Why You Should & Why You Don’t Already

Painters sketch. Dancers warm up and stretch and twirl. Singers and musicians do scales. Shouldn’t writers limber up too?

Here are some common obstacles to making time for writing practice:

You have limited time to spare and so you think that unless you are writing words for your big project that you are wasting your time. It’s a great idea to use practice time to explore characters or scenes for your big project. Not all of them have to be part of your word count, but they all count. They make you a better writer, and you find out things you might not have discovered if you weren’t playing.

You have one idea for a book, or a story, which is fragile and breakable, so you have no words to spare for anything else. You have thousands of words spare. Writing more will make you write more. And better. 

You don’t know what to write, or you are writing the same things over and over. This is what practice is for. It doesn’t matter what you write, no one will see it, so you are free to play. You will surprise yourself. You might get an idea for a short story, or discover the themes you come back to again and again

The prompts are the same for everyone, but you will respond to them uniquely – no one else will be drawing on your unique set of experiences, thoughts, and preoccupations.