Friday, August 20, 2010

Use It Or Lose It

I am a blogging addict. I admit it. I have upwards of 18 blogs. Some of them I write for more often than others, but it's still a lot of blogs to maintain.

I don't write here as frequently as I like, but it doesn't mean I am not writing. I am either writing for my other blogs or I am writing on other projects, such as my novel. I also write as the Fitness Walking Writer for the Examiner and I have an article on family fitness that will be published at Beverly Hills Child Magazine in September.

I don't make a lot of money for writing for these places, so why do I take the time to do it? The answer is easy; I do it because it's practice. Even though my novels and my children's stories are fiction, so a different type of writing than the writing I do for my blogs and other places, I still get a ghreat deal of practice in my writing by writing for these different subjects.

Before starting my blogs, I went for many years without writing much of anything. And when I finally started writing again, I found it incredibly difficult to get started again. I had gone too long without practice, without using my creative mind to do what it is meant to do - CREATE!

Writing for my blogs keeps my mind on writing. It keeps me thinking up ideas. I need to come up with fresh content to write about and I have to do it regularly in order to satisfy my readers. And because of this, the ideas just flow from me. I'm thinking up new writing content ideas while walking the dog. New ideas come to me while I'm making lunch for the kids. Ideas come to me while I sleep or when I'm in the middle of a conversation with my three year old. (Three year olds are GREAT for inspiration.) Ideas come to me at random times and more often than they did when I wasn't writing and had let my writing voice atrophy from disuse.

It's similar to physical exercise. If you haven't done any physical exercise in a long time and then decide you need to get in shape, at first your muscles are stiff and unwieldy. They don't move gracefully and easily in the exercise movements, and when you are done with the exercise, your muscles are sore and achey. It takes a while for your body and your muscles to loosen up and to take to the exercise more easily and with less suffering. And then, eventually as you continue to exercise, your body becomes so used to it that you start having to challenge yourself with different and more challenging exercises in order to get the same results.

By using my creative thought processes and my imagination regularly, I keep my mind in good shape for when I really need it for writing my novels. By using my mind, I keep it sharp. By writing often, I keep my ability to do so fresh. Practice makes perfect, but I'm not even looking for perfection. I'm just making sure that I've found my voice and and am keeping it ready for when I need it.

Is it sometimes a chore to have to crank out an article for one of my blogs or for another project when I feel less than inspired? You bet! But is it worth the trouble? Definitely!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Summer Funk

My kids are home from school for the Summer. I love my children. They are beautiful and creative. They are full of energy and exhuberance for life. They are sweet, funny and loving. They are also noisy, demanding and distracting.

I am finding it difficult to concentrate on any of my writing, whether for my blogs or for my children's stories or for my novels. And I miss writing. The thought that it will be another 4 weeks before the kids are back in school and I can find the time to write again is not a pleasant one.

So I have decided on a plan. That plan involves me fighting past any and every procrastination technique I ever use in order to get as much writing done in the evenings as I possibly can. That plan involves me making sure that my daily chores are done before my children go to bed at night so that I have that time to write in relative peace and quiet. That plan involves me deliberately setting aside a specific amount of time and time of the evening just to write.

I will get out of this Summer writing funk.