Play with your Writing for writers who play with writer's blocks Fri, 15 Jul 2011 07:24:41 +0000 en hourly 1 Keep the faith Fri, 15 Jul 2011 07:24:41 +0000 Sylvia Do you have faith in your writing?

Do you have faith you are supposed to be a writer?

Do you have faith in your passion?

Do you have faith in your muse?

Do you have faith in you?

If the answer on any of these questions is no, let me tell you this: fear lives for no. Fear loves you cowering in a corner, struggling to find words to describe how miserable you feel.

So, are you ready to have faith?

Start writing, and keep at it. Stick out your tongue at fear.

Show your strength.

Have faith.

]]> 1
Write outside! Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:14:45 +0000 Sylvia Now it is summertime, there’s no reason to write inside sitting behind your desk!

Grab a notebook and pen and head into the park.

(this is my favorite park of all, St. James Park London)

Bask in the sunlight as you let everything around you inspire you for some writing. Play with your words, create characters based on people that surround you, write silly introductions between two people you see.

Play with your writing, and let your words sing with the sunshine!

]]> 2
Daydream exercise 2: inspire! Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:00:55 +0000 Sylvia It’s time to get out your crayons, felt pens or whatever you’d like to use to doodle! :)

The one thing that always kicks my fear is writing something to inspire others. I stare out  into nowhere, daydreaming up an idea and then I write it down. Now I have felt pens, I have taken to creating things with them I can send to my friends :)

Every time I doodle things like these, I feel calm and ready to do anything. And that is exactly what these exercises are meant for!

One of my doodles is below. As you can see I still haven’t mastered the art of writing legibly :) I would love to see your doodles, please post them below or mail them to me at



]]> 0
Do you dropbox? Thu, 16 Jun 2011 06:00:43 +0000 Sylvia
In the past I used to fret about backups all the time since I lost a couple of stories through corrupted files and other nastiness.
Now I play with my writing, but I still make sure that there are backups. I don’t mess with backup disks though, or usb sticks or whatever.  All my writing is stored in my
It is an online file storage system. So easy to use! I have it on both my computers and on my phone, and the moment I edit something on one place, it gets synchronized to the other places the moment I sign in there. That way I always work on the most recent file, no matter where.
Best of all, dropbox is free, with 2 GB storage. Plenty of space for your documents :)

Here is how to use it:

Step 1:
Install Dropbox
You can install the dropbox client in windows/mac/(ubuntu) linux

Step 2:
Sign up for an account
Get a very obscure password that is easy to remember. I use Lastpass to generate my unique passwords.

Step 3
Set up your dropbox folder, and copy/move all your current writing projects into it
Dropbox will synchronize your document to the web, and also keeps a revision history for every file. When you work offline on a file, the changes get synchronized the moment you are connected again. This is also very useful if you mucked up a version, you can always restore a previous one through the website.

And that’s the basics. From now on all your writing projects are safe. You can work on like you used to do (with your files in another directory than usual, though.



]]> 0
The first ever Play with your Writing daydream exercise! Wed, 08 Jun 2011 09:42:39 +0000 Sylvia Daydreaming is so much fun, and daydreaming about what you can do with your life is even more fun. I get most of my article ideas, stories etc from playing with my daydreams. Just staring up, imagining a cloud above my head where all these ideas pop up ready to bounce into the world :D

And if a voice pops up in your head saying that daydreaming is for kids only, tell that voice to shut up. You are a writer. Daydreaming is essential for writers. So there! (yes, that’s me sticking out my tongue at that voice in my head. You should try it too, it is very liberating!)

I had so much fun making this exercise, hope you can read all my wonky writings :)

(click on the little picture to see the huuuuge file!)

You can do this exercise in so many ways, here are a few

  • just write it down (get crayons or felt pens, and make it into a big colourful mess!)
  • mindmap it (that’s what the strange lil doodle next to what are you doing is hehehe)
  • make a collage
  • make a post-it wall out of it

Don’t forget to have fun and don’t pressure yourself. Just allow yourself to daydream freely!


]]> 3
What’s the worst that can happen? Thu, 02 Jun 2011 10:00:12 +0000 Sylvia When fear strikes, there usually are two things a writer does. Keep on writing, or hide from it.

Hiding from it can take different shapes and forms, from grabbing a book instead of writing one to avoiding your writing area altogether for a length of time. I have done those and worse. I will address hiding in more detail in a future post.

I offer a third option.

Fear is such a great illusionist, and it can truly feel big and terrifying.

You can dial down it’s grip on you by asking the question that titles this post. What is the worst that can happen?

A couple of examples.


When you submit a story, what is the worst that can happen?

The answer could be rejection. Rejection is a bad emotion for everyone. Just keep telling yourself that

  • They reject your story, not you as a person
  • There are so many markets, you can find another one without much fuss (just look at and if you don’t believe me)
  • The best cure for rejectionitis is submitting. Submitting a lot. Submitting so much that you get used to receiving rejections. That you get used to seeing those letters come in and see it as a way to celebrate your writing by sending it off someplace else.


When you trash a story, what is the worst that can happen?

The answer could be disappointment in yourself. How can you cure that disappointment? By immediately starting a new story, by taking out the core idea and use it on a new story. By letting it sleep for a couple months until you find out what isn’t working for a story. You are a writer, and you aren’t meant to stay focused on one single idea in your lifetime.


When you don’t get inspired, what is the worst that can happen?

To me that answer is: the dreaded blank page. Staring at it and not seeing any words appear. You can cure that by doodling with words. Just open up the dictionary on a random page and pick a word. Let a character you love play with that word and see what comes. Just write.


What is the worst that can happen when it comes to your writing, or an aspect of it?

]]> 1
Just do it! Tue, 24 May 2011 13:51:02 +0000 Sylvia The other day someone asked on Facebook, “how do you get past your fears of doing something?” I answered, without thinking.

Just do it.

I realized how much I have changed.  I used to be such a worrier in stead of a doer. I used to worry about rejection and about being good enough instead of writing. I used to do anything to avoid writing, basically.

Just do it.

It’s a whole new way of dealing with my writing. The words don’t change, I still tell the same kind of stories, but now I take leaps with them, I don’t let them simmer for years as I am too afraid to submit them.

Just do it

I am more and more realizing that any time spent fretting over something, big or small, is time not spent on my passion: writing.

Just do it

When will you just do it? When will you set aside all your fears and ideas about writing, and just sit down and type away?
When will you JUMP?

]]> 0
Play during crisis Tue, 17 May 2011 11:17:54 +0000 Sylvia
The past couple weeks I haven’t posted a thing on this website due to a family crisis. I wrote a blog post about what happened on Word Doodles, but I couldn’t get myself to write an article.

I just let my feelings and stress overwhelm me and carry me onward. Last Friday I realized something. Why the heck didn’t I use Play?

I grabbed my eee-pc, put my fingers on the keyboard, and started writing a story about a character I have grown to love, Rabbit

Within moments I had a smile on my face. I lost the story because I forgot that the eee-pc needed to be plugged into a socket to keep functioning, but I didn’t care. I changed my mood instantly by playing with my writing.


Turning the kaleidoscope

It made something crystal clear to me. No matter how the circumstances are, how sad, or how scared you are, you can make yourself feel better by playing. The circumstances don’t change. You just change how you feel.
There was an added benefit to writing my story about Rabbit. Play gave me energy, gave me strength to continue to deal with the situation at hand.


Over to you!

Do you have a character that makes you giggle the moment you write him or her?
]]> 0
Unwritten Mon, 25 Apr 2011 06:48:32 +0000 Sylvia How many ideas for a story do you have scribbled down but never used?How many characters wait in line for you to sit down and write? 

How many stories sit on your hard disk waiting for a home?

How many places have you been at where you felt they want to be in a story?

How much is waiting in line until you get your butt in the chair and write?

What will your JUMP be this week?

Which neglected, unwritten idea will you bring to submission?

]]> 0
JUMP! Tue, 12 Apr 2011 06:39:05 +0000 Sylvia Let me start with a given: life is short. I am now 47 years old and I have no idea where time went. It shows on my face in nooks and crevices I didn’t have before.

I have wasted so much time fretting over writing projects and wondering if I was good enough. I walked away from writing many times, only to come back to it. Because, after all, writing is my passion, my path, my reason for getting up each morning and sitting down behind my desk.
What I kept missing

One thing makes us writers a better writer: work every day. Every day vow to  take a leap into the unknown. To vow to consistently jump into undiscovered territory and see what works for us and what doesn’t. And to take jumps fearlessly, and do what we’re am passionate about. Creating, crafting, passionately knitting words together until they form a story or an article.
And to constantly jump into something we’re passionate about telling.
Do you have a project you really want to work on?
Work on the project, take notes, get to know your characters, your settings. Let your whole soul pour in your work. Passion shows in writing! And don’t worry if your writing will be good enough. If you keep at it, you will get a better writer every day. If I look at my old projects now I cringe at having the audacity to send them out. But I did dare to get them rejected. And that made me a better writer.
Are you writing something that doesn’t really click with you? That you aren’t passionate about?
Dare to abandon a project! I once decided to write a vampire book. Vampires were the hot thing back then. When the book was finished I threw it in the corner and didn’t look back. It had no soul. It didn’t speak, didn’t sing. Did nothing but show what a drudgery it was to write. I wanted to stake my MC myself! I’m now returning to a project I outlined years ago, and that is where my passion IS at, and that shows in my writing.
Are you stuck in a story and have no idea where to bring it next?
Get out a notepad and write down reasons why you wanted to write the story. Can’t find any? Go find something else you ARE passionate about and tell that. Don’t delete the story you worked on for so long. You will, no doubt, come back to it and work on the idea you had for it again, like I do with the abandoned novel idea.
Are you staring at a blank page and wonder if you are a writer?
Go back to your basics. What do you love to read? Fantasy? Mystery? Hard SF? There’s your first clue! If you read fantasy and try to write something completely different, it might be a sign you’re stuck in a genre you don’t really like. Thing is, you can start anew as a writer every day. You can leap into new territory. As long as you write with passion and craft your stories well you have a winner. After all, most new genres started with exceptional stories that broke the mould.
Are you holding on to your stories in fear of rejection?
What you fear is rejection of yourself. Your stories don’t care if they are rejected, and you can just send ‘em out into the world again after rejections. The moment you have finished, polished your stories, they are ready to head out into the world on their own.
How are you going to JUMP?
Make daily/weekly/monthly JUMP goals!
My jump today is to get out the text markers and post-its for a novel revising project this morning. This afternoon I am going to work on an e-book I have wanted to publish for months, but was too chicken to. I jump!
What’s your JUMP for today? Or this week?
]]> 10