Can we? Of course we can! 

 We’ve been meeting like this for nearly a year now. So perhaps it’s time for a new challenge. 

During our summer writing retreat, our mentor, Laura van den Berg, told us about her own writing practice, which surprised me, given that she has published two volumes of short stories, a novel, a collection and innumerable single stories in her few short years in this planet; her secret is this: she lays hands on her current project at least once every day. “Laying hands” on it does not necessarily mean writing, although she usually does write. It means that once each day she opens the document or touches the print out. To read it. To think about it. And that usually tempts her to write more. But she doesn’t push herself to eke out so many words or pages a year. 
I can do that, I thought. And for a while I did. But then I came out west where I currently am to help a family member, and I lost the incentive. Lately, however, that urge has returned. 

There are many other ways to have a daily writing practice. Some people tell themselves 100, or 200 words a day, which is really on,y a few paragraphs. Some people set aside a certain amount of time. Other people make other arrangements depending on their circumstances. 

My challenge to you is this: Can we evolve some sort of daily writing practice? Do you want to? Please weigh in below. And let us know what you will be working on today. 

As for me, I plan to do three things: look at my current project, write at least 200 words on it, and also spend fifteen minutes free writing to see what comes up. Because I can. 

Love to all this winter day.
Glenda

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8 Comments

  1. Yes! I want to become more focused about my own writing practice. So often, I am too scattered, going between blog post, novel, job application, letter… and it’s impossible to work that way. So, today I am going to focus on my novel. It’s time!

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  2. Bobbi

     /  February 1, 2016

    Glenda, I’ve really enjoyed our Monday mornings together, and even though it often ended up being Wed afternoon, etc., you’ve guided/pushed me to the point where I can’t let a week go by without writing, hurrah! So I thank you so much for that.

    In that time, I’ve written about 30,000 of my 80-90,000-word Randi novel, so I’m now proposing/committing to finish it in this next year by visiting it (or touching it) at least twice a week with the goal of 300-500 words per session. It’s ambitious, I know, but since about 1/3 of my “writing” time this last year was spent dealing with computer issues and then getting up to speed with a whole new system, I feel like can now just WRITE for those 2-3 hours, and it’s just a matter of getting on with it more frequently.

    I’ve been tempted to–and may yet–work on my grandmother’s story, and am still re/searching, but I plan to stay with Randi and her family and friends as long as they keep rolling out their stories. Just now it’s mean-girl Fran who is becoming delicious to write.

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    • Ooh, yes, mean girls can be fun! I’m so happy that you have a new goal; it seems more than reasonable, and I’m so proud of you. Any help I gave in getting you this far was certainly worthwhile.

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  3. A variation on “lay hands” is what helped me finish my first novel. What terrified and sometimes paralyzed me about the novel was the length. The long haul. I’d done almost everything at shorter lengths, from reviews to poems, one-act plays to newspaper features, and seen them in print. With the novel — if I didn’t look at it for a day or two or three or a week, I’d become afraid to look at it, for fear it had turned to crap when I wasn’t looking. So I made my resolution: I’ll work on it every day till it’s done. That was all. No word count, no length of time, just “work on it.” Sometimes I was so panicky that I’d put it off all day and not open the file till 10 minutes to midnight. Whereupon I’d see that it hadn’t turned to crap, I’d tweak a word here and there, and then I’d keep going till 1 or 1:30 a.m.

    Now my only rule is “write every morning.” Usually I work on the novel in progress, but sometimes I work on one of my two blogs. This is what I did this morning: http://writethroughitblog.com/2016/02/02/the-importance-of-place/

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  4. I will try it. I need to push myself to keep up my blog. Thanks for the info.

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  5. Does a shopping list count? (No, I thought not!)

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