Red Ink, Green Ink: Stop or Grow?

RedInkRed is the color of danger, a universal signal to stop. The mere thought of red ink splattered on pages triggers fear, maybe a slightly sick feeling. Fingers freeze, brains block. Creativity comes to a halt.

Stop right there!

Rather than launch into a lecture on the Inner Critic you know so well, let’s look at a fun work-around for times when you are in a red-ink frame of mind.

Write with green ink.

GreenInkGreen is the symbol for “Go” and “Grow.” It’s a safe, nurturing color of fertility and creation. As odd as it may sound, whether you write on paper or the computer, changing your ink color can make a difference in how your words flow, but you must try it yourself to experience the power. Use a green ink pen, or set the font on your computer screen to green. While you’re at it, try a new paper color, on-screen or under your hand. You can find more information and instructions for doing this in an old post, Write It Your Way.

For yet another variation, with or without color change, try a new handwriting style or font. If you usually use script, try printing, or use a different slant, or different type of pen. On the computer, try a new font.

Playing with  color and fonts is easy to do, and you can quickly change back to something more traditional by editing the Normal style (or Text Body – whatever your default is) that word processing programs use to make sure everything looks the same. When you change it, you only change it for that document, so have no fear. (Check for YouTube videos to teach you everything about styles.)

It’s easy to find fun fonts for free on the web, but it’s also easy to get totally lost in a web of spam sites as you search, or you could click the wrong button and inadvertently install malware along with your free selection.

One site I like, that at the time of this writing is still immediately accessible and safe, is 1001 Free Fonts. I suggest clicking the Handwriting category found in a block near the top. That link will access eight pages of alphabetically arranged “handwriting” fonts.

The site has reliable links at the bottom to find yet  more options. Just pay extra attention to any download links. Sometimes it’s hard to find the actual file you want rather than some “downloader” program you neither need nor want.

As a general note of caution, when downloading anything, double-check each and every screen to be certain what you are authorizing before clicking “Next.” If it isn’t exactly what you expected, stop the process. There is usually some way to skip or cancel the “suggested” toolbar, download helper or other app that generates revenue for the provider of the free software at the expense of your privacy and system integrity.  If not, you really don’t want that free download – it isn’t free!

If you need help figuring out how to use the fonts you download, this site tells you everything you need to know about installing and using new fonts on any operating systems.

Even if you aren’t feeling stuck, try a new color and a new font to match your mood and add zest to your story.

 Write now: Have some fun. Download a handwriting font or two and install them on your system. Look around your page formatting options and find the spot to change your page color. Find a color you like, or maybe a texture instead, and set your font color to a nice strong green. Now you are ready to tackle a tough story. You can change it back to standard color and layout later if you want, but for now, try the green.


Samantha M. White said...

How creative, Sharon! I never would have thought of it. But as I read your post, I realized that my font is my "voice," and I don't want to change it. But in writing about different characters, it might be very helpful to give them each their own color and font! I'll bet it would affect their speech and actions, and keep them more consistent with who they are, and how different from each other. It will be fun to try it out, see what happens.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Neat idea Sam. Using styles would make it easy to set a font and color for each without having to redo each paragraph by hand later if you change your mind. Styles are so cool, and so many people are scared off by the idea of them. Go to YouTube and watch styles tutorials.