5 Sites for Writers to Geek Out On

1) outofprintclothing.com — A clothing store for the literature fan club, OutOfPrintClothing offers a wide variety of clothing and accessories emblazoned with famous literary logos. With everything from a basic “Pride and Prejudice” t-shirt to the “Poe-ka Dot” Edgar Allen Poe iPhone case, this site has an item for every book buff. They even have a section designated for photos of people showing off their book-love swag.

Even Emma Watson’s a fan.

2) blablameter.com  — Similar in design to the website that tells you how much your writing is like a famous author’s, the BlaBlaMeter will indicate how much of your writing is absolute crap. All you have to do is copy and paste a bit of your work into the BlaBlaMeter box and it will show you how much of your writing you threw in there just because. Apparently, everything previous to this sentence rates a .19 on the scale. That’s good, right?

3) telescopictext.com — Created by Joe Davis in 2008, TelescopicText starts off with a very simple sentence: “I made tea.” Users can then click any of the three words and the sentence will change. For example, clicking on “made” elicits “I made myself tea.” Each click of a word or phrase produces another bit of information in the sentence until it becomes a long descriptive paragraph of the character making tea. This game-like experience is fun for us nerdy writers who enjoy seeing a visual depiction of the importance and meaning of details.

4) bookshelfporn.com — Though claiming a slightly intimidating title, don’t be afraid to Google this site, book-lovers. BookshelfPorn is a massive collection of photos of beautiful bookshelves all over the world. An image gallery set up similarly to Pinterest, BookshelfPorn provides that fix all writers crave: staring at a well-crafted and well-designed bookshelf. It’s okay, not everyone understands…

It’s just…so beautiful…

5) This isn’t even a site. But this is hilarious.

Know of other great sites that I’ve left out? Share them in the comments below.

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I’m Sorry This is Late Deadline Writing Memes

Due to reasons which I will discuss in next week’s post and reasons I will not (I had a test this morning and spent the greater half of the day in the car), this post is being posted very late in the evening. In the spirit of lateness (and exhaustedness), here are a few deadline-inspired items you fellow writer-folk might enjoy.

 

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.” — Douglas Adams

Drive Safely, My Friends

Drive Safely, My Friends

I Will Have Your Soul

I Will Have Your Soul

Treating Your Creative Problem with John Cleese, M.D.

Have you been feeling uncreative lately? Lethargic? Bogged down by work, social life, and remembering to feed your cat?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from moderate to severe writer’s block.

And yes, I’m a sufferer too.

But don’t worry, I may have found the solution.

John Cleese’s five steps to unleashing your creativity may just be the cure you’re looking for. But first, let’s discuss what it is.

In this presentation on the difficulties people face with creativity, actor/writer/creative specialist John Cleese claims that by simply following five simple steps people can break down the dreaded writer’s block and harness their existing creative abilities. He states that no one person is necessarily more creative than the other, but is perhaps better at getting in the right mindset for creativity to flourish. Here’s how you do it:

1) Space – To get into the “open mode” (the frame of mind where creativity lies), one must create a separate physical space for thinking, one which is closed off from outside pressures. If your thinking-space is in the middle of the living room, the same room in which your children are playing and the phone is ringing off the hook, you won’t be placing yourself in an environment conducive to creativity. One must create a separate and quiet space for thought.

2) Time – You must be in your quiet space for a certain amount of time, starting and ending at a particular time. Be sure to allot this time for pure, distraction-free thinking. As a recommendation, an hour and a half is generally a sufficient amount of time to allow racing thoughts to cease and to facilitate creativity.

3) Time – Altogether a different step, this time refers to time allotted to pondering an idea. Cleese found that the longer a person plays with an idea, the more original that idea becomes. If a person were to simply take the first idea that came to them, that idea might not be original at all. It is those who can survive the anxiety of not having yet solved the problem, those who have taken the time to expand upon and play with their ideas, who have the most original and creative thoughts.

4) Confidence – Always remember that there is no wrong answer. People who believe that their ideas are wrong or not good will lose confidence and be less likely to be creative. Ideas are stimulated by environments which are free of negativity. If swapping ideas with others, never feel that you have to be defensive about your ideas. Encouragement and playing with ideas is a better and more appropriate way of fostering original thoughts. You cannot make mistakes. There are none.

5) Humor – Don’t forget to have fun with it. There’s no need to get so “serious” about trying to force creative thoughts out. Laugh at your ideas. Laugh at other things. But always laugh. Humor is the quickest way to get into the open mode and its the easiest way to stay there.

Keeping these five steps in mind, allow your brain to play with your subject or topic. Don’t force anything. Original thoughts have the oddest way of popping up in random places if one allows oneself to think.

John Cleese as a civil servant in the halls of...

We’d never have this hilarious bit if someone didn’t sit down to think about it.

Which of these five steps do you struggle with most? Space? Time? Time? Confidence? Humor? And if you have other tips or “medication” for solving writer’s block and boosting creativity, let me know in the comments.

Quote #6

“If you’re reading this…Congratulations, you’re alive. If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.” — Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head

Blog Boost: Becky Says Things

I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but the word “life” is the first word in “LifeAccordinglee.” And one would assume that, with that kind of a name, the person who created this blog must have intended to, at least at some point, write about life. And because I am the proud owner of this lovely work-in-progress, I guess that would mean I should be writing about life.

And I suppose I do.

For the most part.

Starting out, I had indeed intended this blog  to be more of a mishmash of my opinions on life and all the positive, negative, and hilarious things that come with it, but lately the blog has evolved by focusing more on regular life and the life of a writer (essentially, my own life). And although this evolution might not necessarily be a bad change (or a good one), it certainly has left behind the original purpose of the blog: writing about life’s…things.

Though I may have failed in this department, my next featured blogger has not. Becky writes about things.

Becky Says Things is one of my recent blogging finds. She’s quirky. She’s funny. She’s British. Not to mention, fantastically clever.

Basically, Becky says things about all sorts of things. Becky says things about the dentist. Becky says things about monstrous things about working in an office. Becky says things about failed exercise attempts.

Becky says things about things normal people constantly think about yet overlook when seeking inspiration for a story. This is why I’m saying these things about Becky.

I think she’s absolutely hysterical. She writes with a strong, personal voice that makes the stories feel like they’re being spoken to you by your close friend. Her concept is original: she uses a Stickman and various other drawings to illustrate and add further detail to her stories. She’s been FreshlyPressed, which is a huge accomplishment in itself, but I think her blog deserves even more recognition. That is why I’m saying things about Becky Says Things.

Please check out her blog, like a post, follow, fall in love. I don’t know how she doesn’t have a million followers by now, but she definitely deserves them. I only wish I could find the way to say so many clever things about so many…things.

Click the picture below to check it out!

blog boost3