How Annie Improves Her Writing Even When She’s Not Writing


If there’s an award for Most Confusing Blog Post Title, I’d like to nominate myself.  As wordy as that title is, it’s the best way to phrase what I’m trying to say: I want to talk about the ways I improve my writing even when I’m not writing.  As much as I’d love to sit at my computer and write without abandon all day, I cannot.  However, that doesn’t mean I have to go through life absentmindedly waiting for the next chance to put words on paper.  Here are a few of the ways I improve my writing even when I’m not writing:

  • I read.  “Well duh,” you might be saying to yourself, but it’s true.  How can you produce literature if you don’t encounter it in the first place?  There’s something quasi-spiritual about learning from the greats, reading their work and dissecting what makes it great in the first place.
  • I listen to music.  Music is full of inspiration that is ripe for the picking, so I find a playlist that speaks to me and hit shuffle.  I love trying to imagine what my protagonist would think of the song, if she would relate to the message.
  • I listen to conversations.  This one’s for my introverts in the proverbial room.  Characters, in my opinion, should be rooted in reality, so where better to take inspiration than reality itself?  I love to listen to how people enunciate their words, how their speech patterns are reflective of their personalities.  There is a lot of material to be found and used in the way people express themselves.
  • I go on Pinterest.  I love Pinterest but in between the cute clothes and pictures of adorable puppies is a wealth of inspiration.  There are faces and aesthetics and quotes that often align themselves with a character I’m developing.  So when I sit down to write again, I have a clearer mental image of my character and his or her personality.
  • I take notes.  One of the best practices I have as a writer is keeping a document entitled “Interesting Stuff” on my Google Drive.  Whenever I hear a phrase or see something that strikes a chord, I put it in my document of interesting stuff.  You’d be surprised how many breakthroughs I’ve had by scrolling through my little compilation of random stuff.
  • I daydream.  I’ve gotten called out for this several times in school, but it works!  I’d like to think that I have a lot of ideas in this head of mine, so sometimes a little self-exploration does me well.  Some of my favorite short story ideas have come from moments when I was bored out of my mind and had nothing to do but let my thoughts wander.

That’s all, y’all!  How do you improve your craft when you’re not writing?  Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to check out my Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Spotify to show some social media love <3


20 thoughts on “How Annie Improves Her Writing Even When She’s Not Writing

  1. I also read, daydream, take notes, and listen to music and conversations. I also sometimes watch television (documentaries and news stories can provide inspiration) and (when the weather’s permitting) I go walking.

  2. When I’m in a writing slump I tend to use that time to focus on art. That way I’m still being creative PLUS I find it ends up inspiring me to get back to telling my stories anyway! I also run a lot when I’m having trouble because I find that’s when I do my best daydreaming!

  3. I’m still very much a ‘pen and paper’ writer…. so, I always have a small journal with me to jot down anything that catches my attention. It could be a name that I’ve not heard before, but sounds intriguing…. or just a general scenario…

    I’m loving all the tidbits you’ve shared….. Keep up the great work!!