Writing Exercises- Day 2

Hello and welcome back!  I am proud that you kept on going.
Lets go thru the questions.  First, why do you write? Is it for fame or fortune? Is it to leave a legacy? Is it to be heard? Is it a form of healing? Everyone who takes writing seriously writes for a very distinct reason. Though they will tell you it is because they have a story bursting to come out, that is not the reason one creates. Really examining the why will help you find your voice, your audience and make the prose much easier.
Second question is what do you want from your writing? This is different as to why you do it, because it is the end result rather than the inciting incident. Do you want to write and keep it to your self? Is this an heirloom for your family? Are you looking for recognition? Are you willing to leave your “writers” cave to do the necessary sales and promotion that is very much a part of a professional writers life? Or do you want to make a change in the word? Or is this just a way to push another project? There is no right or wrong answer; bottom line is any one who can put 50,000 words in order deserves to get what they want from that talent. But if you don’t know what the brass ring is, it is that much further away. I go to bed each night and recite my Academy Award speech. It is clear what I want.
Third question is how do you practice? Every skill demands practice.  A trapeze artist does not come out of the womb with a double flip. The art must be honed with hours of palm breaking practice. And when the trapeze artist does preform, they seldom do the hardest trick, just the ones they know they have mastered. Practice gives you strength. In writing, practice can be any form of writing. I always start with free form. That is when you just let your fingers fly and your mind open. No punctuation, no spell check, just word vomit. It is very cathartic and in a pile of 200 sentences, there is always one clever jewel that you can use for later. Blogging is a great warm-up or you can send clever texts, Facebook posts or even tweets (I mean if you can’t get out 140 characters, you have a word constipation).
Play scrabble, compose wicked poetry, and just write. When the juices are flowing, move on to the task at hand.
And finally, if you don’t read, you can’t write. With the eBook era, there is no reason not to always have a book to read. I have Amazon on my phone, so at long stoplights and grocery store lines, I can read.  Even if you are writing movies or TV plays, you need to read scripts. And make sure you step outside your comfort zone. Read everyday and turn off that TV. Best advice I ever caught was to write everyday at the same time, for the same amount of time. When your time is up, stop. Even if you are in the middle of the most brilliant sentences you have ever composed. When you come back to it the next day, you will be excited to start. This establishes a body rhythm that will serve your writing well.
I want you to write 500 words or more on why you write. What is the time and place you first decided to write? What do you want? How will it change your life? But here is the twist. I want you to write it as an inanimate object or animal. I want you to explain what it is like to have the desire to create, with a limited way to allocate your effort. Your story put on something else can become very telling and help you establish your authentic voice. You will be surprised at the results. Good luck!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. joyce camra

    Teri, l love your year of the teri- and I love what you are doing to help writers. I missed yesterday (SICK) , but am doing it today along with today's. Thank you, thank you, I love you Mom

  2. Teri Bayus

    Yay Mom! (Not for the sick part- for the writing part). Please share this with your traveling friends, I bet they have stories! Love you.

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