When I want to do work that involves writing, I find that I am most productive during the hours of around 11 PM to 6 AM, because it takes me all evening to wind down from the day and get into a mindset where I can focus on creative/writing work. My circadian rhythm will then be messed up for the next three days or so. This is incompatible with my class and work schedule as a medical student. [more inside]
How do I know I’ve taught myself enough technical writing software (number of programs and my abilities therein) for potential employers to take me seriously? [more inside]
I want to write. But I have all kinds of Big Dumb Issues around it. Help me stop sabotaging myself? [more inside]
I was wondering if any Mefites might currently work in, or know someone who works in, a career that meets the following qualifications: 1. Involves a ton of writing. Any type of writing. Even if one spends most of one's time crafting emails, that would be sufficient. 2. Is relatively easy to get into with only a bachelor's degree in a possibly unrelated subject. 3. Is generally not discriminatory based on age (in other words, someone who is in their late 40s/early 50s would not be seen as teetering on the edge of their grave). [more inside]
Is there a website that works like a bookmarking service but will also allow screenshots of the page? Or how else can I work this out? [more inside]
I have been writing since I was about 7 and always enjoyed writing stories, sometimes hundreds of pages long. In my final year of English at school my teacher said that I should really turn the start of a piece I had written at the time into a novel. At the time I was flattered but I don't really think I considered it possible. [more inside]
I want to take control of my time, writing output, attention and procrastination, bedtime, exercise, and diet. What tools should I use to track what I eat, how I spend my time, what I spend money on, when I exercise, when I go to sleep and wake up, and how many words I write per day. [more inside]
I need to write a short blurb describing the services our group provides, which is basically defined in three dimensions, eg. "We provide services (A + B) for data types (C + D) in domains (E + F)." I imagine this is something faced by technical writers, is there some best practice for writing this sort of thing so that it is readable in plain English? [more inside]
Looking for quality, regularly-updated web content as an alternative to the potpourri discussion-based sites that usually make up my day online. [more inside]
I'm looking for related resources (online & offline) for improving my writing skills for everyday work. [more inside]
I'm neck deep in writing an academic book at the moment, and on the worst days I lose the will to live. To dislodge myself from the daily temptation to nuke the whole manuscript, slit my wrists and be done with it all, I've been trying to keep motivated by reading good accounts of the life of writers. I would love recommendations! Details inside. [more inside]
I've had some success this past year in publishing through small presses. I'm seeking direction in my literary career. A lot more details inside. [more inside]
Please help me come up with a decent name for a group of four fictional characters who have power over the classic elements in an equally fictional world. [more inside]
I'm about halfway through reading the first Game of Thrones book, and I'm looking for some literary criticism or in-depth articles about the series' writing (books only). [more inside]
I need music to fill up the background while I write. I'm currently working on a novel and I'm looking for recommendations of artists, albums, or online radio I could have going in my headphones to help me focus on the work. [more inside]
I regularly flake on email responses-- both personal and professional. (I have all the comorbidities you'd expect: ADHD, perfectionism, perpetual writer's block, mild social anxiety, introversion, disorganization, procrastination/avoidant tendencies.) I'm starting a new job and need this particular behavior to stop forthwith. Short of completely overhauling my whole effed-up executive function, is there an ironclad system I can implement to ensure that every single one of those emails gets answered punctually? [more inside]
It’s been a stressful year thus far and I really need to get away for a few days, but alas, none of my friends are available for a trip right now. I’d love to go somewhere in mid/late August. I have a bunch of requirements, of course! [more inside]
So I've been pecking away at a book for a while, encountering the typical novice writer issue of not getting past 100 pages or so before things start to stall. Can you help me figure out who my heroes will do battle with? [more inside]
I like listening to heavy, fast music while writing but recently I find I am unable to do so if the songs have words (or at least words that I can follow). I am looking for rock/metal/industrial/post-whatever that has drums and guitars, but is either instrumental (like Mogwai), or with vocals that are not comprehensible (like ISIS) or buried (like Sub Rosa). [more inside]
I moved and can no longer use the strategies that have helped me get through writing, for ages. I have a lot to do just now but am not in the headspace to change. This is about the regular tabacky. What's as good as nicotine for writing, and similar in use factors? [more inside]
More spooky, ethereal (desert) rock to write to? [more inside]
Link me to riveting, long form music journalism online! I want to read case histories of musicians with troubled lives, like these articles about Elliot Smith and Ben Todd. Or maybe a peek at a subculture I barely knew existed, like Kid Rock's Cruise or Nathan Rabin's many recaps of The Gathering. I'll also accept a straight-ahead profile, as long as it's as well written as Elizabeth Gilbert's piece on Hank-3. [more inside]
What are the best blogs or other online publications about history (any kind) out there? I'm looking for medium-to-long, well-researched, smart, readable articles by a variety of authors with some expertise in their subject matter. I don't want anything too clickbaity, but nothing straight from an academic journal either.
I'm starting to get more well-paid freelancing writing work (features and corporate comms). It's a good way to quickly earn some extra cash, so I need an online portfolio to show to new prospects. Does anyone have any examples of good online portfolios by journalists and marketing copywriters? [more inside]
I am submitting an application for a graphic design position and they are asking for design portfolios and two pieces of writing. I have no writing to give them. What the hell do I write about? I don't want to put a ton of time into researching topics so I can write about them but, seriously, I got nothing. I am a good writer with no outlet. Help!
Can someone decipher what this says for me. Thanks in advance.
I wish to read fiction that has a very high ratio of exposition imparted to amount of actual writing. [more inside]
Please recommend to me any science fiction/fantasy novels (maybe TV shows as well) that are well written, interesting, and essentially nonviolent. "Completely violence-free" isn't necessary. I'm particularly looking for novels aimed at adults that don't rely on combat scenes to advance the narrative, generate/resolve tension, or provide Crowning Moments of Awesome.* [more inside]
I'd like to find some software to organize and tie together less-important details in my story. Probably I want a personal wiki--but which one? I'm open to wiki alternatives also. [more inside]
Let's say you wanted to take between 3 and 6 months off in order to write. What inexpensive, amazing place would you go? [more inside]
Technical writers: please share your experiences with me regarding offshoring and job security. I am considering technical writing as a career change and want to determine if it would be a good move to enter this field. Details inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for essays, books, poetry, nonfiction, or whatever else about normal people's everyday lives and pasts, humorous if possible. I'm looking for stuff in the vein of the New York Press's old columns (like the ones Ned Vizzini wrote) or like Books of Adam. Writing that is casual, but well written.
How do you know that the music you are making hasn't already been written? I have a decent level of proficiency with one instrument and recently branched out and have started learning the basics of a few others. I have never made original music and recently have started tooling around and playing my "own" songs on a combination of a few instruments. It seems unlikely that I am playing anything unique which leads me to wonder how does one know when they are? Thanks.
I am unable to work because of disability. I collect SSDI and while I get food stamps, I only get $17/month, which doesn't go very far. Since I went on SSDI in 2010, I've tried various ways to supplement my income, but I have yet to come up with anything reliable. Budgeting is not the problem; there simply isn't enough money. Plus, it would be nice to improve my quality of life even a little bit. [more inside]
How do I craft beautiful sentences? [more inside]
My personal history is something that has confounded me and still does. Please help me find some resources to help me make more sense of it. [more inside]
I'm looking for an online writing community where I can post fiction and non-fiction (articles, musings), and where there is a "friending" (social network) mechanism and a critique/feedback mechanism. And, I'm hoping to meet a some additional criteria, including types of content. [more inside]
I am writing a memoir, in which living people, some of whom I am estranged from, will be portrayed. I will be changing any details which could lead to them being identified. I will be publishing it under a nom de plume. What else, to protect myself and them, legally and otherwise, do I need to know? [more inside]
My dissertation hand in deadline is within two months. I still have a sh*tload left to do, and I fear I'm sinking fast. I have well meaning friends and colleagues that offer support, but the stress is killing me because I can't trust my own instincts and I don't know how to ask for help. [more inside]
Please help my husband and me find words or phrases (any language!) that describe the sensation of knowing how far you are from home. Not really alienation or nostalgia or being homesick-- just the understanding/realization of the distance. [more inside]
There was a quote I read once that said something like.... A good written work is where every sentence and every word must be there for it to be complete. Where there is no word that can be cut out and still salvage what is trying to be communicated- like no wasted words. .... It was a quote that said something along these lines. I can't remember it and I can't remember who said it either. I think a famous author said it, but not sure. Does anyone have any ideas?
In writing, there are different units of measure. For example, the letter, the word, the sentence, and the paragraph. There are also sometimes blocks of paragraphs. In each block, there is a single line break between each (indented) paragraph. Between blocks there are multiple linebreaks so that there is some whitespace between the blocks. This seems to be one of the larger units of measure before a chapter. Does anyone know what the official name for a block of paragraphs is (if it even exists)?
Hi mefi, can anyone recommend sites/writers that post interesting longer articles in French? [more inside]
Can you please give me advice, or share recommendations, about non-disposable, easy writing pens for a left-handed writer? Not ballpoint, and need free-flowing ink. I have tried various gel, ball-point, fountain, and dip pens, and I prefer a sustainable solution. [more inside]
If you have figured out how to write research papers as a student with RSI (De Quervain's in this instance), please share tips, tools, or online resources that have helped you. [more inside]
I have a couple of short stories out there on the market right now. They're between 4000-6000 words each. I've really been struggling with how to price these, and I have found no good advice on Google. How should I proceed? Writer flurries inside. [more inside]
Short of being in Australia*, I'm writing a story that takes part in Sydney, Australia. Are there any online resources, etc. that could give me an idea who to write dialog that an Australian citizen would speak (certain phrases, slang, etc). *(Warning to Australia, I'll be visiting next year)
So, my (unpublished, agent-less) writer wife has one of those opportunities to sit down with a pro editor and agent for 10 minutes, each, at a convention.... what in the world do we do with an editor for 10 minutes? Wife is on the second/third draft of a completed manuscript. [more inside]
I'm writing a sci-fi novel and I've come to an extended battle scene. Music without lyrics is a MAJOR plus (lyrics can distract me and slow down the writing... but music is good for blocking out noise from outside my study.) Any suggestions? Guitar-oriented hard rock music and VNV Nation-style modern sounds would really help! [more inside]