Writing, like any skill or talent, can be improved with practice. The practice does not have to involve your current story/book/project. Vicki Pinkerton explained that writing practice is about getting words on the page, though it’s not about the art of the craft. Writing practice gets personal. It can be like yoga or meditation, helping you reach into your psyche to find the story you need to tell.
Many writers participate in prompt writing, whether in a group or on their own. The rules for writing practice are a little different. Writing practice is more personal. The recommended tools are a good pen – the one you love, the one with magic in it – and a light, portable notebook. Not a computer, if that’s possible, though there are circumstances where a computer is necessary. The important thing is that you write however you can.
Why writing practice? It will spark ideas and it will get the words flowing, finding what you need. A regular writing practice will build confidence. You will understand the power of writing for just ten minutes (or any minutes). You will find depth in your writing. Writing practice can do so much for a writer. Also, as Vicki was quick to remind us, if you write, you’re a writer.
Vicki reminded us to be aware of our “monkey mind,” our inner critic, the part of us that wants to edit the words even as they come. Everyone has it, but don’t listen to it. Don’t let the doubts creep in. Keep writing.
Vicki provided us with some rules, which she tweaked from author Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones. Free the writer within. You aren’t getting marked, this isn’t a test. You don’t need the best words. Lose control. Don’t think. Keep your hand moving! You can’t do it wrong.
Check out Vicki’s website for her “pop-up” writing. Fifteen minutes of prompt writing, with two or three prompts, yet another way Vicki can help you get your creative juices flowing. Find more information about Vicki and her writing on her website.