If you're facing a long day of writing, what do you do to get the words flowing? If you have not written for a while, how do you jump-start the process again? On a daily basis, how do you practise your writing skills?
After 40 years of writing, I now know what works for me. I also know it doesn't work for everyone. At the outset of my career I had no clue that I should be doing something to get going! As there are probably as many ways to release the muse as there are writers, I can't give you a list. All I can do is tell you what I do and then ask you all to give your techniques for cracking open the creative channel and improving your writing in the comment box.
I start my writing days with a five minute exercise. It goes like this:
- Open my word-processing program and type any noun or verb as the first word. I often choose the word from the morning newspaper or newscast. If nothing interests me, I'll open my big dictionary to a random page, close my eyes, and put a finger down anywhere. That's the word I use to start my story. Nothing goes in front of it, nothing!
- Turn off the monitor.
- Set my kitchen timer for five minutes.
- Write as fast as I can until the timer rings.
- Turn on the monitor and read my story.
- Delete story.
Sometimes, I'll use a photo and create a story from it. But I still choose a single word to start. and still only write for five minutes. If I don't finish the story, it doesn't matter. You can also do this exercise without a computer, writing by hand. But it doesn't work so well for me because I can see the words. For someone who has an over-active left-brain, I start editing, which stifles the creative story dump.
However, whichever way I do it, this exercise always jiggles my grey cells into alignment for the day's writing.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO JUMP START YOUR WRITING EVERY DAY AND TO PRACTISE THE ART?