|A morning walk had this scene||as a reward|
|One of my writing spots (pic courtesy of Karen Szymusiak)|
Another habit that I've already begun to work on is when a topic comes to me, writing it down as close to that moment as possible, and capturing as many details as I can before they elude me, and then find myself asking, "What did I want to say here?" After I got home from the retreat, I realized I had a Nerdy Book Club post due in one week. I had decided on the topic, but I hadn't really fleshed it out a lot. But then Saturday night, right before bed, I was inundated with all of these ideas that might work in the post, so I quickly filled up two notebook pages with that thinking. When I sat down to actually write the post on Sunday, things flowed fairly smoothly because I had captured that thinking in the moment of inspiration.
We also talked about the importance of brain breaks while writing. Writers need to go with the ideas and the flow while they can, but when we reach a point that requires a break, we need to take a true break. NOT one that requires more screen time; it was pointed out that's not a true brain break. We need to literally walk away from the computer and do something else. That could be having lunch or a snack, taking a walk, engaging in any form of exercise, or visiting with a friend, to name a few.
So, during the retreat and the past few days since I've been home, I've tried to gauge when I need those brain breaks and plan accordingly. Yesterday, I had two projects that needed my attention - my Nerdy Book Club post and editing a presentation. I got up at 6:30 AM to begin, and had the stamina to work until 8:30. After two hours was a perfect time to stop, have breakfast, and read a book that was getting really good. I was away from my writing tasks for about a half hour, and when I came back, I was rejuvenated, and the words started flowing again. I worked for another two hours, and then I stopped for the day, and gave myself the reward of a walk in our nearby Metro Park. For those of you at the Central Ohio retreat, I also thank Stella for this concept of work and reward!
|One of my 3 affirmations to guide me as a writer.|
As I write this post, there is another group of Choice Literacy writers gathered in Indiana, sifting through the powerful mini-lessons our incredibly smart leader, Brenda Power, provides for us, and then applying those ideas to their own writing. I bet they are also beginning to think about habits of a writer as well. I'm really looking forward to hearing about the take-aways from their writing retreat, sifting through their thinking for both commonalities as well as differences.