Feel Better; Write More!

Gilda Joyce the Dead Drop by Jennifer AllisonEvery now and then, we writers have what is commonly called a “blue day.” Maybe that story that we pictured becoming a NYT bestseller ended up getting rejected by the school magazine. Maybe that boy we’ve had a crush on for the past year decided he likes the very girl we can’t stand (or vice versa). Maybe something genuinely terrible or simply mortifying has happened, and we’re ready to catch the earliest train out of town. Or maybe we’re simply feeling uninspired and “stuck.”

Here, my dear reader and writer, are some of my favorite tried-and-true tips that will not only help you feel better; they’ll get you writing again!

1. My first suggestion is so simple it sounds ridiculous, but you should get a new writing pen. I personally prefer pens with pink or purple gel ink. Sparkles are good too. Will this magically transform your writing? No, but you’ll suddenly feel better as that sparkly pink ink flows onto the page. Or try using a typewriter for fun if you’re used to writing longhand or using a computer. True– it’s not for everyone, but I swear by it!

2. Treat yourself to a new notebook and decorate it. I just used some babysitting funds to purchase a pink leopard-print notebook that will house the next chapters of my “Penelope Stunn” mystery-in-progress. But I also have a stash of notebooks decorated with my own original book-cover art – stuff I’ve created from collages of magazine photos and even my own cartoons. (On those rare off-days when the words aren’t flowing, you’d be amazed at how proficient I remain at using scissors and glue.)

3. Hit the high road and go exploring.. Now might be a good time to take a walk in a new neighborhood or visit a new museum. It doesn’t really matter where you go so long as it’s unfamiliar. Whenever I visit a new place, I pay more attention to details. Suddenly, I find myself getting new ideas for stories and seeing old stories in a new light.

4. Find a new place to read and write. For example, I love the idea of a tree house with a little desk, a typewriter, and a secret drawer for chocolates. Unfortunately, we don’t have a tree in our yard that could support this type of writing retreat (not to mention the fact that I don’t have the type of older brother who is willing to build it for me), but I love the idea. For now, I have to settle for my favorite café where I like to order a pink cupcake and a triple espresso and sit scribbling in my notebook.

5. Dress up. You’d be surprised how the act of putting on the most impractical vintage dress in your closet, high heels, and lipstick can perk you up as you sit down to face a blank page or a gloomy day. Dressing up in the clothes a character might wear is a fun way to find a window into their point of view. My character Penelope Stunn, for example, is always solving crimes while dressed in sky-high heels that practically murder her feet. How can I empathize with the true depth of her steely determination if I’m sitting on the couch wearing a bathrobe and slippers?

6. READ A GREAT BOOK! Especially one that makes you laugh. One of my all-time favorite laugh-out-loud books (aside from the more embarrassing sections of my own diary) is The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. And of course, it goes without saying that a Gilda Joyce adventure (or mishap as the case may be) might give you a boost. But hey – even I can use some good suggestions from a friend sometimes. Send me some of your own reading recommendations (“Great Books for a Blue Day”) or other pick-me-ups for writers, and we’ll expand this list together!

Your friend always,

Gilda Joyce


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21 Responses to “Feel Better; Write More!”

  1. Maddz Says:

    Awesome ideas, Gilda!

    Some books I would suggest when you’re feeling blue, would be any books by Meg Cabot, or The Clique books by Lisi Harrison!

  2. Theresa La Pham Says:

    Great tips Gilda!My cusin here asks ”Is she a real person?”,I say,”Of course she is!She is obviously the
    most hilarious,spunky,yet awesome girl the world has seen!!!”.I now love people watching,but often feel like a stalker when I am doing it.My cousin is now reading every word I type!Don’t you just hate it when people do that!Talk about bothering!Now he says,”Why are you blogging about me,your world-f
    amous cousin?”,and I decide to be wise(even though I’m one year younger than him)and ignore him!
    I love reading your useful,yet entertaining blogs!
    Your biggest fan,
    Theresa La Pham,A.K.A Panda Luva 18 :)

  3. Jinger Says:

    A Series of Unfortunate Events. Like reverse psychology! Sort of. Not really. They’re also great for story inspiration in general.

  4. Jinger Says:

    A Series of Unfortunate Events.

    They’re also good for writing inspiration, particularly mysterious stories.

  5. Rosemary Says:

    Dear Gilda, What would you do when your trying to write a mystery novel? I have a great name, ad a great idea, but can’t put it all together.
    What should I do?

  6. Gildaisawesome Says:

    If you want to write a book of a surtain genre, read the opposite! i.e. if your writing a funny comody, read “lord of the flies”, or “the grapes of wrath”, or really anything your english teacher would asign for summer reading.

  7. Marcus Kamps Says:

    I got here here from bing for finding a few facts about my website, but unfortunately I am not discovered what i was looking for. But the article Gilda Joyce – Jennifer Allison- Writing Tips – How to Write is really a excellent post! thanks!

  8. Cate Says:

    I love your books! I have read the series at least three times. I’m fourteen, and I have four younger siblings, so, for me, writing is kind of like getting away from all the noise in my house. I got a typewriter last Christmas, and i write all my books on it. I can’t wait until the fifth Gilda Joyce comes out!

  9. admin Says:

    Hey Rosemary… I think you point to a good topic for a new blog! But the short answer I can give is “Start with your characters.” Get to know them first, and the story will unfold. Also, realize that you are writing a draft, not the finished product. It’s okay to make mistakes at first! Now — get to work! :) Your friend, Gilda

  10. isabelle Says:

    totaly love your books! im geting a typewriter!!!!!!!!
    P.S. you inspierd me to clean my room!

    your friend and fellow psy. investigator & spy,
    isabelle :-)

  11. isabelle Says:

    i got my typewriter!!!!!

    Ps pleas reed my coments at the feel beter; write more! page.

  12. isabelle Says:

    sorry, the cure for writers block page.
    not this page.

  13. admin Says:

    Congrats on getting your typewriter, Isabelle! Great news. :)

  14. isabelle Says:


    You haven’t posted the recipie for ” Gilda’s up-all-night-chocolate cookie suprise” yet!!! ( consult “gilda’s guide to revisions made easy” page. line 39-40, words 10-16) POSET AS SOON AS POSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (now! ASAP! pronto!)

  15. isabelle Says:


  16. Jess Stork Says:

    Thanks for the tips! I too, have had those hohum days when I want to stuff my stories in the dishwasher and can always use a pick me up. Although the dress like your characters section…I write about trolls, so that could get a bit….er…. messy..

  17. Tanya Says:

    Dear Jennifer Allison,
    I am really cracking my brain to find an interesting story. but… nothing is coming to my mind! Also, how can you get a book published?
    - Tanya :)
    PS. You are the best writer because you have encouraged me to write!

  18. Hope Says:

    The Hunger Game seires by Suzane Collins is full of heart stopping on the edge book that are truly awsome.

  19. gilda fan Says:

    dear gilda,
    I would like to start a newspaper for my friends apartment conplex, but i dont know how to start! i got the idea from the ladys of the lake, witch i am now reading. PS i am flat broke, so i canot pay for the paper, printer ink, ex.

  20. Eva Says:

    The Harry Potter books are always good to read.

  21. admin Says:

    Hi “Gilda fan”! I think that’s great that you’re thinking of starting a newspaper to be distributed at an apartment complex! LOVE it! I especially love hearing that a budding young investigative reporter (and newspaper entrepreneur) was inspired by LADIES OF THE LAKE! :) Regarding the “no money” problem; that is definitely a challenge for many young writers — and for any new business venture. One idea you might consider is advertising. Is there anyone who might want to pay you to include an ad for their business or services in order to help raise funds for supplies needed? (You would probably need to create at least one issue of your publication before you’d be able to get people interested in advertising.) Is there anyone in the apartment complex who might want to support your efforts by helping out with some of the resources such as access to a printer and paper in exchange for the news and entertainment you’ll provide their community? If possible, find an adult (possibly a teacher) who might help you with some of the logistics while supporting your creativity. Also — start small. Don’t start with something that will create huge printing costs; maybe just create a “trial run” version that you can post where people will see it. Once you generate some interest, you might find sources of funding and/or supplies you need. You can also consider creating an online publication using a free blogging resource. Again, you might need some assistance with the process; if the first people you ask aren’t helpful, don’t give up. Keep researching and experimenting with your ideas. Good for you for having this great idea! Let us know how it goes! -Gilda

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