April 17, 2016

Don't Stop Cause We Can't Stop - By Rohadi

Write.

A lot.

And don’t stop.

If you can find peers and mentors along the way even better. I wrote briefly on the exceptional value of having like-minded artists to share your craft with in my first post on Inscribe. In this post I'll share my rhythm and tools that have helped me create over the years. Maybe an idea or two will work for you….

The habit of writing is perhaps the single greatest tool to become a better writer. Being a voracious reader is a close second, but honing your craft on a daily basis is crucial to continuously improve your prose. In what manner you put those words down isn’t so much important as the exercise itself. This routine is not only a job to improve, but it feeds the appetite of the writing soul. I’m one for journals/notepads (see below). I rarely leave home without a pad of paper--it’s my method to deal with the constant swirl of ideas in my head.

Whimsically jotting down odd ideas is one thing, but the opposite end of the spectrum includes the arduous labour pouring through draft after draft of a piece of work. Whether you have a publisher lined up or not, the task of producing crystal clarity in a completed work is a necessary task to hone writing skills. Sending that work to an editor (or critique group) so it can be gently torn to shreds is another step in growing tougher skin and improving by leaps and bounds.

_________

Write—a lot—and don’t stop.

If you open the tool chest of the writer what will you find? Here’s a glimpse of mine.


Notepads for every occasion (I have a weakness, I know). The pen and the paper are better for my mind over electronic versions. Each one of my projects has a separate notebook that I can pick up and insert brief ideas or long thoughts, that in their scattered form, start to take needed shape.

Writers and artists are also picky in a manner that few people can relate to. Your tools are important and even the type of pens used (quick and don’t skip) are necessary features. I’m a creature of habit and when I find something I like I’ll buy 5. Right now I'm partial to Pilot VPens in blue (not black, it doesn't flow right) to scribe.

Although the tactile feel of paper and pen are my primary choice, I rely on important apps and software as well. Evernote is a powerful tool that can neatly categorize ideas based on tags (or electronic notebooks). Play around with the app and you’ll always have the resource so long as you have your phone. I generally build most of my blog posts within Evernote before transporting them over to Wordpress.

Eventually the computer comes into play. I've found dictation to be an interesting method of getting large portions of text down quickly that have been sitting dormant in my mind. (Although dictation doesn’t always hear the right word which leads to lost ideas as you try to remember what you were dictating 15 seconds ago.) My writing software of choice is Scrivener (I’ve essentially abandoned Microsoft Word as a writing tool). The capability of separating ideas into folders for quick access and clarity works wonders to build ideas and narratives.

These are some of the pieces I like to use in my writing endeavours. What are some unique tools in your arsenal?


_________

Catch Rohadi at his missional church blog, and check out his Christian themed adult coloring book coming out in June.

8 comments:

  1. I could relate to many things here, Rohadi. For instance, I like journalling, too, but I'm probably not quite as concerned about the pen. (Although a smooth flowing pen is a dream, I admit!) I also use Scrivener and love it. My favourite line - "routine is not only a job to improve, but it feeds the appetite of the writing soul." Excellent advice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm super picky about my pens! And have at least a couple of the same kind always in my bag or on my desk. Pencils too. I think in our 'writers' mind, we stay creatively organized, and you have done this well!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree - writing every day is an important habit to cultivate. Right now I'm in the process of figuring out a schedule that allows me to spend time with my husband, care for my family, and write on a regular basis. Sometimes the writing time suffers. Thanks for sharing what works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the post, Rohadi. Oh how I connect with the love of pens and notebooks … when I travel I love to buy notebooks from different places-the ones in N Africa are not lined-they are all checkered (like graph paper) Those are the same writing pages as my grand-kids have for school notebooks.
    Thanks for the technology tips-that is an area I lack, will try those apps out!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's a European thing!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing some of the tricks and tools of how you do things. I like hearing other writer's perspectives. For me I like to write with click pencils rather than a pen. As an artist as well as a writer, the pencil just "feels" better to me. I'm glad we're all unique as long as we're writing! Great point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I press too hard for click pencils :D

      Delete
  6. Rohadi it's nice to see how you and others also take joy in the pens, pencils, notebooks and papers as I do. I can't walk by a stationary section of a store without slowing down to gaze at all the luscious writing and drawing tools. (And Jocelyn, I too look for writing treasures when I travel--I focus on pens!) Thanks for putting a smile in my heart! Keep us posted on your coloring book.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.