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Why Netflix Makes You a Better Writer

Why Netflix Makes You a Better Writer

Today’s technology provides innumerable new resources for hopeful writers, and one of the most powerful learning hubs is found in online video. When used appropriately, services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and the countless other online video hubs provide some of the most powerful, thorough, and affordable learning centers for up-and-coming creative writers.

Are you finding that difficult to swallow whole? Consider this: Through sites like Netflix, we get a sense of the broad story arcs through “binge watching” opportunities, are able to filter for higher-quality content, browse in an environment that promotes experimentation, and access a discovery engine that helps introduce us to new work.

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8 Hilarious Videos to Watch for National Grammar Day

the-end-of-grammar-and-spelling-comic

Happy National Grammar Day! (No, seriously. It’s a thing.)

This holiday is relatively new (circa 2008), and comes to you from a group of enthusiastic grammar nerds. Now, I may not be quite as deep into the “should” of language as many of the most passionate members of the grammarian community, but I do take pleasure in the elegance of a well-formed sentence. Grammar lets us communicate clearly and effectively—and, just as important, it gives us a set of rules that we can intentionally violate for effect.

I wanted to fill you in on some details of the day. The rest of this article will give you information on the holiday, a few of the nerdy happenings and opportunities available for you, and some of my favorite grammar-related videos.

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The Usual Suspects: Questions to Unearth a Powerful Personal Narrative

This article has been moved to the Creative Writing Guild.


In Response to Your Concerns on Writerly Motivation

Dear Sir or Madam,

It has come to our attention that your Writer’s Motivation™ has been misplaced. We here at the Universe (along with its affiliates, subsidiaries, and partner companies), would like to apologize for any and all inconvenience this loss has caused you.

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6 Steps for Nailing the First Week of NaNoWriMo

6 Tips for Nailing the First Week of NaNo

We’re on Day 3 of NaNo and I’m already behind! Shall we all gape for a moment in feigned surprise? The reality is, being behind doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s not that my creative juices aren’t flowing. It’s that I have classes, extracurricular stuff, a big test on Monday, freelance work to get moving on, and … you know, video games.

But my study of the psychology of creative writing, along with advice from experienced NaNite friends, has given me a few insights that I think will help me nail this first week—even with my late start. Are you in the same sticky position? Are you coming to NaNo late? Well, hopefully this plan will give you some useful next steps.

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Why do creative people suffer from depression?

Writing and Depression

Like many creative types, I struggle with clinical depression. The trick here is that “clinical depression” often means “depression that we’ve tried to medicate.” Many writers, artists, and “non-creative” people struggle with undiagnosed depression, or at least depression that’s manageable enough that they haven’t yet taken a psychiatric route. In talking extensively on this topic with two of my close friends (both of whom are also writers and both of whom suffer from depression), it became apparent to me that this association is painfully common and that there may well be some practical explanations.

What Is Creativity, Anyway?

The word should really mean any act of creation, but we tend to mean something else when we talk about creativity. For most common uses of the term, creativity typically means an ability to come up with non-obvious ideas and  see new connections. Imagination and creativity are intertwined in our conception; they are both ways of thinking between ideas rather than about them. In fact, a functional definition is that creativity is the ability to think expansively.

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Meanwhile, Elsewhere on the Internet….

Much of the content I write isn’t posted on this blog. To give you the chance to see all the other work I’ve been doing, I wanted to create this post as an ongoing compilation of my off-site content. Here are a few items worth checking out:

Reading to train the writer's eyeJesus of Nazareth was many things: motivational speaker, torture victim, trend-setter, political activist, and carpenter, to name just a few. However, while he’s the lead figure in the best-selling book of all time, he didn’t do much writing himself. But what if Jesus did write? What if he were writing today? Let’s take a look at Jesus’s tendencies to see what we can say about how he would approach modern writership.
Your damn empty modifiersI discussed the need to get rid of empty emphatics when I gave you 8 words to seek and destroy in your writing, but just saying that you should get rid of a thing doesn’t say much about the right way to do so. Today I’m going to show you a few of my favorite ways to get rid of your empty modifiers.
Predictions on the future of digital publishingWe’ve reached the digital frontier of book publishing, but the implications of living in this new territory are not yet fully understood. If anything’s certain it’s that the next couple decades will see major changes in how we think of books, publishing, marketing, and maybe even writing itself. Here are eight of my predictions about the future of digital publishing.
D&D and storytellingMy years of experience as a Dungeon Master have taught me many valuable lessons, and many of those lessons are specifically applicable to my writing. Here are the seven most significant storytelling lessons I learned from playing Dungeons and Dragons.

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