“It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I even knew marijuana and pot were the same thing.” — Mindy Kaling

Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

Beloved comedy-writer Mindy Kaling, if you are unfamiliar, has quite a few accomplishments up her sleeve. She is most known for her work on the sitcom The Office, where she served as a writer, actress, executive producer, and director, but that is not her only feat.

She also created:

  • NBC’s Champions
  • Netflix’s Never Have I Ever

How can you know your characters if you don’t know yourself?

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If you feel that something is lacking in your writing, consider taking a moment of self-reflection. What makes you…you? What gives your writing an edge, a twist, per se; what differentiates your writing style from other writers? How would people in your life describe you, as compared to how a stranger would?

Understanding your characters’ personalities

When you are writing a fictional story and are adding characters with various personalities to your storyline, you must understand what makes each of them tick. You have to dig a little deeper to know your characters on a different level. Figure out what insecurities your character holds…

It’s what makes James Baldwin’s novels so captivating

The where of any TV show, film, or piece of literature plays a major role in developing the rest of the story. Gilmore Girls just wouldn’t have been the same if it had taken place in a bustling city, rather than a small town where everyone knows each other. The environment surrounding your characters doesn’t necessarily make or break your story, but it impacts the overall flow of your storytelling and the atmosphere of your characters. Here is a mini-guide to help you figure out which type of environment will work best for your story.

The city


Having your story take place…

A single paint stroke couldn’t stand alone, and neither can a single word

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

The process of writing is a delicate one that needs to be treated with care, patience, and creativity, just like the art of painting. A painter may spend hours carefully mixing certain paint hues together to create the perfect color. A writer is no different with their sentences. Painters and writers are one and the same, really. A painter may spend hours staring at a blank canvas, waiting for inspiration to strike. The same way a writer stares at a blank sheet of paper, waiting for a fabulous plot to pop right into their head. Just like how painters vary…

Lost the motivation to write? Don’t fret, we’ve all been there.

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I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time writing daily. As much as I love to write, it’s hard for me to find the time, and quite frankly, the motivation. When I stop writing consistently, I almost have to reteach myself how to construct sentences so that they flow nicely. Hopefully, I’m not doing too bad right now. But the question is: how does one get back into the groove of writing after a bit of a break?

Write even if it’s bad

One of the most important aspects of writing is getting the words down, any words, no matter how…

A writer’s best work comes from when they’re struggling

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Today has been a rough day for me. I’ve been procrastinating all day long and I’m not feeling too great emotionally or mentally. I’ve been discouraging myself from writing, convincing myself that I don’t have anything meaningful to say. But here I am, writing despite all of these negative feelings and thoughts. Writing may just be the one thing you need to salvage a bad week. But that’s a lot easier said than done.

Writing is not a simple task. The art of writing requires one to dive deeper into one’s mind, and sometimes that can seem scary. As much…

You’re tired of writing about it and your reader is sick of reading about it

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Yes, COVID-19 has impacted our lives a great deal, but I think we’re all well aware of that by now. You don’t need to keep writing about how difficult it is working from home or how different life is now compared to pre-pandemic times. Your reader is experiencing these same struggles and probably doesn’t want to be reminded of why our lives now are so difficult.

We’re all coming to terms with the fact that how the world operates now is a lot different from how it did before the pandemic hit. There’s a new normal to be adjusted to…

Your writing is boring, here’s how you can fix it

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Not many people consider psychology’s role in their writing, which is unfortunate. But you were smart enough to click on this article and not scroll past it. I admire that. You’re reading this because you care about your writing. You have a curious and creative mind that strives to keep learning and growing. You have a true passion and drive for your craft, which is something a lot of people lack. You’re lucky. You’re going to go far with your words, I can tell.

Did you feel good about yourself after reading that first paragraph? Clearly, something about that first…

You don’t need to be an award-winning novelist to benefit from writing

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Writing serves many different purposes for many different people. Some write for school, others write for fun, and a good portion of us write because it makes us feel complete in a way. But what if you used your writing to help you deal with painful experiences from your past? Scientific studies show that writing might just be the one thing you need to do to move forward from traumatic experiences.

The science behind writing about stressful experiences

We all knew the art of writing causes some sort of release from negative emotions or thoughts, but now there’s actual evidence that proves this is the case. According…

From a high school senior in the midst of the college application process

Photo: Noah Silliman on Unsplash

My classes are online. I’m home all day. I never see my friends. It’s been rough.

Staying inside all day has taken a toll on my mental health. Over the summer, things were different. I didn’t have schoolwork to stress over. I didn’t have to stare at a computer screen eight hours a day (unless it was my own choosing, of course). I hung out with a good friend of mine on multiple occasions while maintaining a safe distance. Things were good. I was taking the time to breathe. I set time aside for myself to relax and to merely…

annalisa renee

writer, lover of music. they/them

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