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.