Unlock the Muse – December 12, 2018

My boys started basketball a couple weeks ago. My youngest is so shy, he won’t engage at all with his teammates or coaches. I was a shy child too, so I understand his pain. But that doesn’t make it any easier to help him through it.

Writing can be a little terrifying in its own way. If you find fear of what others will think holding you back in completing your project, give yourself the freedom to write just for yourself. Write the story that’s in your heart. No one else is going to read it until you share it.

Here’s your writing prompt for this week:

Treat yourself when you break the block. Have a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream. But don’t cheat. If you’re still stuck, you can’t have the wine or ice cream.

Sometimes the words won’t flow. It might be that life is just too busy. Or it could be that you simply need to recharge your creativity. If it’s the first, by all means, set up the reward system. If it’s one of the other two, you may just need to allow yourself to step away, lower your expectations and don’t beat yourself up.

And when the words start flowing again, totally reward yourself! Drink wine. Eat ice cream. Get a new puppy. Well, maybe not the puppy. That will distract you from writing!

Since we’re on the subject of writer’s block this week, here are some tips from scribendi.com on how to beat it.

It’s grammar week, and today a question came up today between my writer siblings and I regarding when to use the singular or plural verb form. While the examples in The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White don’t include the exact situation we were discussing, I feel that what I did find justifies my answer.

Number 9 in the “Elementary Rules of Usage” says:

The number of the subject determines the number of the verb. 
Words that intervene between subject and verb do not affect the number of the verb.

The advice I gave my sister was to simplify the sentence. Take out the intervening words. At this point it is usually clear whether subject/verb combination should be singular or plural. Most of the time it works, but as with many “rules” in the English language, this one has a number of exceptions.

Happy writing!

Please consider sharing a link to your response to the writing exercise. Got a question? Just ask!

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