Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How important is writing everyday?


And that's what I've been up to. Which is why my blog posts have fallen off considerably. A tip a week. What's so difficult about that? Apparently everything.

And so I'm back. After meeting an important deadline yesterday. And with no time to dive into the rewrite of my one-act play "Hills Like White Baby Shoes" (title still subject to change), I decided it's high time to return to the tips.

But you didn't surf here to read about my difficulties in keeping up my blog. You have your own procrastination issues to resolve. After all, here you are: reading me, when you should probably be writing.

Am I right? You know I am.

How do you face the blank page each day? Or the next chapter, the next act, the next scene? When the page is blank--when I'm beginning a new project or starting over an old one from scratch--I like to begin with a warm-up write. Sometimes it's a 60-second or two-minute free write exercise: a vomit of words from brain to fingers to page. From the insignificant stuff like, "I don't know what to write...what can I possibly write about next?...which story do I really want to write next?" to the occasionally brilliant. (Notice how I have no examples of this illusive occasionally brilliant prose.)

When it's the next scene or act, it's "easy." I re-read what I wrote the day before, or even from the beginning of the screenplay or stage play, and I continue from there: writing as fast as I can to keep up with my characters' voices when I'm lucky enough to hear them, or placing them in situations that further the plot, seeing what their reactions are, and writing that, kind of like following rats around a maze and recording their actions and words. If rats could speak, that is.

So there it is: this week's tip. Write everyday. So what are you waiting for? Write on!

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