June 8, 2010

Writing as Practice

Posted in Practice Writing tagged at 2:30 pm by Rebecca Hein

Writers write; musicians practice. What’s the difference? Simply that writers expect readable copy, whereas musicians understand that the majority of their time must be spent on building skills, not on performance.

For every hour of performance, the musician must invest many hours, even to prepare a short, simple piece for a student recital. This lopsided ratio of private work to public display continues throughout the musician’s development, gradually shifting toward more performance.

To a writer, practice exercises such as freewriting are “not our real work.” Therefore we neglect this most important part of our routine, and fail to develop a habit that can save us hours, not just over time, but within weeks or less.

Next: What is practice writing?



  1. I like this idea because we often surprise ourselves with what we come up with. I’ve got an ancient DOS typing program called Twiz. It has a timer that can be set for as much time as you want. Being a DOS fanatic, I use my old computer for my writing while the Windows XP machine is busy doing other things. I haven’t come up with anything brilliant yet with my “free writing” exercises but I’ll give your idea a try. It couldn’t hurt, it might help, and there’s no tax on it. 🙂

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