Monday, June 17, 2013

Introversion vs. Extroversion & Other Writing Prompts

Did you know “introvert” is not synonymous with “shy”? Generalizations and stereotypes abound about both extroverts and introverts. Today’s writing prompts will lead you to consider the differences between the party animals and wall flowers among us:

--Would you describe yourself as an extrovert or an introvert? Why?  

--Jennifer hated going to parties because….

--After Ben volunteered to deliver the eulogy, he remembered that….

--What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done in a public place?
On the subject of introverts, I recommend: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. (Yes, I’m introverted.)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

5 Reasons to Write Every Day

“I made a startling discovery. Time spent writing = output of work. Amazing.” – Ann Pachett

One of the most common pieces of writing advice is simple:  Write every day.

Like many simple things, it’s not easy.

Life is full of distractions. Errands. Dinner. Chores. Pinterest.

I’d always regarded the advice to write every day as an ideal, something that only saintly writers did. I tried to corral my writing neatly, while still leaving time for all of the distractions I like so much. I wrote schedules and created plans for certain days of the week to be set aside for specific projects. Invariably, something came up in those time slots. I had to work late, or I had a sick pet, or unexpected visitors showed up.

I decided the least complicated solution was to write daily, and in the process I discovered five important reasons to write every day:

1.) Writing is mental exercise. Think of it as crunches for the brain. Whether you’re writing in a journal or working on a novel, the act of writing will make you use your noggin. This is a good thing.

2.) Small bits add up to big things. Books are written one word at a time, and if you write every day—even just a few words, if that’s all you can manage—you’re creating a word change jar. Over time, it adds up to something.

3.) You can take chances. Take this as an opportunity to test drive new styles, formats, genres. I vowed to write every day, but I placed no limits or constraints on my writing. I consider any number of words, any style acceptable. On days when I really don't want to write much, I can manage a poem.

4.) Writing every day keeps the passion alive. Have you ever been caught up in the passion of a new story? You can’t wait to find time to work on your project. Writing every day feeds the fire. Otherwise, lack of contact can cause you to fall out of love with a story (in much the way as you do with people).

5.) You get a great sense of accomplishment. When you strive to do something positive every day, whether it’s writing or running or doing actual crunches, you feel like you’ve done something good. I’m all for more things that feel good, aren’t you?

What about you? Do you write every day?
Picture, "Miss A Writes a Song," courtesy of Denise Krebs/mrsdkrebs at flickr