A red die being rolled and showing three dots in front of a black background
A red die being rolled and showing three dots in front of a black background
Photo by Mike Szczepanski on Unsplash

As a writer, finding new ideas can be a struggle. But maybe you’re trying too hard. Starting with something seemingly simple, something as simple as three short words, can easily spark brilliant ideas and turn into a powerful piece of writing.

One day, as I was searching for inspiration for a piece I wanted to submit to a competition, I stumbled across a random word generator. It’s since become one of my most frequently-used writing tools.

If I’m feeling uninspired or want to challenge myself, I’ll choose a few random words and try to write something inspired by or incorporating…


A glowing yellow camp tent in a forest at night
A glowing yellow camp tent in a forest at night
Photo by Dex Ezekiel on Unsplash

If you want to win the immense writing challenge that is Camp NaNoWriMo, you need a game plan.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about planning out every word of your writing project in advance. These are simple strategies to build the framework for a creative, successful, and exhilarating month of writing.

Here are four steps I’ve used to beat NaNoWriMo challenges that can help you crush your writing goals this month. This is how to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo — and how to make the most of the experience.

By the way, if you’re wondering what Camp NaNoWriMo actually is…


A man holding a newspaper stares at a wall painted with brightly colored vertical stripes
A man holding a newspaper stares at a wall painted with brightly colored vertical stripes
Photo by Mario Gogh on Unsplash

Ideas are everywhere. But in this information-flooded age, the world can be overwhelming. This overwhelmingness can easily cause you to feel stuck, uninspired, and uncreative.

Are you doing something wrong? Inspiration is all around you, isn’t it?

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.
— Orson Scott Card

Don’t worry — everyone feels stuck sometimes, and it doesn’t make you any less of a writer.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get unstuck, even if…


A writer sitting at a desk typing on a laptop
A writer sitting at a desk typing on a laptop
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

This April, I, along with thousands of other writers worldwide, undertook an enormous challenge. We took part in Camp NaNoWriMo and spent the month writing frantically, devoting ourselves to creative projects. If you’re a writer, you may well have participated in it yourself.

Many succeeded, surpassing their goals easily.

I didn’t.

And that’s okay! I learnt important lessons from the experience, and I’ll share the three biggest ones in this article. Despite “losing” Camp NaNoWriMo, I came out of this month as a better writer.

If you haven’t heard of Camp NaNoWriMo before, you may be wondering what the big…


The silhouette of a woman sitting on a windowsill reading a book. Golden sunlight is coming in through the open window.
The silhouette of a woman sitting on a windowsill reading a book. Golden sunlight is coming in through the open window.
Photo by Yuri Efremov on Unsplash

Many people have preached the benefits of reading. I’m sure that as a writer, you’ll have heard the same advice over and over: “Read more!”

That advice is widespread for good reason. It’s essential for a writer to read frequently and widely. In his memoir “On Writing”, Stephen King even said:

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

But while reading can change the way you write, the opposite is also true. Writing, if you do it often enough, will change how you read.

As I got…

Elena Canty

Award-winning writer. Expert procrastinator. I’m passionate about words, people, and the planet.

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