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Writing tips, tricks, and talks with a beginner : The Little Things

These things are for me an essential part of the writing process. It's how I get inspired, how I develop. It reminds me sometimes in the throngs of desperation why I do what I do, and why it does bring me so much joy.

By James U. RizziPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

So those of you who have been following this series. Writing tips, tricks, and talks with a beginner, you may have noticed I've been silently chipping away at the process of writing sequentially. At first, I started with inspiration or jotting down some exemplary fleeting ideas before they widdle down to a fragment of your genius, or go away completely. Second I scrutinized writer's block, and the devices we need to circumnavigate it. Next came the all too familiar pre-skeleton. Limbs of branched out ideas and laid out plans, better known as an outline. All that being said I contemplated when and where I would fit this piece in. it doesn't really follow a sequence in terms of the writing practice. So decidedly two things helped me land here today. One is the fact that as a writer one important thing to recognize is now is a good time as any. It's truly an allegory for anything you do. If you wait for the perfect moment it'll never come. Taking destiny into my own hands and following this issue theme I wanted to talk about and celebrate the little things.

These things are for me an essential part of the writing process. It's how I get inspired, how I develop. It reminds me sometimes in the throngs of desperation why I do what I do, and why it does bring me so much joy.


Little things number one. Well not so little considering it has its own artistic domain that thrives in its very own sector. But I'm here more to talk about how it influences me and my writing

If you're like me you may listen to music while you write. Granted the verdict is still out whether it improved my work or not but still It seems to do the trick when it comes to elevating my emotions. It allows the whole process to be a more immersive experience. Understand of course choice is everything. You can just hunker down in front of your laptop and hit shuffle. For me, the music has to be synonymous with whatever I am writing.

I remember I was doing a piece that was a little bit on the darker side and the context dealt with some heavy stuff. For the time, I was working on the piece I would consensually, add songs that sounded or seemed to be bleak or depressing into a mix on my phone. Putting them all under a playlist labeled sad music. If anyone who didn't know me, (or who does honestly), saw my Spotify playlists solely labeled with moods, emotions, and relevant activities, they would be at the very least a tad confused. “ Can you put on my return of the conquering heroes playlist?” To me, it's a form of method acting: except instead of you performing, your story is.

Here are some automatic go tos for me when I need a bit of inspiration:

Anytime I'm dealing with fantasy or magic this bad boy never fails.

For something horror-related but also eerily calming, I let this play.

Sometimes I might delve deeper and pick some real bangers, hit singles, or powerful songs with a lot of context and meaning, but when you just need a little something to get you in the right headspace, the ambiance is perfect. Now if you want one with no particular genre just something soothing to take you away, or help you concentrate this is my ultimate favorite, and the one I'm listening to now in fact.


Speaking of tranquility and headspace, I'm a believer that your environment can enhance and change your mood. Cluttered house/room/space equals cluttered mind as they say.

When I think about myself as a writer I have a whole fantasy that goes along with it, New York Times bestseller, book release party. A small black and white photo on the back of the book jacket flap of me with a turtleneck slicked back hair in front of some fall foliage just above the author segment (don't laugh it's ok to dream). Part of that fantasy saw me writing in my own office with a desk and a reasonably comfortable chair. But that vision changed as soon as I tried a watered-down version. No, it simply wouldn't do. It reminded me of the job I had and hated. Confined to a small space subjected to a script and a manner of being. A mundane 9 to 5 and feeling unaccomplished. I flipped the script, I put myself outside, I surrounded myself with plants. One of which was a butterfly bush. It's nice having little visitors while you work. Plants, sun, fresh air, seclusion, is the best office I can ask for.

Now living up north in New England meant I had to relinquish my writing space to the tumultuous winters. For this, I retreat right into my bed. Yep sprawled out completely with enough space for my notebook, laptop, and other essentials. Comfy, safe, and relaxed. As long as I take breaks for my hand that keeps falling asleep. It's a great place to be. I am living proof that your space for writing can be wherever you feel best.

Reading and watching:

So this should and might be a piece all on its own. The benefit and importance of reading as a writer speak volumes (pun not intended). Stephen King said that "if you arent writing you should be reading" (any chance I can get to mention the King). There have been so many times I have been caught in an idea drought, I have absolutely nothing coming to mind, all my usual tricks don't seem to be working, and the unannounced lightning strike of inspiration doesn't hit. I know it's time to read.

Literally, anything you pick will benefit you. You can go to your usual stand-by like your favorite author or your favorite genre which is absolutely fine. But being on the early part of my writing journey I have decided to challenge myself, expand my horizon if you will. Branch out and consume some works I'm unfamiliar with or some I would never catch myself reading, until now. I Can't tell you how much I've grown and how much I've learned just because I decided to leave my wheelhouse and explore other works. There is so much out there we can learn from, it's a give-in that we do so.

I've included the vague title of watching along with reading for this portion because the implications are the same. Have you ever watched a show or a movie and thought "How in the world did they think of that." "Who writes these things." The simple question is they had their fair share of influences too. In the creative world, it stands to reason that art does in fact beget art. Same principle here as well. Try and gravitate to something you're uncomfortable with and in the end make it your own.

Admittedly while writing this I realize there will probably need to be a part 2. As you move forward and adapt things change and reveal what you need. Including the small stuff. This is a sign of growth. In the end, everything and anything you do helps you become the writer you want to be. Even if that means focusing on the little things.

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About the Creator

James U. Rizzi

I cant wait to see what I can create here.

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