Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blogging as an Exercise for Writers

So, continuing on my lecture of yesterday, let's consider blogging my writing exercise of the day.

You've all heard me harp--incessantly--on the need to write daily. Every day. At least something. Even a grocery list can be creative if you sit down and put some thought into it. How is the store laid out? What do I need to buy first? Saving the frozen foods for last--it's a plan, a scheme of action that forces you to think through what you're going to do.

The same thing applies to blogging. How do I open up my mind and explore the (usually odd) sequence of events that's mulling around in there? How difficult is it to get my fingers moving on the keyboard? If I start off with a boring, mundane topic (like blogging as an exercise for writers) where will that take me?

The fact of the matter is that blogging employs WORDS. Words are a writer's tool. In order to write effectively, you have to be able to sculpt your words into a meaningful sequence. Some of you know that instead of a minimum word count per day, I employ time blocks as my spur to action. Word counts are deceptive. Yesterday, for example, was an extremely prolific day. I cranked out over 14k. That is a LOT--even for me. Nine times out of ten, however, I'd rather produce two thousand well-thought-out words than fifteen thousand aimless ones.

There are days when the thought process moves slower. I have to stop and plan what I'm going to do next, or I discover a character whose personality isn't quite shaping up. So, I'll use part of my allotted time in problem solving. Even that is productive--extremely productive for the creator of fiction.

With blogging, however, it's all about the flow of words, the ability to take a nebulous thought and craft it into a logical, pertinent expression of where the writer is at. Granted, where I'm at is usually not all that fabulous of place--BUT, finding a way to EXPRESS that....ay, there's the rub.

Sometimes blogging turns into meme. Nothing wrong with that--particularly if your meme is sarcastic and attempts to be humorous. It's a personal journal, a revelation of the personality of the writer. For the most part, however, blogging takes on a life of its own. What starts out as a rant turns into a lesson--and sometimes the lesson is for the blogger more than their readers.

So sit down, open up a blog post, and write. It doesn't matter what it is; it doesn't matter what it's about. It's writing, and that is an exercise that writers need to employ daily. Who needs pilates? Think of this as yoga for the mind. As your flexibility grows, as your mind moves through the intricate shaping of words and thoughts, your creativity expands with it--and it's much easier to attack that story that's giving you fits or that plot development that made you pull your hair out the day before.

Hop to it. Blog daily---then write.