short stories

A Breath of Fresh Air. Inspirational Quotes for Creative Writers.

Writing is difficult. If it wasn’t, so many more people would do it. To combine all of your thoughts, feelings, opinions, aspirations, plots, characters and grammar into a woven piece of art that will touch your audience, satisfy your need to create and share your story is a mammoth undertaking.

I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but sometimes (a lot of the times) I’m scared of this challenge. I don’t think of it in bite sized, manageable pieces. I dream about a series of unforgettable novels that shape childhoods. It helps me to get advice from my favorite authors. Of course, I’ve never met them, so Google helps me a great deal in that apartment. Their novels also leave bread crumbs of how they feel about the world and what makes them tick.

It inspires me. I hope you feel the same way. I’ve complied a little sampling of some of my favorite quotes from some of the authors who have impacted me.

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“I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life, and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No - I must keep my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.” 
Jane Austen's Letters

“Sometimes, you have to stop trying to force it, walk away and let your subconscious show you the way. Fill up on life for a while.” JK Rowling

“Maybe some writers enjoy the first draft—the part of the writing process when anything is possible, and you’re out there forging your own path. I hate that part. All I can think about when I’m starting a book are all the words I haven’t written yet. I actually feel them, hanging around my neck, tugging at me.” Rainbow Rowell

“Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” Dr Seuss

We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” JK Rowling

“We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.”  Madeleine L’Engle

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Brainstorming Ideas: Tips for Creative Writers

I think we’ve all been there. We are ready to start a new project, but we just can’t land on the perfect idea. There are so many different story lines and interesting plots running through our mind, it’s hard to organize what we actually want to write about. I know I have this problem - a lot. I decided to research and see how other writers have dealt with this issue. Maybe we can all find a new technique to try for the next time this happens.


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Just Write

It sounds pretty easy and obvious, but sometimes those are the hardest tasks to actually start and finish. Sit down, maybe give yourself a certain amount of time and set a timer, write until the timer goes off or until you’ve run out of thoughts. Take a look at what’s in front of you. Can you find any good plots in there? Maybe you stumbled upon something meaningful, a jumping off point.

Maybe unorganized free writing isn’t a good method for you. Try making a list, use bullet points, stars, smiles, whatever inspires you to keep writing. Write down everything - even if it seems unimportant or silly.

Sometimes a Mind Map can link all your jumbled ideas together into a cohesive time line. Jot down all your thoughts, plots, phrases about characters, a scene you can’t let go of, anything that comes to mind. Now, circle the ones that could go together and link them. This is very strategic and you should probably use a large open space you don’t mind looking a tad bit crazy in. I know post-its and post cards are used for these too. Just imagine the beautiful, sort of organized chaos!


Phone a Friend

Ok, so, you don’t actually have to call your friends. I mean, that is an option. Chat with a fellow writer or someone who is great at cooking up ideas. Chat about all the different plots you’ve been dreaming up and see if they can help you narrow it down. Maybe they can harness your creative energy into the best novel the world has ever seen. Ok, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

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With that being said, who knows what you are capable of until you get started. A friend could be the best person to motivate, challenge and inspire you to keep going. Maybe it’s someone who has been with you since the beginning. I’m sure there are many memories of adventures and mishaps that you can bond about that could lead to yet another great idea.



Use Your Senses

Take in what’s around you. Go for a walk. Let nature speak to you. Take a deep breath and let the calmness wash over you. Let it still all the ideas racing around your mind. Maybe you haven’t liked any of your recent ideas. Let nature boost your creativity.

Sit down where you are. What do you feel? Smell? Taste? Hear? Jot down what comes to you. Use these questions to jog past memories or stories you’ve heard or possibly, hopefully inspire a new idea.

If you’d like to dive deeper into brainstorming, there are a lot of great resources out there. The one that resonated most with me was this blog post by Jamie Goodwin.



Thanks for reading the Chantwood blog. Remember, we are always accepting short story and poetry submissions. We can’t wait to hear from you! Thank you for sharing with us.





Writing Contests: Do Your Research Creative Writers.

Have you ever wondered whether or not you should enter your creative writing in a contest? Chantwood’s very own Amanda O’Dell has the scoop on what you need to know about writing contests.

Featured Work: The Greeter

“The Greeter” by Kathy Mirkin is today’s Featured Work. “The Greeter” is touching and thought provoking, the story of a woman who has to look beyond her grief and pain to form an unexpected connection during a difficult time in her life. This story first appeared in Chantwood Magazine Issue 16.

Featured Work: A Single Pearl

Today’s featured work comes to us from author Dawn Lo. “A Single Pearl” is a moving piece, one that deftly weaves the past and the present to give us a glimpse into how a single decision can change the course of a relationship forever. This short story first appeared in Chantwood Magazine Issue 16.

Featured Work: Prince Henrik the Fifth

“Eight years into the reign of King Henrik Quillian the Fourth of Prava, a golden, triangular ship descended from the heavens…” This glorious event was witnessed by the citizens of Ferruthe in this short story by Scott Hughes. Read the full story here! From Chantwood Magazine: Issue 14, now available on Kindle Newsstand.