little??