How to Write Stuff - A Writing Guide (Sort Of)

Source
Just me writing stuff
Just me writing stuff | Source

How to Write Everything Under the Sun

There are countless websites and online articles telling us how to write almost everything from poetry and flash fiction to novels, biographies, and nonfiction informational content. There are also numerous books, magazines, and courses striving to do the same. Gosh, I have even written "How to Write" articles myself.

We all strive to be the very best at what we do, or at least do the best we can so, as writers, we delve through the raging river of information on the art we love so that we can achieve our goal. The trouble is it gets to the stage where you feel you are just going around in circles and reading the same advice over and over again. Am I right?

So, in this article I won't tell you how to do any of these things. I'll simply attempt to tell you how to write "Stuff."


Source

What is Stuff?

Well you may ask, "What is Stuff?"

Stuff : is one of the most common nouns in speaking. It is more informal than thing. It is not at all common in writing.

noun noun: stuff; plural noun: stuffs

  1. matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied."What's that black stuff? ."
    • a person's belongings, equipment, or baggage."We can't move to a smaller place, we have too much stuff." synonyms: possessions, personal possessions, effects, goods;
    • BRITISH informal: dated, worthless or foolish ideas, speech, or writing; rubbish."stuff and nonsense!" synonyms: rubbish, nonsense, twaddle, balderdash, claptrap, gibberish, drivel ; More
    • informal: drink or drugs."The islanders get fighting mad on the stuff"
    • things in which one is knowledgeable and experienced; one's area of expertise. noun: one's stuff; plural noun: one's stuffs"; "I've read all his books. He knows his stuff and can write really well." synonyms: facts, information, data, subject, discipline
  2. the basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone."Hansen was made of sterner stuff."
  3. used to refer to more things of a similar kind to the ones you mentioned. "I was embarrassed because she just wanted to talk about love and stuff."
  4. to completely fill a container or space with something. "Under the bed they found a suitcase stuffed with money."
  5. used to express indifference or rejection of something: "Stuff this diet."

So, my interpretation of all this is that if you want to write anything non-specific or indeterminate, or just to fill up space in an article, you can write about stuff.

(source Cambridge Dictionary and stuff)

I like to collect quirky stuff like this Snoopy clock.
I like to collect quirky stuff like this Snoopy clock. | Source

10 Tips for Writing Stuff

  1. If you have any dreams, random thoughts, ideas that you'd like to develop and expand on, just start writing that stuff down.
  2. Don't bother planning. How can you plan anyway if you are just writing about random stuff.
  3. Just ad lib as you go and write whatever stuff pops into your head. That's kind of exciting as you never know what the finished project will end up like.
  4. Look to others for inspiration. They know and do stuff too, and it may be different stuff to you.
  5. Research stuff. It helps to make you appear to be an authority on whatever stuff you are writing about.
  6. Following on from the previous point: Don't write about stuff you know nothing about, especially if it is medical or health related. You could kill or maim someone with your advice, and then they'd be stuffed, and so would you.
  7. Write stuff that people want to read. Find your audience. Then they will follow you and share your stuff on Facebook, Twitter, and stuff.
  8. Try writing a poem about stuff. Here are some words to rhyme with stuff to start you off: snuff, gruff, puff, cuff, rough, tough, enough, scuff, huff, duff, chuff, bluff, buff, fluff.
  9. Use stuff to help reach a minimum word count. Stuff your article or story with lots of different stuff to make it more interesting. Especially if it is on HubPages, the stuff can include photos, videos, polls, call-outs, recipes etc.
  10. When all else fails, make stuff up! Fiction is a popular genre - so go for it! You can write all kinds of stuff under the banner of fiction - crime, mystery, horror, romance, drama, comedy, and best of all - science fiction.

Most people will enjoy reading your stuff. But anyone who doesn't appreciate the stuff you write, especially after all the trouble you went to, can just go and get s...some other stuff to read.

Oh, here is one additional tip for writing stuff thanks to Austinstar:

  • There is a cool journalism trick for writing - start with Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. If you include the 5 'Ws' whenever you write, you will have a good foundation for writing stuff.

McDonalds is a popular place to stuff your face. Maybe this stuff will get me more views.
McDonalds is a popular place to stuff your face. Maybe this stuff will get me more views. | Source

Some Excellent Poetic Stuff

The Creative Exiles an anthology of poems: Let the Words Speak
The Creative Exiles an anthology of poems: Let the Words Speak

Check out this first anthology of poetry from my creative writing website The Creative Exiles. A great and varied collection from a group of very talented poets.

 

This Poem is Stuffed

I gather my climbing gear and stuff,

Today I will scale the mountain.

I know the steep accent will be tough,

But I am excited and determined.


As I climb to the top of the bluff,

Even though I have trained for months,

The exertion makes me huff and puff,

And it seemed to take forever.


But on reaching the summit I am chuffed,

The view from the top is amazing.

The descent also proved to be very rough,

My knees copped a good grazing.


One elbow was also quite badly scuffed,

As I gladly set foot on the ground.

But, I arrived back down safe enough,

At least this time around.


Stuffing your face
Stuffing your face | Source

How do you write?

  • It depends on the topic or genre I am writing
  • Off the cuff. Whatever will be will be
  • A little of both. Some planning, some random
  • I plan everything from start to finish
  • I just write randomly, whatever pops into my head
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73 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

This is some really cool stuff. I think that maybe I needed to hear this today. Sometimes I think the stuff I write about sounds just off the cuff. Maybe it is.

John you have been an inspiration to me, thank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad to hear that Eric. It is always my desire to be an inspiration to others, as you are to me. Funny thing is this isn't supposed to be published yet. I hadn't finished editing..I guess you were meant to see it. Cheers.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 6 weeks ago from Norfolk

Lots of cool stuff here Jodah. I love some of the images too.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

I laughed out loud when I read the title. Great stuff here, filled with valuable stuff for any writer or writer wannabee, and a great reminder that you, my friend, are a creative, writing machine.


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 6 weeks ago

Very fun. Loved your poem that found numerous ways to rhyme with "stuff". It was stuffed with stuff.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 weeks ago from Somewhere in the universe

There is a cool journalism trick for writing - start with Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

If you include the 5 'Ws' whenever you write, you will have a good foundation for writing stuff.

Random stuff writing can only improve your skills! Good hub!


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 6 weeks ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I took off writing this morning with nothing but a song lyric in mind. I ended up miles away from the original thought but with page filled with some serious stuff. Probably nothing I'll publish. It's that kind of serious. Thanksgiving is coming soon up our way, and that, of course, means turkey and stuffing. Have a great day/night John.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 6 weeks ago from london

Thanks John. Al very useful ideas. I remain the creative type. I know of forms and structure... I grew up with them and do believe they work. Yet I must create. I follow my inner Sun and go where She takes me, with a sense of destiny yes, but not much. I don't encourage too many to do this.

Nice poem about stuff. A very pleasant weekend to you and family.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 6 weeks ago from southern USA

Hahaha, I love this one, John! Yes, there's so much stuff to write about and I like your approach here. Your poem is creative as always and a delight to read.

I do have a lot of "stuff" in my mind but not sure anyone would want to read about it LOL. However, as you say, we can add so much interest really to any topic to ensure that whoever reads will be entertained or maybe even learn something new.

What usually happens with me in writing is that I "think" I have a good topic to write on and then I get started going in one direction, and then later just out of the blue it begins to take on a whole new aspect that is far removed from my original idea ...thank goodness!

Peace and blessings


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 6 weeks ago from Nibiru

please teach me how to write for cash!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Sally, I'll have to get on over to one of your hubs and learn how to do some wet felted stuff.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Stuff just pops into my head, Bill. Thanks for reading and the kind comment, and you have a weekend full of good stuff.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Linda. Glad you found this fun. I look forward to reading your recipe for stuffing a turkey for thanksgiving.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for that tip, Austinstar. I could have used that info in this hub. I may add it later. Have a great weekend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see your comment, Chris. Yes, I often use a song title or lyric as a prompt to write from. You may come up with a way to use that stuff you wrote. Enjoy that turkey and stuffing when Thanksgiving comes around.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Manatita, yes we all work differently and use different stuff. A great weekend to you also.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you enjoyed this Theresa. I can relate about starting something and then branching off in a totally different direction..happens to me all the time. The poem may be creative but I honestly don't think it is much good :) Blessings.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Sure Clive, just send me $5 via PayPal or Credit card and I'll pass on the secret of how I became a millionaire.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 6 weeks ago from Nibiru

LOL@Jodah


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 6 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John - I write stuff. I have written lots of stuff. Plan, what is a plan?

Very creative, fun piece of writing here. This needed to be said, and you said it. We all have our own techniques. As Theresa and you point out, we often have an idea of a destination, yet end up elsewhere.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Mike, you are one of the best at writing "stuff." Good to hear you don't plan either. Thanks for reading and the great comment.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

You write some good stuff here, Kohn, including the poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Flourish, I'll be sure to pass your comment onto Kohn. I'm sure he'll appreciate it :)


annart profile image

annart 6 weeks ago from SW England

Great stuff, John! This all makes such sense and the humour is great. I like taking words and analysing them, as you know from my 'Take a Word' series, and this is a light-hearted resumé of all that confusing advice available. I'd sooner read yours as it's all we need!

I often find that if I'm not sure how to tackle an article, I just start writing and it goes off on its own. They're often the best ones, strangely, so why plan?!

Have a great Sunday!

Ann ;)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

What a great comment, Ann. Especially from such a wordsmith as you. I am such a fan of your "Take a Word" series and I guess this was along those lines. It was written very "tongue in cheek" but also "having a go" at the plethora of "How to Write" articles everywhere you look. I am so glad you enjoyed this and feel the information is valuable. Exactly! Who needs a plan?


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

My mind is so full of stuff, mostly rhyming words. Sometimes I just stuff it all and start over again, but pretty soon I'm back to rhyming. It's like my angel cabinet, there's no more room, yet every time I see another angel, I want more of the angelic stuff. It's like what my mother always said, " Stuff won't make you happy. " That's true in a sense, when I overeat and I feel stuffed, I'm unhappy. I like the stuff you write...


Davorunner profile image

Davorunner 6 weeks ago from Australia

Interesting article. IT's important just to write about "stuff" every once in a while. Writing is an adventure, it doesn't have to be perfect the first time. Especially with NaNoWriMo around the corner, it's great to be able to write about the stuff we love without worrying too much about perfection, and the more we write the better we get.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Ruby, thank you for telling me about your "stuff" addictions :) I know what it's like, my wife and I are hoarders to an extent..she collects stuff like spinning wheels, spindles and yarn. It is hard to find room. Glad you like what I write. Cheers.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Davo. Glad you found this interesting, and you are right about writing being an adventure and it doesn't have to always be perfect. Good luck in NaNoWriMo.


annart profile image

annart 6 weeks ago from SW England

Thank you for your kind comment, John. I've just finished the latest 'Take a Word' so I hope you've got time to take a look and that it lives up to your opinion of my work!

Have a great Sunday! (or is just about done for you?!) Anyway, enjoy!

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Sunday is almost done and dusted here Ann. I will go check out your latest 'Take a Word' before bed however. I am sure it won't disappoint.


annart profile image

annart 6 weeks ago from SW England

I hope not. As long as it doesn't make you go to sleep before you get to bed!


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 6 weeks ago from Oklahoma

Gonna start a guild. The Guild of people who like to write stuff;-)


Rafa Baxa profile image

Rafa Baxa 6 weeks ago

Really helpful and funny!

I used to plan a lot before writing. But it didn't work out so well. So now I plan after I am done writing, which is a whole lot better and easier.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Larry, I think that will be a very popular guild. Good idea.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Rafa, glad you found this helpful and funny. That's what I was aiming for. I have heard of foreword planning, but that would be backward planning..interesting :)


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 6 weeks ago from United States

This article had lots of energy and was lots of fun to read. Good stuff!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you Jill, and glad you found this a fun read. I hope the dirt farming is going well. Cheers.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 6 weeks ago from sunny Florida

Spot on Jodah....lots of -uff to go around and I write most of my work in just this way :D

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad to hear you write this way too, ps. Thanks from rhe Angels, and I'm sending some right back at ya. Blessings to you and yours.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 6 weeks ago from Orlando, FL

This hub is stuffed with excellent stuff to stuff into a useful article that will benefit the readers as they stuff more knowledge into their overstuffed brains! :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Well, stuff me Linda. Thanks for stuffing all that stuff into your comment, and glad you found this hub useful :) I hope all the unfortunate stuff is behind you and life is on the up and up.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 6 weeks ago from San Diego California

The funnest part of writing is seeing what "stuff" is going to come out today. Too much planning would spoil the fun. You go in with a skeleton of an idea, then flesh it out. Great work.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

You said it Mel. The unexpected outcome is the most fun. I have a lot of skeletons in my closet. I pull one out from time to time and write a hub about it. Thanks for reading this.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 6 weeks ago from Dubai

Loved your take on writing stuff, enjoyed reading your poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you , Vellur. It was just a bit of fun.


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 6 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

Wow! This is an amazing stuff. It filled my whole stuff with cheers. Thanks, John, for this wonderful entertainment and illumination.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Venkat. Glad you enjoyed this. If you have the stuff, you have to share it.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 6 weeks ago from Potter County, Pa.

Great article about writing stuff. Lately, my writing stuff has been slacking, but I really need to gain interest in it once again. Thanks for the inspiration.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

We all go through highs and lows with our writing stuff, Diana. I am glad this helped to inspire you. I look forward to reading new hubs from you.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 weeks ago from South Africa

The comment in my mind was, "This is some really cool stuff!", but then I saw Ericdierker already used it.

I write all kind of stuff. It all depends on the stuff that's going on in my mind.

Jodah, you've made me smile!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 weeks ago

Oh, John, stuff it! No, I didn't really mean that. In fact, I don't think I've ever taken the time to tell you how much your friendship means to me. I love being around good writers like you who can tell us how to write stuff. My training, other than in creative coercive advertising to sell stuff, was mostly in writing serious stuff, and it's been a hard pull to try to get some of the stuff, uh, starch out of my collar. This stuff is great, my man! Keep it up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Martie, thanks for reading. If the,hub made you smile I succeeded in my intent. Yeah, Eric always pinches the good comments :) Have a great day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Aw MizB, you have me blushing! No seriously, thank you for saying my friendship means a lot. That goes the other way too. I really appreciate you, and the other friends I have made on HubPages, and I have learnt so much here also in regard to my writing. Unlike you, I have no real formal writing training (other than a correspondence course I did many moons ago for which I received no qualification). I still struggle with grammar and probably always will. I find that formal training especially if it is in serious writing sometimes stifles your creativity and ability to just write random stuff without restriction. I know one person whose writing always technically perfect and she often would go through my hubs and edit them..emailing me the corrections. However, when I read her hubs I found them so boring, not the subject matter, but her writing. It seems to have no soul or personality..just blandness. At least you can have fun with your writing and get the starch out of your collar writing stuff like your "Arkansas Limericks." I appreciate your great comment, and sorry for the long-winded reply.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Great motivation! My favorite sentence is "When all else fails, make stuff up!" Obviously, you have a high regard for stuff. Who else can show us how important stuff is?


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha, you don't know the half of it MsDora. My life is full of stuff. I need to get rid of stuff so I can make room for new stuff :)

I couldn't get by without stuff.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 weeks ago

Love your reply, John. Long-winded, too long? Nah. How long is a rope? I've always heard that a rope is 2 x 1/2 its length. (Probably just long enough to hang oneself.) Love ya.


DDE profile image

DDE 5 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Great way to write. Sometimes you got to make stuff up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you Devika. Thanks for the great comment, and hope all is good with you. Yes, make stuff up :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

If I surround myself with a theme then I can write about it but the most magical writings I think are just put upon us and amaze us when it is done. Maybe that sounds a bit conceited but I think you know what I mean. That is the joy of writing about "stuff" I think. lol


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good comment Jackie. Yes I get you.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 weeks ago

You made me laugh! What a great article on stuff and all so valuable. This is great "stuff"!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much, Dianna. Coming from a teacher stuff like that means a lot.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 weeks ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

There is a lot of good stuff in your article. Although you incorporated an amusing twist, the final message came through loud and clear. I really enjoyed reading this.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and commenting on this article, Dennis. Glad the message wasn't lost among the humour.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

I have read your stuff writing about stuff. I don't use the word "stuff" in my writing often, but when I do, I do so for the triple F emphasis. In spoken language, however, "stuff" has its place as a filler or a crutch if you wish.

As far as writing advice goes, I agree with you, there is too much advice and too much writing, but not enough reading. Writing is more fun because it is a process in which one is an active participant just like in speaking or playing a video game.

Reading, listening, or watching TV, on the other hand, are passive tasks and that is why it is harder to follow, have interest, fully engage.

There is a clever observation - "why listeners get more tired than speakers when it is speakers who do all the work?"

I believe at one point any writer or person who writes is confronted with the question "For whom do I write?" (apart from what? and how?)

Long time ago, I got over those question by writing an article "Creating a Vision - It's All in My Head" and a few days ago, after a long, long, long period of publishing nothing, I wrote "You've Got a Message Re: Pressing Matter".

Essentially, everybody writes for himself. There is no such thing as an audience.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Kallini, Yes that is the burning question "For whom do I write?" Freelancers may write for clients and the money, but even then if you have written something that doesn't please you then you don't feel satisfied (well I don't anyway). So ultimately you have to write to please yourself first before you can even hope to please an audience. Thanks for reading this.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

I do agree with you. I can recommend to read this book (it's short, but very effective. It made a lot of difference to me). Understanding that one writes for himself gives a certain feeling of freedom. I like to frame the question "For whom do I write?" (translation "Why do I bother writing at all?") as "What's my agenda?"

==============================================

Anyway, this is the quote:

“The Audience. Soon after you confront the matter of preserving your identity, another question will occur to you: “Who am I writing for?”

It’s a fundamental question, and it has a fundamental answer: You are writing for yourself. Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience – every reader is a different person.”

William Zinsser “On Writing Well”


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

A very good quote and I'll have to take a look at that book. Thanks.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 weeks ago from Central Florida

John, this is some pretty funny stuff! How do you come up with this off-the-wall stuff, anyway?

Thanks for the laugh. It lightened me up from the stuff I'm doing at work right now.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good stuff, Shauna. It sounds like work is leaving you feeling stuffed. So glad this fave you a laugh. Cheers.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 2 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Good 'STUFF' here John!

I enjoyed the few pointers, and stuff!

Lawrence


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank for reading this stuff, Lawrence. Glad you found it helpful.

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