How To Make A Mini-Zine Electronically | FREE Template!

So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about zines: inspiration for them, and why you should write them. The latter post included an extra little bit about how to make zines, but I realised that a lot of people reading this would be writers, and therefore want to make the zines electronically. In all due respect to my stupidity, only two out of the four I made for Mini-Zine March were done electronically. The other two were hand drawn/written (and was super rewarding in the latter part!). However, my electronic ones came out very well so I’m a happy rabbit.

Anyway; how to make zines electronically is what this is all about. For this, you need three things: a laptop, computer, tablet, or something equally acceptable. A printer is required (well, you could put it into just PDF format, but printing it is the point!). And you need Microsoft Word. (And, uh, your brain might be helpful. <3)  Continue reading

Finding Inspiration for ZINES!

Next week, human beings, I have a post coming for you: Why You Should Write Mini Zines. However, this time around, I am going to be talking about how to find inspiration for them.

“But Hannah,” you cry, “wouldn’t it make sense for this to come after the post about why we should write zines in the first place?” Well, yes. But no. Because once you read on, the idea will (hopefully) be rocking around your head all week and you might even Google it before you read my next blog post! (Shame on you.)  Continue reading

Just 21 Writing Prompts

table_accessories_old_notebook_pen_80714_5300x3524I feel like this time of the year is when people start dropping behind on their New Years’ Resolutions. (I certainly have.)

A lot of people, me included, made resolutions/goals to write more this year. Luckily for some, you might be doing a great job at sticking to that. Sadly, not everybody is. Therefore, I have created a list of 21 writing prompts for you to use at your leisure. Feel free to link me to anything to write based from these in the comments, and I’ll be happy to read it. 🙂

PS If write anything to do with these prompts, the pieces will be published on my other blog. Feel free to check it out! ❤  Continue reading

The Surprise of Poetry

e26397c7fe425a5a91b89fa5e4d92929Before I came to university, I didn’t write much poetry. I’d been writing more in the past year or so of A-Levels, but before then I had written maybe one or two poems. They were all terrible. As in, I don’t have them anymore, they were strings of words strung together in no real sense, terrible. Or sometimes they were flat prose in poem form (which is probably worse than just flat prose).  Continue reading

Can You Be Taught Creative Writing?

media_298873_enCurrently, I am at university studying English Literature… and Creative Writing. It’s not my first time ever taking a creative writing workshop/class, but for the first time I’m being taught by authors, researchers and all sorts about the craft of writing.

And yet, I’m posing this question – can you actually be taught how to do creative writing? There are, of course, two camps. Continue reading

Setting Goals for the New Year!

setting goals for the nyAlthough technically it’s the 22nd January 2016, the New Year has yet to get fully underway, so it’s totally fine to be setting New Year goals now. Especially if you forgot (which, I’d like to point out, I didn’t but I didn’t blog about it on here, because I am not very good at that. As you well know).

Plenty of New Years posts have gone up around the web (I’ve seen so many I’ve lost track) including those resolutions. Some of them have been dedicated to write, some reading, some life in general etc. But sometimes it’s really super difficult to come up with resolutions/goals, especially if you’ve got no idea what you’re doing. SO I’M HERE TO HELP!

Continue reading

10 Reasons You Should Totally Try a Writing Challenge

writing challenge why 10Ah, writing challenges. They’re about a lot nowadays, and some people (like me!) even invent their own. You might have heard of them before, but not thought much about them.

Some writing challenges involve you writing a short story or poem everyday. Some, like NaNoWriMo, encourage you to write a novel. Some are just word prompts for every day and some are perhaps weekly or monthly.

Remember not to get writing challenges confused with goals: goals are personal things you set (like finishing your novel at the end of the month). A challenge often involves telling other people about it and sometimes joining in a group project. Anyway. Let’s get on with the list, shall we?

  1. It gets you writing! Obviously, this is a great reason.
  2. You can sometimes be a part of a great community, like the NaNoWriMo community! This generally means making great online friends. Whoop!
  3. It’s good if you’re just coming back into writing or have suffered a knock of confidence. It’ll get you going again and hopefully you can get some encouraging feedback.
  4. You can try out different genres! Perhaps set yourself a writing challenge of writing a short story with a different genre every week?
  5. You have something to show for it at the end of it. Whoop, whoop! Oh, and bragging rights. Obviously.
  6. You might improve on your writing skills by the end of the whole thing. Wouldn’t that be super? Look at your first and last piece of work once you’re done, and see how far you’ve come!
  7. It’s fairly easy to get your friends involved, especially if you guys can sit in a café together and talk about your writing woes. (However, if they don’t have the same mind-set as you to keep going through the challenge, don’t be put off and carry on! The likelihood is they’ll still listen to you, even if they don’t quite understand what you’re going through.)
  8. If you’re struggling with getting some writing done, you can set yourself a little challenge and get to it, hopefully getting you into a routine which means you can write every day after the challenge is over. So, writing challenges can often help you in the future.
  9. If you’re applying for a job or need a portfolio, you have loads of material, and if you do a short story writing challenge, you often have loads of different and diverse material to show off what you can do, which is exactly what they’re looking for!
  10. Finally? It’s fun. Just plain fun. If you choose a short story challenge too, it’s often not that much out of you’re day that you’re taking and hey, if one sucks, hopefully the next will be better!

Keep trying with writing guys! One word in front of the other.

PS If you want to have a go at a writing challenge, you can try my 23 Day Writing Challenge right here!

Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind?

tidy desk, tidy mindOn Wednesday, I tidied my desk and sorted all of the stuff and got rid of about two bags worth of old paper, notebooks and just about anything else. When I sat down that night, I felt the power of being tidy and clean and being able to get on with my writing instead of having to be downstairs because the messiness was driving me bananas.

I sit now, looking at my globe beside me (which finally fits instead of being relegated to the windowsill where it’s no good to anyone) and wonder if a tidy desk really does mean a tidy mind. Some people, like the famous photo of Albert Einstein, apparently work best under the messiest desk around.

So, which one is right? Albert Einstein said:

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what, then, is an empty desk a sign of?

To an extent, I agree. I think if you have an empty desk, you might run low on inspiration (the strangest things inspire me, which is why I have a collection of oddments surrounding me at nearly all times when I’m at home, even a stone, a lolly pop and a bunny garden ornament with a knitted hat. And that’s just me taking 3 seconds to glance around). But, a cluttered desk means you might be too frazzled to do anything productive anyway, like me.

In circumstances like this, I like the philosophy of, “Whatever floats your boat.” But you should be proud to show that boat off to other people, which is why I wasn’t happy with my cluttered desk, and I tidied it before we had any guests over. Now, someone could sit down and type away at my computer and I’d be very happy!

What’s your desk like? Cluttered, tidy, a bit of both? A tidy clutter, perhaps? Do you even have a desk, or prefer to work in a cafe or at work? 

Ages ago, I was talking to Herminia at aspiringwriter22 and said I’d post some photos of my desk, so here you are!

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Still looks kinda cluttered, but, believe me, this is an improvement. Notice the bunny 😄

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The 8 Writing Apps I Have On My Phone

8 apps phone

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and my iPhone’d self is no different. I don’t always just use my phone for social media, though – sometimes I use it for writing stuff! So, today, I thought I’d share what writing apps I have on my phone and how I use them and hopefully inspire YOU to download some. (And you can check out my social media handles at the end, too. 😉 )

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An actual image of my actual phone. With an actual dog in the actual background. I’m going to actual(ly) stop now.

  1. GoodReads (free). Okay, so this isn’t strictly writing as it is reading, but GoodReads is a marvel. I’ve found ARCs on GoodReads, and I like having it on my phone because I can scan barcodes to add new stories to my shelves (and this is basically really cool anyway). If I’m bored, I tend to just scour it for new stuff to read. And sometimes I daydream of adding my own book to their enormous database… :’)
  2. Writing Journal (free, £2.29 to upgrade (which is what I did)). This is probably my favourite writing app I currently use. Basically, you add your “project” (you have to upgrade to add more than 2) and set your target word count. When you start writing, start the timer. When you stop writing, stop the timer and add in the amount of words you achieved. It tells you how many words you done in total over your project and also cool stuff like how long you’ve spent on that project. I’d recommend upgrading, if you can. (And this app is brilliant during NaNoWriMo.)
  3. Kindle (free, sometimes costs to buy books). Also a reading app. I don’t really use the Kindle app that often, and I originally downloaded it for when I was out, or to download free, extra reading books for college (eg the Jerilderie Letter when I was studying the Kelly Gang). Pretty neat app but obviously not everyone likes reading from a screen. (Also, you can download documents yourself (for free! Although you do need an Amazon account (but this is also free!)), so you can carry your WIP everywhere and make editing notes on the go.)
  4. Wattpad (free). On Wattpad, you can post your own stories and read others. It’s where a few young writers each year get discovered (and they’re generally hits). On the app as well as the website you can post and edit your own stories and it’s a pretty cute app when I just fancy a read out and about. Some of the stories are trashy but some aren’t too bad.
  5. Hants Library (free). I live in Hampshire, England, so this app is personalised for me but I thought I’d include it anyway. Basically it tells me when all of my library books are due. SO. USEFUL.
  6. My Stories… (webpage, Miss Literati, free). I am a member of the ML community, and you can add websites as “apps” on iPhones, so this is what I have. Although I don’t use it that often.
  7. Duolingo (free). I like languages. I might not be very good at them, but I like them. On Duolingo (you may have heard of it, it’s quite famous and also has a webpage) you can learn languages for freeeeeee! Fantastic, eh? I don’t use this as much as I used to, but I’d like to get back into it now that exams are over (for this year, at least (the exams, that is)).
  8. WordHippo (webpage, free). Okay, if you’re a writer I really hope you’ve heard of this webpage. It’s one of the best sites I’ve found for writing. Like the Miss Literati page, this is a webpage I’ve bookmarked on my home screen and it’s great. The mobile version isn’t as clean as the webpage, but guys, just use it. You can find rhyming words, what words mean, synonyms, antonyms… It’s awesome. I love it.
  9. Dictionary.com app (now deleted, free). Okay so I deleted this app because I needed the memory and sometimes the notifications annoyed me (you can turn them off, I just deleted it before then) but this is a pretty nifty app and so useful in my English class. It gives you pretty cool words of the day, too.

Other apps I use in relation to my writing:

  • Twitter. This is a great handle for finding other writers and keeping your small army of fans updated on your writing endeavours. (Handle: @MB1098)
  • Snapchat. This is more personal and for friends, but if you want them to leave you alone without engaging in conversation (and you can send them all the same picture) then just send them a quick snap! And you can update just as easily, whilst posting your epic word count for the world to see. (Ask me if you want to add me!)
  • Instagram. Like Snapchat, this is also more personal and, I find, more difficult to get “followers” than Twitter, which limits your audience (me: Twitter: 265, IG: 89). However, it’s cool to share pictures and I follow so many book bloggers who post beautiful photos: It’s great. (IG: MidnightBeast1098)
  • Pinterest. This isn’t for connecting to people personally, but I often find some great inspiration on Pinterest. Link.

So, guys, what writing apps do you use? (Perhaps I’ll do websites in another article.)

Also, I use the notes app. A lot. I have about 50 beginnings of books, about the same number of endings and again the same number of premises… .-.