May 18, 2013

Why Practice? Part One

Posted in freewriting, Practice Writing, writing techniques tagged , , , , at 2:06 pm by Rebecca Hein

Is there a difference between freewriting and writing purely for practice? The former is something writers are exhorted to do, and the latter less frequently mentioned.

In freewriting you’re supposed to write whatever enters your head without editing or criticizing. Usually it’s for a set time. But why do it?

This question takes on meaning when we transfer the spirit of freewriting into the realm of practice writing. Why practice?

A simple question, with what should be an obvious answer, yet in several decades of cello playing, I’ve discovered that practicing is a vague concept in the minds of many people; without significance or value. If you’re a writer, and have this concept, it can be detrimental to your work.

May 11, 2013

Keep Going, Part Five

Posted in Momentum in writing, slumps in writing, Stages, Success tagged , , at 1:22 pm by Rebecca Hein

Due to my recent success in finding paid writing work, I now see the full value of action and the corresponding danger of feelings. Writing, writing, writing my way to proficiency has given me ability I can count on. Doubting the worth of that action could have stopped me.

All through the years, it felt like there were two of me. One was writing and the other was thinking that the whole effort was useless. The former turned out to be significant, producing something real and tangible. The latter proved to have no reality at all, creating noise in my soul, yet never actually ruining my work.

Therefore, if you don’t yet know how your writing life will turn out, why listen to feelings that could stop you? Instead write daily or as often as you can, and this will move you forward and could even put you where you most want to be.

May 5, 2013

Keep Going, Part Four

Posted in publication, slumps in writing, Success tagged , at 2:39 pm by Rebecca Hein

As we have seen, I have something to show for all my years of trying to write: skill and ease in my craft. A few months ago I wouldn’t have dared to hope for more.

Yet now I’m earning decent money writing, and there’s no better feeling in the world. My assignments are feasible because my skill is developed, and I no longer have to wonder if my writing will ever go anywhere.

Thus I no longer feel divided. The tension between what I was doing and my doubt and discouragement about it has dissolved.

April 27, 2013

Keep Going, Part Three

Posted in Momentum in writing, slumps in writing, Stages tagged , , at 3:24 pm by Rebecca Hein

What was so important about my consistent writing habit in the face of chronic discouragement? It was action, and produced a definite result: better writing.

By contrast, discouragement produces nothing but a slowdown. We have to fight our way forward against the conviction that we will never progress.

Discouragement can be powerful, but if we let it become too real, it will produce its own form of action—a halt. Yet the miracle in my writing life is that somehow it never quite stopped me.

April 6, 2013

Keep Going, Part Two

Posted in slumps in writing tagged , at 2:33 pm by Rebecca Hein

Through all my forty years of writing, I’ve felt discouraged more often than not. Until recently I’ve been more than half-convinced that my writing would never go anywhere, and never benefit me except through its intrinsic worth and the resulting satisfaction.

Yet after all these decades, it turns out that my actions were more important than my thoughts. I wrote and never stopped. Through more failures than I can count—real and perceived—I kept on writing.

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