Raindrops on Water

Using Life Experiences to Supercharge Your Writing, Part Two: Finding Inspiration by Singing in the Rain

Welcome to part two of my epic series: How to Use Your Life Experiences to Supercharge Your Writing! If you missed the first post, “’Write What You Know’ and Diving Into Your Experience Pool” you’re should read that here, since this post builds off of all the amazing things we discovered while exploring our experience pools. If you’re trying to make your WIP amazing by using details from your life, I suggest heading over to part three, Watering Your WIP Garden

Last week, you discovered just how much epic stuff you’ve stored in your Experience Pool. This week, we’re going to use these drops, drips and buckets to create amazing ideas for your writing. Prepare for a shower of inspiration, and to create beautiful writerly music from it!Read More »

Using Life Experiences to Supercharge Your Writing, Part One: “Write What You Know” and Diving Into Your Experience Pool

“Write What You Know”

Most overused -and ignored- writing advice ever, right? How can you write what you know when writing about things you’ve never experienced? It’s not like a prerequisite for being a murder mystery writer is keeping actual skeletons in your closet, and I don’t think many fantasy authors are magic-wielding chosen ones in their spare time.

Then why is this advice still around?

I like to think that I’ve come up with an answer.

“Write what you know” isn’t about research. It’s about being able to reach into the hearts of your characters using the insights you gained from being a human around other humans. It’s about using your own emotions and experiences to make your readers care. While we may only live one life, our exposure to other people’s stories provide use with a rich base of inspiration to draw from.

Alright, so now you’re probably asking “Nicole, how can I actively use this brilliant insight to make my writing even more fabulous?”

Well, dear reader, I have all kinds of answers. So many that I’ve had to separate them into a three-part series on using your life experience in your writing! Isn’t that awesome? For our first post, we’ll be focusing on figuring exactly what kinds of life experiences you have to offer, so prepare for a lot of introspection! Once you’re done here, start making amazing ideas with Part Two, or improving your WIPs with Part Three!Read More »

To Be Read Pile: Star Wars Trilogy, All Our Yesterdays, and The Scorch Trials

Spun From Ink’s August Reading List

August Reading Goals ImageSomething that I really wanted to do this summer was read more. I was going to get my library cards renewed to get the sequels for some of my favorite books, and I was going to finally finish the pile of books that I had started over the last year for the sake of my sanity.
Unfortunately, my currently reading pile remains right where it was when the summer started, although I have read a lot (200+) of comics thanks to my Marvel Unlimited subscription. Lucky for me, there is a still a month left of summer, and I am looking forward to a long drive down to Ohio and an even longer bus ride home. Since my Pittsburgh trip last year helped me finish several books, I’m looking forward to using this time to help get caught up on my reading of both regular books and some comic series I’ve been neglecting.
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4 Comics I Love From Marvel Unlimited

I’ve always been pretty geeky, but ever since watching Marvel’s The Avengers and then meeting my boyfriend, it’s been taken up to a whole new level. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that I started reading comic books over the summer. I got the Marvel Unlimited app and after reading through as many of the free options as I could, I caved and ended up getting the $9.99 a month subscription, which is a pretty great deal when I look at how much a digital copy of any of the many comics I read costs. The only downside is I have to wait six months after any new issues are released to get them on MU, so I have no idea about what’s going on with Secret Wars and it makes me sad.

Anyway, I thought that I would share some of the amazing comic series I’ve been reading, and I really hope that I can continue this awesome adventure with you guys by my sideRead More »

Goals for Age Twenty: Blog Edition

I turned 20 two days ago, and now I’m done with all the presents and congratulations, I’m now thinking about what I want the next year to look like. I’m working on writing down my “21 before 21” bucket list, but I’ve also been thinking about what I want my blog to look like a year from now, and I have a lot of big ideas that I want to share with my amazing readers.

  • Firstly, I am planning on eventually investing money in/making money from my blog. For now, that just means that I’ll continue focusing on creating awesome posts on a regular basis for all of my lovely readers. I still need to continue growing my blog before I can really take advantage of the opportunities out there, and do a lot more research into the best and most honest ways to start monetization.
  • Although this isn’t directly blog-related, the very first thing on my “21 Before 21” Bucket List is to finish writing my first novel. Currently, I’m not really sure what novel that will be, since I have several different plot bunnies, but as I begin to move forward with that goal, I will probably be sharing a lot of my journey on this blog.
  • I would really love to start doing a series based on my “English Major Problems: Question I Hate and the Answer I Wish I Could Use” post. If you are/were/will be an English, Writing, or Related Major, I’d love to hear about your experiences and struggles. If you’re interested, e-mail me at SpunFromInk@gmail.com and make sure you use “English Major Problems” in your subject line.
  • I am also considering re-opening my Monthly Writing Invitations, but only if I know that my readers would be interested in sharing their pieces with my for the chance of having them featured on my blog. Although I believe that I will be tweaking the rules based on my vision, feel free to visit the page or look at the Monthly Writing Invitation Category and comment below or e-mail me at SpunFromInk@gmail.com with your opinions and suggestions.

Lastly, I just wanted to thank all of my readers for helping me embark on this adventure. You motivate every day to create the best possible content and I love sharing my advice with such amazing people. This blog is for you, and if you have any ideas or suggestions about how I can make it better, please comment below or e-mail me at SpunFromInk@gmail.com.

Lots of love,

Nicole

Since When Do I Run? (Nicole’s Adventures In Exercise)

Rain, Rain, Go Away
Rain, Rain, Go Away

I woke up at 8 AM this morning to run, and it’s storming pretty badly out so now I’m disappointed. If you would’ve told me even a few weeks ago that I would be typing that sentence about myself, I would’ve laughed in your face and called you a lunatic. But here I am, wearing my improvised workout clothes\since I’m broke as a joke, and glaring outside at the dark gray clouds.Read More »

Angry Reaction Child

English Major Problems: Questions I Hate, and the Answers I Wish I Could Use

One of the worst things about being in college –or just being in the late teens to early twenties age area- is that people like to ask you questions. Being at a stage in my life where I’m making pretty much everything up as I go along, it’s hard not to feel a bit of pressure when people start asking me about my future. I know that my relatives are making friendly conversation, but I tend to get a little defensive. Not my best trait, but I’m working on it.
The worst questions for me are the ones that stem from me mentioning that I’m a Writing/English major. Between knowing the stereotypes and some of the experiences I have with my family, there is a lot of pressure to give the right answer. Unfortunately, those answers are usually politically correct, well thought-out, and have almost nothing to do with what I’m actually thinking.

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3 DIY Projects To Help You Get Organized

3 Easy DIY Projects That Have Helped Me Become More Organized (Extra: The Most Exciting Socks Ever)

3 DIY Projects To Help You Get OrganizedI’ve been really focused on getting my bedroom organized lately. It’s a very small space with a closet the size of a porta-potty,  so it’s been a real struggle getting everything I own to fit comfortably while making sure I’m not spending a ton of money. Thankfully, I got a lot of help from my family over Christmas with some bigger purchases like a shelf unit and some plastic drawers, but trying to figure out how to take care of the small things still presented a costly problem.

With a little craftiness and a lot of Pinterest, I ended up doing several small DIY projects on my own that have really helped me to handle some of the nook-and-cranny problems I’ve encountered. I made these projects on a broke girl’s budget, and without a lot of crafting skills.

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4 Tips to Help You Conquer Writing Anxiety

For the last several weeks, the idea of writing a blog post has caused me a lot of stress. In fact, the idea of writing anything at all has made my stomach churn and my head spin ever since I’ve been out of school. For someone who dreams of making a living through her writing, that is not a good sign. Naturally, this only compounded my stress, since I couldn’t figure out what was going on in my head that made it so hard for me to do something that I’ve always loved doing.

I wouldn’t call it “Writer’s Block,” since I’ve had plenty of interesting ideas flit through my mind. The problem occurs when I try to get those ideas out from my brain. I get so overwhelmed with the idea of having a “finished product” that I can’t even get to part of a rough draft. That kind of brain-clutter creates a ton of pressure to just to everything perfectly the first time, and that pressure makes it impossible to even want to start. To me, the term “Writing Anxiety,” which I only learned last semester during my time as a writing tutor, more closely sums up my difficulty. While most people consider writing anxiety and writer’s block as the same thing, I think that writing anxiety has more to do with the execution than the creation of ideas.

I think that separating the two and learning to recognize when I influenced by my own worries and perfectionism instead of simply having a hard time finding ideas really helped me to come up with some strategies to combat this problem. My experience with other’s writing anxiety while working as a tutor also became really helpful when I recognized those same behaviors in myself. That experience led me to come up with four tips for conquering writing anxiety.4 Tips to Help You Conquer Writing Anxiety and Writer's Block

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