Yes, yes, I know writers are supposed to write everyday. When I am working on a specific project and have a deadline, that’s not too hard to do. In that case, what’s hard for me is to STOP writing and get up to stretch, guzzle some water or make something halfway nutritious to eat.
On the other hand, if try to write everyday when I am between projects, I go straight to my library of writing exercises. I love being given a starting point and just running with it without all that hard stuff like planning. I love writing-exercise books, and buy too many of them.
Since I often like to write for children, I use exercises in books that were written for children. Here are my two favorites:
Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine, Collins, New York
The Writing Programme: Write Along and Write Away by Patrick Lashmar & David W. Booth, Globe/Modern Curriculum Press, Toronto
I find that I get some of my funniest and goofiest ideas from immersing myself in these books as if I was still in elementary school and given an assignment by my English teacher.
My very favorite writing exercise book is this one, written for adults: Young at Heart: The Step by Step Way of Writing Children’s Stories by Violet Ramos, VR Publications, Scottsdale, Arizona. She literally takes you by the hand and gives you a few sentences of instruction and turns you loose to write a bit; then a few more instructions and you write a little more, and so on. She makes writing a story very do-able.
And this one comes in a close second, especially if I’m writing adult short stories: The Writer’s Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction by the staff of fresh boiled peanuts, a literary journal, Writer’s Digest, Cincinnati, Ohio. On each page are moments of conflict, snippets of dialogue, or brief descriptions of unusual situations. Some of my most interesting stories have come directly from these prompts.
I love wild and wacky writing prompts, and they work! Wonderful characters and stories flow from my pen. I easily surpass that minimum writing time suggested, and am surprised when finally I come up for air that the time has flown by.
My problem, however, is that I am inspired more by starting a completely new piece, than returning to something I wrote and developing it. That frustrates me and just feeds my naturally divergent tendencies. It also adds to my “Projects Started” list, which is a mental list, so it crowds my mind and annoys me.
So what about you? Do you write everyday? Can you relate, or do you have completely different experiences than mine? What do you do with your “everyday writing”?
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Whether you write everyday or not, I wish you Happy Writing!