No More Excuses, SoCal Writers!

Like a sport, instrument, or language, writing takes practice. Do you think California native John Steinbeck wrote “Of Mice and Men” in one attempt? Of course not. So relax. Writing well takes time and patience, but at least you’re in good company.


Now that you understand you need practice, the tricky part is thinking about what to write. A competent writer should be writing everyday, even if he or she isn’t feeling inspired. As we mentioned before, keeping a daily journal is a good idea. But what if you want to write about something other than your day? First, are you done with your homework? Your Irvine private tutor won’t be happy, nor will your English teacher, if you spend time writing for pleasure when you have an essay due. Done with that? Great! Now you can spend your much earned free-time practicing your craft.

In the words of the great Paul Simon,

“You want to be a writer, don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.”

Finding the right place to write is important. Personally, I prefer a coffee shop – the people watching always gives me ideas for characters. How about Caffe Luxxe in Santa Monica? They don’t have wifi, so you’ll be less tempted to procrastinate. What about the beach? Write a few lines, then go for a dip. We’re blessed here in Orange County and Los Angeles with a bounty of great writing spots. The challenge is finding your writing spot.

Now that you’ve found your place, it’s time to start writing, which takes me to our educational website for this Wednesday: Poets & Writers

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Want to feel less like the archetypal lonely writer, and more like a member of a community of artists? If so, then this website is perfect for you. From Tools For Writers to Contests, P&W is your go-to source for the latest and greatest happenings in the literary world. Another great feature of the website is its function as a one-stop platform for connecting with other writers. Want to discuss? Just join one of the Speakeasy Message Forums. Further, the “Connect With Others” section includes contests, a directory of poets & writers, a literary event calender, and a handy “job search by location.”

“The most important and underrated factor in a writer’s success is discipline. Talent and luck always help, but having a consistent writing practice is often the difference between aspiring writers and published writers.” – Poets & Writers

Finally, I want to point out what I believe to be a great resource for young writers. Under “Tools For Writers,” you’ll find a sub-page called Writing Prompts. No longer will you struggle with the excuse, “I don’t know what to write about.” With Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, and Fiction prompts all ready to go, your time spent writing will flourish. For example, one prompt asks the writer to describe his or her neighborhood; to really focus on emphasizing its particularities. Sounds fun, right?

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It’s not a homework assignment. In other words, enjoy it! These prompts are meant to be fun, as well as an exercise for your writing skills. Doing even one or two a week will result in higher level writing. Your private Orange County tutor from TutorNerds will be more than happy to say, “You’re going to dominate the ACT essay!”

Grab your humble pen, Los Angeles!

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