Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Write on Wednesday: Writing Practice

In today’s Write on Wednesday, Becca talks about “practice” (much as one would practice the piano) and asks:

How about you? Do you have a writing practice? What’s it like? How has it helped you become a better writer? If you’re thinking about starting a writing practice, how do you envision it? What would work for you?

I really don’t think I do have a writing practice. Oh, I write all the time – and I rework it. And it certainly has improved by that practice. But I do this because it is my work. When left to my own devices, I’m not terribly regular (though more so now that I write on The
Marmelade Gypsy).

I’ve done this “practice” in the past – following Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages routine, I would brain dump for several pages (Becca mentions doing this, also). And, like Sarah Ban Branach recommends, I’ve kept copious gratitude journals. I liked it well enough, but it didn’t really feel like practicing to be a writer because it was simply a dump, or a list.

So, what would I do differently? Well, in a perfect world, I would do it regularly. Every day would be nice. And midday – when I’m at my best. Not first thing in the morning when I’m in a rush, or late in the day/early evening when I’m wearing down. No, I would do it during the time that would be – if I took one – my lunch hour, or the hour before or after that. I might start with a prompt, or revisit one of the tons of ideas that float about in my head (few of which relate to any of the others!).

And then, because I’m me and I love to edit, I’d go at it!

Interestingly enough, here on my vacation – alone in my little cottage, save the orange boy-cat – I’ve been resoundingly productive. I’ve written an essay to submit to a competition, I’ve been doing art like a crazy woman (you see, for me, writing is probably secondary to the visual art part of me, though I’m not necessarily better at it! Maybe that’s why I need more art practice!), read a book, am halfway through a scarf, and have devoured the political conventions.

I’ve been “practicing” in a way. And I am genuinely adoring it!

Becca gave us a writing prompt, either for a journal or a blog thought. I’m going to contemplate, perhaps even write on this. But for now, I’ll share it with you:

“Write about a time in your life when you were learning a new activity - a musical instrument, a sport, a language - and how you went about practicing it.”


Anonymous said...

You've been very productive in all your creative practices this week! I'm interested in the essay contest (email me more about that if you have a moment).

Blog writing is a great way to practice writing. And I really enjoy yours!

Unknown said...

Great post! And I agree, blogging is a great way to practice writing!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Blogging keeps me busy. The prompts keep me on schedule and I set aside time for those!

Writing practises

Judy Winter said...


In my experience writing, I find the muse takes days off, giving me permission to do the same. I return to the craft energized, motivated and again reminded of why I can't not write, at least not for long.

I love being a writer, but sometimes that means staring out the window for inspiration, too. You're time at the beach, including solitude and no set schedules is perfect for such refueling, which may be one big reason you are feeling so productive.


Judy said...

I think that blogging has helped me edit myself a bit, I try to keep things to the point. I still tend to run on, but believe it or not, I am better about it than I used to be!

Andi said...

Somehow I think it's almost - but not quite - as much about the mindset of creativity - slowness - as it is about actually writing . . . so your time in the cottage sounds great.
And my orange boy-cat sends his regards to yours.

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