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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Writing Practice-How this Can Help You in Everyday Writing

                I took a long hiatus from writing many years ago, and couldn't even imagine getting back into doing writing again.  Sure I still did an occasional poem, but the actual writing of short stories, and novels, came much later.  I had no idea where to begin, wasn't even sure that I would be able to write anything larger than still doing the occasional poem.
              I was encouraged by a lady friend who was interested in getting back into writing fiction, she had a background in journalism, but wanted to get back into creative writing.  She owned her own business too, but wanted to write novels when she had decided to sell her business.  So our writers practice group was born.  At first it was just she and I, we met at Cup O' Joe's in Easton Town Center once a week.  Then another mutual friend of ours joined, and then a lady who we met there at Cup O' Joe's (well the bar side Mojoe Lounge).  Another two joined us from Barnes & Noble Writing Workshops.  We ended up with five regulars.
           We followed the rules of writing practice, set forth in a book by Natalie Goldberg called, "Writing Down the Bones."  Her rules were simple:

1)  Keep the Hand moving:  Natalie promoted writing by hand, as it was different from typing on a computer, or typewriter.  It is, you connect with a different part of your brain.  It is a tactile difference, with the feel of the pen.

2)  Do not stop to edit.  Do not cross out, leave words misspelled,

3)  Go with first thoughts-even if you can't think of anything, say, "I can't think of anything."  If you say it enough, you will come up with something!

4)  Go for the jugular- do not censor your writing (after all, this is practice, and you don't have to show it if you don't want to!

and number

5)  You are free to write the worst crap in the world (universe/galaxy).

That's it, very simple, straightforward and easy.

Really, once you into writing practice, it becomes easier.  Think of writing practice as a warm up for working on "WIP" (Works In Process).  It's like stretching before exercise, or a warm up.  Which is always important.

Next installment in this series...what a writing prompt looks like.

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