2146 posts tagged with writing.
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Tell me about your life, buskers

I'm working on a creative project (primarily a game) about magical buskers and would love to learn more about the day to day lives of buskers of various kinds. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 14, 2017 - 8 answers

Need a writing program/application

I'm pretty sure this has been asked before, but I can't find anything within the last few years. I'm looking for a writing program that looks clean but has some basic editing features. TextEdit is too basic but Word is too fussy. Any new, good programs these days? Must be available for Mac. Fancier features are OK as long as it doesn't start looking or feeling like Word. Cost isn't so important.
posted by ancient star on Jan 5, 2017 - 12 answers

No, but seriously. How do you start freelancing/get a portfolio going?

I feel like I have half-assedly asked people this for a long time and gotten more encouragement than answers. Meanwhile I have written for a living for years, just in ways that are overly specialized and don't yield much you can show people as a portfolio. Call it a resolution if you must, but I'm pretty determined to write more in the new year and get paid for it. Where do I start? [more inside]
posted by Smearcase on Dec 31, 2016 - 7 answers

How to turn a viral article into work?

I'm a writer. I don't have a steady job and things are looking a little grim. Yet I recently hit the viral jackpot with an article linked on the blue and BoingBoing and all over the place, and it's sprinting toward 40,000 hits since I posted it Tuesday night. Much of it was timing; it was a way to tie up some surprising (to me) feelings I had about Carrie Fisher. Nevertheless, anybody know how you're supposed to use these things for work/job purposes? [more inside]
posted by mobunited on Dec 29, 2016 - 7 answers

How to have/join a posse for Worldcon in Helsinki.

I'm going to be attending Worldcon in Helsinki in August 2017. I'm a writer of speculative fiction, with a handful of publishing credits but few connections in the literary world. I tagged along with a more established writer friend at a literary convention last year, and it showed me that it can be hard to fly solo in such a sprawling social environment. I would like to build some connections in advance with other writers who plan to attend so I can look forward to meeting some peers and networking with like-minded individuals. Where should I start? [more inside]
posted by itstheclamsname on Dec 28, 2016 - 6 answers

Tips on writing for ESL readers.

I do a lot of work-related communication with people whose English is less than 100% fluent, and sometimes there are miscommunications that I think result from incomplete comprehension of the things that I say. I'd like to do what I can to minimize that. [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The on Dec 22, 2016 - 13 answers

Help Me Dance Better About Architecture

What are your favourite examples of music writing? I'm looking specifically for pieces and articles that introduced you to someone new, that made you want to either buy their records or go see them live. My own favourite example is the artist biographies from the Golden Plains Music Festival. [more inside]
posted by beijingbrown on Dec 6, 2016 - 10 answers

What is this writing thing and how do I stop?

When writing I often seem to switch from past tense (-ed verbs) to present whatever(?) tense (-ing verbs) within the same sentence. What is this called? How do I stop it? [more inside]
posted by Orca on Dec 3, 2016 - 13 answers

Freelance Writing Contract

What are the best terms for a freelance writing contract? [more inside]
posted by cacao on Nov 30, 2016 - 4 answers

Is there a "Couch to 5k" for creativity?

I'm in my early thirties and I don't think I've ever been creative. I just don't think I have much imagination for those kinds of things. But it's something I think I'd like in my life, and I'm a little bewildered where to start. Is creativity or imagination something I can learn (or be taught), or is it more innate?
posted by A Robot Ninja on Nov 30, 2016 - 15 answers

Criminal law for the laygirl

I am searching for the best online writing (blogs and columns) regarding criminal law that it not geared towards professionals. I've always been a true crime aficionado, but lately, upon listening to season 2 of the podcast Breakdown (which I couldn't recommend enough), I realized I am in fact much more interested in the actual legal writing side of thing rather than the often too typical sensationalist generic writing that falls under the definition of "true crime" (does that make sense?). [more inside]
posted by denika on Nov 30, 2016 - 7 answers

Burned out social worker: what's my next career?

I guess “what should I do next?” is a pretty common question here and carries a high risk of snowflakes, if I’m understanding the local usage of that term, but here goes. [more inside]
posted by Smearcase on Nov 28, 2016 - 7 answers

uhhhhh grad school application: how do I do this when i feel bad

I'm applying to grad programs in the humanities and I'm working on my writing sample and it's bad. I feel like a failure, and it's impeding my ability to get this shit done in time for December 8, my first deadline. How do I get over it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 28, 2016 - 16 answers

Thinking on creative work in times of real political trouble

Given the election of Donald Trump, I'm conflicted about spending my free time on creative work. I am committed to taking small, regular actions like calling my congressman, or maybe doing a phone bank or two, but I'm inclined to spend my free 40-60 minutes each weekday (I'm a parent with a full-time job) on things I find interesting and not at all related to politics. However, given how dire our situation seems, this seems irresponsible. This issue does seem like the kind of thing that people would have written about at length in the past. Can you point me at that work? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Nov 27, 2016 - 20 answers

How do you write about people and relationships?

I am working on a writing assignment that is a kind of autobiography (let's say for school, but not really). Well, apparently, describing people isn't the straightforward task it would seem! Tips for getting started would be useful! [more inside]
posted by benadryl on Nov 26, 2016 - 9 answers

Marketing a Blog in 2016

I’ve recently started a blog based around satire/humor. I'm fairly serious about the endeavor and I want to work on building a brand. Please point me to a few good resources for marketing, branding, and growing a blog. [more inside]
posted by AfterAlbuquerque on Nov 26, 2016 - 1 answer

How can I get better at creative writing?

Occasionally I write things that I really love. Can I make it happen more often? [more inside]
posted by lgyre on Nov 23, 2016 - 11 answers

I am going to need a new writing program that has a sidebar in it

I need a replacement for Rough Draft that works in Windows 10. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon on Nov 18, 2016 - 14 answers

Best practices for collecting memories/life story from an elderly person

My grandfather has a fascinating life story, maybe even the stuff historical dramas are made of. In the past few years he made a serious attempt to write it all down, but his efforts were thwarted by a computer crash. He has not started again because his wife doesn't want him to overexert himself. Now his memory is starting to slip, and one of our concerns is getting his history written down before it's lost forever. [more inside]
posted by Soliloquy on Nov 6, 2016 - 10 answers

Help me put this into words

I've been doing some writing lately. It has been my goal in life to publish at least one book. I haven't made a lot of progress. There's one type of memoir I want to write but I need inspiration. I just don't know what to search for. [more inside]
posted by blackzinfandel on Nov 5, 2016 - 9 answers

Making science "popular science", what are the "tricks" used by authors?

What are the "tricks" used by authors such as Malcolm Gladwell in making science topics into "popular science"? [more inside]
posted by jacobean on Oct 31, 2016 - 7 answers

How to find a junior communications job?

I have about 3 years experience as Admin/Exec Assistant and I'd like to get a fulltime communications role. [more inside]
posted by winterportage on Oct 27, 2016 - 6 answers

Experienced writer writing first play

While I have an MFA in creative writing and lots of experience writing/publishing other genres (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction), I've never written a play that was meant to be performed. I have written verse plays, but performance wasn't a factor. I'm hoping to get some tips beforehand on strategies unique to playwriting. More inside. [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe on Oct 24, 2016 - 6 answers

logo-ish-ia

Is there a suffix (or other word modifier) used like -phobia/-phobic/-phobe that means concern or alarm or apprehension without the connotation of terror or hatred or exclusion? Ideally the word would make sense to a fluent English speaker, but if it needs a little explaining, that's okay. This isn't a political question; it's for a story.
posted by michaelh on Oct 18, 2016 - 10 answers

Poetry written by women, for women

So I recently realized that a favorite poet of mine, Alice Duer Miller, published one more book of poems than I thought she had. I have been consequently wallowing in feminist poetry with snappy meter and rhyme for the last couple of days. Now that I'm done with my book, I'm looking for more poetry that strikes a chord, especially poetry by and about women. Where should I look, and who should I read? [more inside]
posted by sciatrix on Sep 22, 2016 - 21 answers

Best Practise for Writers & Publishing

I'm currently writing a non-fiction book that will be published next year. I want to hear your best tips for keeping things running smoothly - especially towards the end of the publishing process. Specific circumstances inside. [more inside]
posted by kariebookish on Sep 19, 2016 - 1 answer

How did you meet your significant other?

I'm a writer (read: I have not attempted to publish anything yet but I write. A lot.) I'm working on another novel and I want my writing to be as real and authentic as possible. However, I'm running into a gap in my life knowledge that I need your help with. (Please note: I'm not looking for you to post ideas or plot suggestions - I'm looking for a better understanding of real life, in all its messy and complicated glory, to draw from as I write this story.) [more inside]
posted by quiet_musings on Sep 5, 2016 - 170 answers

Website to support a daily writing habit

There used to be a website that would encourage you to write a set amount (500 words?) every day. This is meant for stream-of-consicouness, just get it on paper writing. The website would store your writings (but not allow public sharing) and remind you to keep up the habit. Now I can't find it. Is it gone? Any other suggestions for how to get a writing habit going?
posted by metahawk on Aug 31, 2016 - 3 answers

What is this grammatical thing called?

20ish years ago there was a one-page essay in the (maybe? Last page?) New Yorker that featured many uses of words that had no such root or form. I can't think of any specific words in the essay, but even what the words or practice are called and a list would be nice. Things like "rambunction" for rambunctious, or "consternating" for consternation. Is this mere coinage, or is there a wider practice at work? [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Aug 29, 2016 - 12 answers

Laptop recommendation for a new freelance writer?

I just gave notice at my 9-5 advertising job (yay!) to try out the freelance life, but will soon be forfeiting my awesome Macbook pro to the company store (boo!). Therefore, I am in need of a new laptop, STAT. [more inside]
posted by straycatinthewildwest on Aug 24, 2016 - 9 answers

Critical writing about new horror?

Please recommend me some new-ish critical/theoretical/academic writing on new-ish horror. [more inside]
posted by hapticactionnetwork on Aug 21, 2016 - 1 answer

Book recs - Diaries and letters written by people in late middle age

I want to read journals and letters by people in their fifties and sixties. It could be anyone, anywhere, any century. I prefer good writing, and some levity. Most of all I'm looking for a sense of personality, text that brings the writer to life. The writer in his/her late middle age has lived several decades. They are settled in themselves, yet they still struggle. They look forward to years ahead, and they ponder mortality. What do they have to say? [more inside]
posted by valannc on Aug 19, 2016 - 19 answers

It's a Marathon, not a Sprint

How do I maintain energy, steam, inspiration, and enthusiasm while undertaking a LONG project-- writing a nonfiction book? I've been at it for 4 months already, and I've got at least another month of proposal writing, and then will have many months of book writing. It's a marathon, and I've never done a marathon. [more inside]
posted by enzymatic on Aug 10, 2016 - 12 answers

Wanted: Objectivist Child Care Resources for Fictional Purposes

I'm looking for links to Objectivist discussion sites/articles about how non-parent childcare (for orphans etc.) would work in an Objectivist/Randian society. I have some links; they don't cover this exact topic. [more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom on Aug 5, 2016 - 11 answers

Writing jobs for olds

How might I go about getting an entry-level writing job? Difficulty: not really sure what kind of writing job I'd like, am old, and possibly on the autism spectrum. [more inside]
posted by silly me on Jul 31, 2016 - 4 answers

Where’s a good place to go and write (and vacation)?

I have a book proposal I need to write. I would like to leave NYC for a bit to do it. I’m taking off at the end of August/Labor Day weekend, so I have six days. Where should I go? Caveat: I don’t drive. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Jul 30, 2016 - 6 answers

Good old blogging

I miss the days when I could actually find people's personal blogs online. Does anybody do that anymore? I am interested in people who document their life, experiences and thoughts -- preferably recent blogs that are still being updated, but any blogs with a decent archive would be fine, too -- and I do not mind dark stuff (quite the opposite). [more inside]
posted by denika on Jul 27, 2016 - 12 answers

MEFITE: (posts on AskMefi) Why am I like this?

How did "PERSON: (action) Speech" become the convention for scriptwriting or dialogue writing, when that's not even how scripts are written professionally? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 26, 2016 - 7 answers

Does it still make sense to learn Latex?

I'm just starting graduate school and am researching different tools. One that appeals to me is Latex, but I'm wondering if it's seen as archaic or anti-social/collaborative these days. I'll be learning/writing about social/information science.
posted by 10ch on Jul 20, 2016 - 20 answers

Tell me about becoming/being a UX editor or copywriter

I'm an experienced editor (of all sorts) and writer (primarily journalism but also have had short gigs writing copy for social media and for a mobil app interface). Long ago I analysed a client's website to see if it was user-friendly or hostile. I'm really good at understanding customer perspectives and advocating for users. Also, I'm an old. How might I go about getting such a job? And would such a job, in the Bay Area, be lucrative? [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna on Jul 19, 2016 - 7 answers

Which stories, novels, or non-fiction always jump-start your writing?

Seeking examples or lists of writing that have inspired writers to write. Not "I read Orlando and wanted to be a writer," but novels, stories, or non-fiction that, when read, inspire one immediately to write, either on a one-time or a repeated basis. I write regularly; I'd like to have a shelf by my desk that I dip into more or less randomly before writing to prime the pump. While I love many books or stories, I rarely remember the ones that make me want to write.
posted by cupcakeninja on Jul 10, 2016 - 10 answers

Should I attend a Writer's Digest conference, or something else?

I just retired from teaching and am resuming writing. I had an agent and had two books published (F/SF, mainstream publisher) twenty years ago, but my agent died and I'm basically starting from scratch. The Writer's Digest conference in August in NYC looks okay. Is it worth going? Or should I do something else first? [more inside]
posted by Peach on Jul 7, 2016 - 7 answers

Online support system for new sci-fi writers

I'm starting to write short science fiction. Where should I look (online) for support, guidance and, eventually, publishing? [more inside]
posted by signal on Jun 22, 2016 - 4 answers

script tease

What script is this painted text written in? This feels like an embarrassing sentence to write, but I suspect it's either a Brahmic script or something from Tolkien. (Bonus question: What does it say?)
posted by threeants on Jun 20, 2016 - 2 answers

Diary

I want to buy a diary [more inside]
posted by metajim on Jun 16, 2016 - 7 answers

When did newspapers start using bylines?

Was this a journalism issue? Why?
posted by ebesan on Jun 12, 2016 - 3 answers

A thoroughly modern magi

A young heterosexual couple in San Francisco try to give each other gifts for their anniversary. They give up something of value to themselves to buy each other a gift, but when the exchange occurs they realize that what they bought for the other is dependent on something the other has already given up. What have they given each other, and what have they lost? [more inside]
posted by permiechickie on Jun 11, 2016 - 22 answers

How to write a letter/flyer advertising painting and handyman services?

Hi all, I am struggling on how to word a letter (or a flyer) advertising my buddy's company that provides handyman services to property management companies. I've been putting it off for weeks and the google is failing me. Is anyone good at this, or can you recommend a source for how to write or format such a letter? Many thanks! [more inside]
posted by Kombucha3452 on Jun 11, 2016 - 11 answers

Software for dissertating, 2016 edition

I'm writing a dissertation (specifically, an ethnography). What writing software do I need (Mac OSX)? [more inside]
posted by a sourceless light on Jun 9, 2016 - 9 answers

Classical music newbie needs suggestions

I'm a classical music newbie and need suggestions on composers and pieces that are similar in vein to Wagner's Tristan & Isolde. [more inside]
posted by hollypolly on Jun 9, 2016 - 7 answers

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