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Posts Tagged ‘Writing Practice’

Unless you are a writer, you may be unfamiliar with writing practice.  Writing practice is a daily activity that helps lubricate and exercise your writing muscle.  It is invaluable for overcoming writers block and also improves fluency and speed.

There are different ways of approaching writing practice, but generally I tend to pick a topic and write non-stop for ten minutes.  Since the objective is to attain an easy flow with writing, struggling to compose something is counterproductive. Keeping my hand moving for ten minutes is only possible if I feel free to write absolutely inane drivel.

Writing practice does not create great literature, but sometimes in those piles of drivel, you are able to find some gems.  It might be a quirky turn of phrase, a humorous  perspective, a spiritual revelation or an inspiration you want to explore further.  Or it might just be a pile of quickly written drivel, it depends on the day. Somedays it comes easy and some it doesn’t.

Here is an example of a stream of consciousness that served as my writing practice yesterday:

So I realized as I sat down to write that I was freezing up.  I had the white page syndrome that is so deadly for writers.  I felt the drive to produce something ….significant!!!  Talk about the kiss of death for creativity!

As an antidote it is best to do the opposite of significant.  I’m not sure what is opposite to significant, perhaps schlock and irreverence.  Can I do irreverence?  Perhaps.  I know schlok is all too easy.  That is slumming, and I don’t do slums.

I wonder how other writers deal with white page syndrome?  What are their favorite quick fixes.

I think I will try irelevant and irreverent.

Toenails.  I don’t think you can write about anything more irrelevant than that!  Generally I like my toenails, with the exception of my two big ones that have become uncomfortably prone to ingrown toenails.  And the one other to the right of my right big toe, which has had too many hiking injuries and developed a strange peaky hump.

And really this is just too much information even for me.  Who cares?  I guess I have succeeded with irelevant, perhaps crossed over into gross but I’m not sure if one could possibly have anything irreverent to say about toenails, uless you were to talk about the Pope’s toenails.  Does the Pope cut his own toenails?  Now there is a question for the ages.  Is the Pope required to maintain a vow of poverty and does having someone one wait on you hand and foot negate that vow?  Would cutting the Pope’s toenails qualify as a luxery spa service or a medical service?  Hmmm.

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Coffee Tables are the topic of the day, and I am sitting here beside three coffee tables of indeterminate age and lineage.  They came into my life shortly after getting married, when my mother in law decided she could no longer stand them and went out to buy some she liked better.

Unfortunately they were passed on to me and while 34 years ago I was thankful and appropriately grateful, I am feeling less so these days.

I can find no valid reason for getting rid of them  I need to move them to the top of my priority replace list.  But right now they refuse to die.

They have survived in spite of the assault of generations of children, and courtesy of Joe’s younger brother, a lifetime supply of petrified gum attached to the underside which we had to chip off.

SInce the first generation they have been colored and painted on, they have had Spirograph designs impressed into them.  They have been danced on and used as forts with blankets thrown over them.

And of course they have been used as horizontal storage for books, magazines, junk and snacks.  They are dining and computer tables.  We have used them for games and on occasion they have even been used for coffee.

I can not fault their usefulness, or their bullet proof construction.  Although I had to refinish them about 15 years ago to remove the original finish that had become sticky and gummy, there is not a dent or a wobbly leg to justify retiring them.  The fact I dislike round coffee tables just does not push them to the top of the financial priority list.  There always seems to be something more pressing . . .

And then there is the unfortunate fact that Joe loves them.

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