ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Helpful Writing Tactics

Updated on June 21, 2010

I love to write...and that's a great understatement. I've been doing so ever since I can remember; my mother has saved a few things I wrote as a child...and let me say that it's not exactly quality work! Even so, writing is one of the many things that defines my personality. I even have my degree in English. So, needless to say, I've learned a thing or two when it comes to writing.

One of the many issues is not just style, finding your voice, etc. It's the evil barricade between the writer and the great idea...the dreaded two words: WRITERS' BLOCK. And it's torture. Whether you're writing for pleasure, a class assignment, or even for a job that has a deadline, being stuck with no end in sight is beyond aggravating.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks to the trade. Well, there's more than a few, but there are certain ones that I know that are quite effective, and feel the knowledge should be passed on.


Using the First Line

A good way to jumpstart some creativity is by doing some light reading, finding a line or two that for whatever reason stick out to you, and going from there. By researching for just one sentence, your mind will eventually break down those walls between you and quality writing. It was a trick a college professor showed my class, and some really interesting stories and poems were created. Read up on some Frost, Ginsberg, Auden, see what other writers have to offer in terms of a particular sentence or two. You'd be amazed how much of a story or essay can be created with a little help from another.

The catch? It's imperative that you give credit to the writer whose words' you've used. We were all taught about one wants their hard work and personal creations to be misused.


"It's Just a Little Gibberish"...

...or is it? Believe it or not, one of the most effective methods I've discovered is using your stream of consciousness. What does that mean? Well, quite literally, you write whatever comes off the top of your head...and don't let your pen come off the page. Perhaps set a timer? Go for ten minutes or so, and see what comes out.

From the ashes rises life. Think of the babble as ash...a few lines could be worth holding on to. Throw out what's unnecessary, and keep going!

Unique, Beautiful, and Strange Words

Sometime in the 1950's, a study was conducted and determined that two of the most beautiful words in the English language were murmuring and cellar-door. But what do you think? Make your own list of words that you might find enchanting, bizzare, underused, or don't even know the meaning! Two of my personal favorites are willow and beloved (now, why those two, I have no idea! But they've certainly helped in the past!),Create a new poem based off of your list, try to use as many of the words as you can, you name it! You're the one in charge.

RELAX..., really. It's difficult to do anything productive when you're stressed it writing, or anything else that requires your creativity or attention. So, take your time. It's ok every now and then to walk away from a project; you need to recharge your batteries. Leave the manuscript in your desk drawer for a day or two...or three. It'll help give you a fresh perspective when you step away for a bit.

Clearing your head makes room for more great ideas, and allowing time to let your mind rest is vital for regenerating your inspiration.

And When All Else Fails...

Try reworking some older pieces, revisit stories from long ago. Instead of focusing on writing, focus on reading for a while. Look for books that are on the same topic or of the same genre. Seek some peer editing; maybe good friend could offer some insight or suggestion. You never know.

A writing life can seem tedious and unproductive, but it can also be fun and fruitful. Hopefully these tips will help make it the latter. Happy writing!



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very insightful Hub! Yes, these tips are definitely helpful. Another tip that I found that is generally easy to use, that correlates to light reading, is looking at the first sentences of each chapter. I keep reminding myself this question, "How does the first line work in this chapter?" Because, when writing a novel, a good tip to keep the audience's attention may possibly be consistently giving impressive first line at each start of a new chapter.

    • ru blog profile image

      ru blog 

      8 years ago from Anchorage, Alaska

      Stream of consciousness is a great way to promote flow of thought. Virginia Wolfe made this style famous. Every writer should delve into her work. I'm guessing you have.

      I also believe in writing something everyday. It is a perishable skill. Like anything else, apathy comes from disuse. However, the ability to snap back is always present. Keep on trucking, or writing. Whatever the case may be.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Well-organized writing tactics that invite HP readership. I'm glad I found you in my hub hopping today.I think I've been recharging my batteries too long now after a writer's block attack. I'm going to write now armed with these fruitful tips. Thank you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)