"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?"
Occasionally, Write On Wednesday will offer a writing activity to use in your writing practice notebook, or as an idea to blog about. Here’s one to start you off…
"Writing Practice Idea: 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."
I typically write for 15 to 20 minutes every morning before work, but the bulk of my writing comes in the afternoons. I work parttime, so when I come home for lunch every day, I start writing. I consider this my second "job", though, right now, I'm not getting paid for it. Sometimes I will work on short (1200 words) articles for my monthly column, other times I may be working on one of my books.
For anyone who reads my blogs, you are probably aware of the fact I have ADD, so I have trouble concentrating on one project at a time. It is easier for me to work chapter by chapter. This week, I'm trying to work on my young adult book ("Charlie" is the working title), but I keep getting sidetracked when something reminds me of another book I'm working on ("Deep Creek"). I keep separate notebooks for each of my larger writing projects, so sometimes I'll have several notebooks spread out in front of my, jotting down notes in each one. I try to write at least 4 pages every day - that is the minimum I allow myself. Of course, this is only Monday through Friday; anything I write on the weekend is free pages!
The practice of have separate notebooks for each project has helped keep me on task. I used to worry about the fact my attention span was all over the place, but the separate notebooks have brought a calm peace to my writing world. Now I don't feel like I'm shortchanging one thing for another. I'm also a list making, so the separate notebooks are like a big list for me!
The greatest writing advice I have learned came from Stephen King's book On Writing. He says that writers write, every day, no matter what. When I was younger, I didn't think of myself as a writer because I couldn't stick to one topic. Now, I've learned how to channel that energy to improve all my writing. It may take me longer to finish a project because of the ADD, but when I am finished, I know it's the best I can do.
Of course, blogging is also a way to practice writing. I have become obsessed with blogging and it is helping me to hone my focus. Hence the reason I have so many blogs! Just like my separate writing notebooks, I have separate blogs for my different interests. Now it's a juggling act to keep up with all of them, but it makes me happy!
In addition to the notebooks I keep for each project, I also have a general journal that I write in daily. This usually has ideas, quotes, observations or anything else that catches my fancy. I will start using this journal as my practice notebook, so for today's assignment, I'm going to write about learning how to knit.