Category Archives: Writing

“Wanting to write…

“Wanting to write without wanting to read is like wanting to use your imagination without wanting to know how.”

Powerful ending to a great read from printmag.com about how reading is essential to the craft of writing. Check it out at The Consequences of Writing Without Reading. This lifelong lover of reading couldn’t agree more.

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April 14, 2013 · 3:11 pm

Writing Exercises

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/a-creative-writing-professor-shares-a-few-of-his-favorite-writing-exercises

Some of my favorite college writing professors started our classes with a quote about writing, or with a writing exercise to get our creativity flowing. This article from McSweeney’s, a literature/humor site run by the publishing house of the same name, has some great quotes about writing from famous authors and an…interesting…take on the writing exercise. I got a good laugh, and hope you do too.

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Filed under Books, Writing

Writing Tips for the Grammar Nerd

Writing Tips for the Grammar Nerd

Here’s hoping some of you laugh out loud at this like I did. #GrammarNerd

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December 11, 2012 · 4:22 pm

Cool read from Buzzfeed30 Indispensable Writing Tips from Famous Authors

It’s deadline week at work! I’m the main writer/editor for the alumnae magazine and all the articles are due to the graphic designer on Friday, and I’m also working on my next post for this little blog, so my fingers have been at the keyboard a lot lately. Planning and writing the magazine has been so much fun, and such a cool opportunity! Deadline week is when it turns a little stressful (I’m taking a break from putting finishing touches on one of those articles to write this post…).

So what better time to read “30 Indispensable Tips from Famous Authors,” I ask you? Seems like this is the perfect time for writing inspiration to strike…wish me luck, and hope these tips help any fellow writers out there!

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August 28, 2012 · 7:16 pm

“The Opposite of Loneliness” from The Yale Daily News Commencement Edition

I’m sure many of you have seen this article from the commencement edition of the Yale Daily News, written by a member of the Yale Class of 2012 who tragically passed away just days after her graduation. The piece went viral this week, and thousands of us were touched by Marina Keegan’s words. Her beautiful words capture the many and conflicted feelings of a college graduate about to embark on the rest of his or her life: the fear, the anticipation, the sadness, the longing for what once was. But her words are also inspirational, which is why I am sharing them here. She called her friends and classmates in the Class of 2012 to never lose that feeling of possibility, and to go out and change the world. It is a true tragedy that she never had the opportunity to do that, and my thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and the Yale community.

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June 2, 2012 · 2:49 pm

As I have been known to do on this little blog, I am going to brag about/pass on the link to a blog written by one of my friends.

http://4oh4ed.blogspot.com/

He tells me it’s a blog about complaining, and I can attest that he is in fact one of the funniest complainers I know.  A little teaser: the first post is about the origins of Daylight Savings Time, which weirdly enough involves golf and butterflies.  Check it out!

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March 13, 2012 · 10:54 pm

A little inspiration for a Tuesday night

An inspiring column from The Boston Globe on Sunday, February 12.

I just read it the other night, because my mom had cut it out of the paper and left it out for me to read (one of the many perks of living at home–reading recommendations from Mom!).

Wise words from writer Beverly Beckham on inspiration, using your gifts, and the desire to write.  She talks about how people often make excuses about being too busy, and let the demands of everyday life get in the way of their writing.  And sometimes I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing on my blog lately.  I’ve been so busy with work and learning how to manage my so-called grown-up life that I’ve neglected my writing.  But reading her article reminded me  about the joy that writing brings me, and that joy led me to the keyboard, to write this post.

In the article, Beckham says that she wrote a letter to the author who inspired her to really go for it, and start being a writer.  Maybe someday I’ll be writing to her.

In the meantime, though, I think I’ll tweet at her.  Gotta embrace the social media. 🙂

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Filed under Future, Writing

Writing Class Update

Tonight is my second novel writing class, so I thought I’d give you a little update.

The first class was absolutely fabulous!  It started out well when I found my way to the classroom building without getting lost.  And then an hour and 15 minutes devoted to writing exercises that help you develop a character.  Heavenly.  I enjoyed it so much, it felt like 5 minutes, not 75.

The beginning was a little nerve-wracking, though, because most of my classmates said that they had already developed plots for their novels, and we jumped right into character exercises.

“Pick one of your characters, and write the answers to the questions I ask you, as if you were your character.  It’s a way to get inside their head and really understand their motivations.” (says instructor).

“Oh, no…” (thinks Maura).  “I have no characters.  I have no plot!  I thought we’d ease into this stuff!”

After my momentary panic attack, I settled down, and actually created a character on the fly, in those 75 minutes.  You’ll have to wait for the final product to learn more about her, because I don’t want to give anything away–it’s a mystery novel, you see.

But there I was, outside my box and kind of freaking out, but I pushed through and tried my best.  And found out that it’s not so bad outside my box.  I actually really enjoyed it there.

Mind you, I have yet to share anything about this character with my classmates, or read passages aloud during class, so I haven’t crossed the biggest hurdles yet.  But I’m liking my progress.

I saw this quote on Twitter yesterday, and it inspired me, as I head back for my second class tonight:

“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” ~David Viscott

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Another new endeavor…

I just signed up to take a writing class.  But not just any writing class.  A fiction writing class.  Novel writing, to be specific.

I’ve taken plenty of writing classes in my day.  They are par for the course as a journalism student, and I loved them all.  But novel writing is a little bit different.  It’s not exactly writing and reporting 101.

I have to be creative enough to craft my own story, and to share it with others.  Which kind of frightens me.  Ok, actually, it frightens me a lot.

Which is why I have to take this class.

I think that actually attempting to write a novel, which I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl, is probably one of the scariest things I could do right now.  I’d be going out on a limb (way out on a flimsy limb…I discovered my sad attempt at historical fiction while I was cleaning out my desk this summer).  I’d be taking a risk, which is not something I generally do.  I’m too much of a planner for that.  I’d be putting myself, and my ideas, out there, at least for my fellow students in this class to read and critique.

In a nutshell, I’d be breaking away from what I’m used to, and comfortable with, to pursue something that’s always been floating around in the back of my mind.

And since it’s always been floating around in the back of my mind, I think I owe it to myself to give it a try.  No matter how far out of my comfort zone it takes me.

I’ve used this quote on the blog before, but I’m going to put it here again, because it popped into my head the second I signed up for the class.

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”~Helen Keller

So here’s to a new adventure.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Filed under Future, Writing

A new endeavor!

As I’ve mentioned a few times on this little blog, I’m productively searching for my next endeavor.  Which is quite the process, let me tell you.

And during the process, I’ll be freelancing for Patch.com, a local news website run by AOL.  There are Patch sites for towns all across the country, and I’ll be writing articles for the town of Hingham, MA.

The sites are a great source of local news, stuff that you won’t get reading the bigger national and regional papers.  Those publications, of course, serve an important purpose in informing the public of what’s going on across the country and around the world, but I’ve always been a big fan of local news.  I love stories about people and their ordinary, everyday lives.  Sometimes even the smallest things are full of hope and wonder.

I’m excited to start this new adventure.

And if you have some free time, check out my first article!

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Filed under Future, Jobs, Writing