So, I decided to start writing for twenty minutes every day. I need to get back in the habit. Or, at least maintain the habit. I didn’t go through five years of college just to forget all that I learned. And one of the fundamental practices of an author is writing every single day. Even if just for a little while. It’s desperately important….
I know that God has gifted me as I writer. I believe that He wants me to be an author, hopefully more than just Mounting Up. He has given me the opportunity to learn so much over the past five years of college education…more years than that if I count home-schooling and the correspondence course I took. But the past five years have truly finessed my skill.
Not that I can’t learn more. A person can always learn more. But how can I learn if I don’t keep writing? If I don’t make mistakes and correct them? If I don’t try new things? If I don’t find new editors.
Writing is a passion. One that I never want to give up. So many books touched and molded my life as a child – fiction and nonfiction books alike! I need to read War and Peace again. That was by far one of the greatest and most transforming books I ever read. My goal in writing – perhaps “my mission” is a better term – is to change lives, much as books have changed my life.
Twenty minutes. I’m currently giving myself twenty minutes a day to just write, to pour myself out on the page. But what do I want those twenty minutes to look like? I don’t necessarily want to free-write every single time as I’m doing now. Certainly, free writing can be very useful, especially for brainstorming, but it isn’t the most disciplined or productive form of writing, at least for me. So what should I write about? How should I write about it?
Maybe I should just answer those main reporter questions as I write….
What should I write about?
How should I write?
When should I write?
Where should I write?
Why should I write?
I think I already answered the “why,” so how about we start with “what” – what should I write about? And, of course, one of the key things I learned in class comes to mind – write what you know. (Was that Dr. Davis’s class? I believe so.) Write about God, faith, college, cooking, newlywed life, running, horses, goats, sheep, cattle, driving, riding, writing, hiking, running, eating disorders, dogs, settling into a new home, crafting, joy, friendship, Scripture, mountains, road trips, Wyoming, Montana…. Write what you know.
So how will I write about what I know? Not just freestyle, but with specifics. I’ll focus on character, setting, plot, and dialogue. (Aren’t those the key components?) Maybe one day I’ll create a character or two. Another I might describe something I know well – an old horse barn with cracks between the logs, allowing shafts of sunlight to illuminate the tiny specks of fragrant dust rising from the disturbed straw. (I love description…I’ll have to be careful to not spend all my time there!). Then I might combine the two with vibrant action!
When to write…right now I just finished my run/stretch routine and, for now, I think this might be a prime time to write. A good workout and stretch clears my mind of all the distracting pieces of life flittering about, allowing me to calm down, sit still, and focus on a task at hand. We’ll try that plan for a while. What about the days on which I don’t run? I’ll probably still have to do some sort of workout or stretching routine, just to calm my mind enough. That’ll be good incentive to workout on “off” days!
Where to write? That’s easy…at my writing desk! The beautiful little roll top desk that is just barely big enough for my laptop, a cup of tea, and some papers. But it’s big enough for the imagination and that, my friends, is all that matters. I’m in the brightly lit kitchen – one of my favorite places to be, with windows and doors right in front of me, letting in the fresh air and hilly, grassy, soon-to-be-snowy views. The door will be left open when possible, for the noise of birds is beautiful this afternoon. And when the winter months are too cold, I’ll shut the door and open the curtain in front of me, opening to a view of snow.