Reasons to Write

Have you seen the movie Freedom Writers?

Based on true events, it tells the story of English teacher Erin Gruell in a recently-integrated high school where gang violence and racial conflict are a fact of life. Her classroom of at-risk students isn’t particularly interested in what she has to say.

freedom writers


Why should they be? Shakespeare and literary essays aren’t going to help them survive the next drive-by shooting.

Until she connects them with words and writing that do have meaning for them—stories with disturbing parallels to the hatred and racial tensions these kids deal with every day, such as The Diary of Anne Frank.

Gruell challenges her students to write their stories and, in the process, shows them that they are more alike than different.

All of them have lost friends and family in interracial conflicts.

All of them have been affected by gang violence.

All of them would give about anything to change their world.

I bring you this story today to inspire: the words we write and the stories we tell MATTER. Stories help people to understand in a way nothing else can. Stories can heal wounds, bridge gaps, and nurture tolerance.

This is why I write.

  • To make sense of the world
  • To spread light and hope
  • To connect with others
  • To show others they aren’t alone
  • To explain
  • To understand

Writing can be wonderful—but there are also times when writers feel lonely and discouraged. What keeps you writing?

25 Inspiration Sources for the Discouraged Writer

Ever feel discouraged about writing?

Andrew Stawarz

Photo Credit

We’ve all had them: days when the words don’t flow, characters remain flat, plot refuses to cooperate, and three rejections show up in your inbox. Maybe you’re rethinking this whole writing thing. Maybe you’re questioning your sanity. Or whether you actually have talent.

Or both.

Well, I’ve got good news for you: you aren’t alone. And I don’t know about you, but I find that it helps, somehow, to know that other writers have trudged through swamps of despair and lived to tell the tale. I can tell myself that this, too shall pass.

But what do you do when you’re in the midst of an uncooperative rewrite, a slew of rejections, or a complete desert of inspiration? What do you do when you’re the discouraged writer?

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How to Write When You Aren’t in the Mood

Neutral2_180_180_whiteIn honor of the first day of NaNoWriMo 2011 ***cheers*** (National Novel-Writing Month, for the uninitiated) I’m blogging about something I’m sure none of my lovely writing friends need help with…at least, not on fantabulous Day 1 of a month devoted to writing:

How to write when you are in the mood to curl up in the comfy chair with your favorite four-legged pal and veg out in the company of your favorite…

  • book
  • movie
  • handicraft
  • music
  • sugary treat
  • fill in the blank _____________

…and you absolutely, positively are NOT in the mood to write. Not even a grocery list, thank you very much. Not that I’ve ever been there. Much. 😀

Here’s my list of fave ways to kick the writing doldrums. Bookmark it, print it out, or write up your own and keep it handy and ready to smack down any anti-writing vibes that may creep up on you in the next month! Because remember, the best defense is a good offense!

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