Writer’s Muscles

Now that I’m offically a “writer,” people frequently ask me: “How do I become a better writer?”

My responses may vary some, but the key advice doesn’t change: “Write more and read more.”

I especially like to encourage people to expand beyond what they noramlly write to flex those brain muscles. Reaching beyond normal boundaries also provides writers a good break from their normal routines, and may just unearth hidden talents writers may not know lie beneath.

I took my own advice a few months back and participated in Writing.com’s 15 for 15 contest. Contestants respond to a writing prompt title and image, and write a story, prose, or  poetry in 15 minutes or less for 15 days in a row. I truly enjoyed the people I met virtually through the contest and found it to be an excellent exercise in ensuring I wrote — even just for 15 minutes a day — for over two weeks. I even placed a few days, and below was what the judges named the winning entry one day. I considered it a win that I hit all 15 days, and learned something in the process.

Writing Prompt


Remington Hawkins surveyed his territory again, never tiring of its beauty and majesty. The sky spread above easily blending into the heavens, and the grasslands below stretched in its golden glory as far as he could see. Silence rarely visited. The life in the reeds, the trees, and the dots filling the air each provided its own version of “here I am.” Magnificent, and all his.
Remington learned to enjoy his new station in life following a period of denial, confusion, and disgust. His content hadn’t come quickly or easily, but once he’d figured it out, he realized he’d gotten exactly what he asked for in life. He replayed the scene in his mind over and over again, as if seeing something new in the scene would make a difference.
“So, young man, with all you have, you seem to think you need more?” asked the weathered, dark gypsy woman with knotted knuckles and slits for eyes.
“Yes, I need more,” Remington answered. “Who doesn’t?”
“Be careful what you ask for, and how you ask for it. Forces are always listening. You may just end up giving up your good fortune here to someone else…say, someone like me…for what it is you think you want. Are you willing to do that?”
“Oh, this is nonsense. I only came here because my superstitious business partner saw you and said his luck turned around right after he did. I didn’t come here to see a shrink.”
“Very well, then. But before you go, I’d just like you to think very hard about what it is that you want…what it is that is important to you…how you would put that into words.”
“Ha! That’s easy. I want to be King of the Jungle.”

Valerie Ormond

Writing.com  15 for 15 Writing Contest

1st Place Winner, January 15, 2011


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  3. Thank you, Maureen. That means a lot coming from you!

  4. Maureen Sevilla says:

    Excellent. Very nice. A well deserved first place. Congratulations.


  1. […] are many, but try Wrting.com. A helpful, friendly online writing community with programs such as 15 for 15, encouraging writers to write for 15 minutes a day for 15 consecutive days responding to prompts to […]

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