Writing Tips!

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Creating things can be difficult.  Frequently, writers develop a lack of motivation or good ideas, known as writer’s block.  When in one of these moods it can feel impossible to begin writing, like your writing is no good, or that you will never finish on account of not finding the perfect synonym for “yesterday”.  

My brain’s most frequent writing issue is that I ramble.  My ideas come so fast, my fingers don’t have time to get them down on paper, and before I know it I’ve forgotten what I was writing and moved on to a completely different topic.  This leaves my writing sporadic, confusing, and without purpose.  

A tip to cope is letting go of your standards when you first start writing and entering a “brainstorming” mindset where your fingers can get down the most important parts of your ideas without having to worry about grammatical errors or better word choices.  This allows you to get more work done and gives you more material to work with during revision later.  You’ll also feel more satisfied with how much you were able to write and express yourself.  

This brainstorming mode can even take the form of a list or other grammatically incorrect forms.  Long run-on sentences branching out your ideas or even sketchy, bulleted outlines of stories all work to combat writer’s block, give you more motivation and satisfaction, and help you become a more confident and efficient writer.  You’ll be surprised how much more you’re able to get done!  Happy writing! 

-Giselle F. 

Authors We Love: Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead George is a naturalist, illustrator, and author.  Born in 1919 in Washington DC, George developed her love of nature from her family.  All being naturalists, together they’d hike mountains, climb trees to study owls, and make their own fish hooks out of twigs.  

This love of nature carried over to her writing as George eventually graduated from Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Science and English.  She is known for uniquely combining her careers into engaging fictional stories that take place in real, vividly described ecosystems. 

One of her most famous books, My Side of the Mountain, takes place in the Catskill mountains and involves a boy, named Sam, who attempts to make a home for himself in the wild.  The novel details the day to day life of Sam and features illustrations of some of his creations, including shelters, traps, and whistles.  While the book is an amazing read for nature lovers due to its setting, the trials of surviving in the snow, finding food, and the mystery of an unstable environment makes it a tale of suspense that is perfect for adventure-lovers too.  

Other novels by Jean Craighead George include:

  • Julie of the Wolves (Newberry Prize Winning) 
  • The Fire Bug Connection
  • There’s an Owl in the Shower
  • Water Sky
  • Charlie’s Raven 
  • Shark Beneath the Reef 
  • On the Far Side of the Mountain (Sequel to My Side of the Mountain)

-Giselle F. 

The works of Jean Craighead George are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.