It's been that way ever since my sisters coaxed me into standing on the fireplace hearth and belting out "You Light Up My Life" to their junior high friends. (I was four.)
It's no secret that I love to sing. And (pardon me if this sounds conceited) I don't think I'm half bad.
But the urge to sing hadn't hit me in a long, long time. Honestly, the last time I really flexed the pipes was nearly a year ago when my husband and I were working on material for Black-Winged Angel.
So when I slid that Evanescence CD into my car stereo last week and tried to sing along, it sounded like a cat with its tail tangled in a serpentine belt. (Not pretty.)
Why? I hadn't practiced.
What does this have to do with Writerly Wednesday? Well, singing and writing are a lot alike in that both take practice to
If you don't routinely work to improve your skills, your skills start slipping.
While stretching the vocal chords is simple and can be done anywhere (including in the shower and in church), spreading your writerly wings is a little more complicated. After all, sometimes you don't have access to a computer.
But not all writing practice has to be done on a keyboard.
-- Grab a pen and paper. Sometimes free writing the old-fashioned way opens doors that won't budge when you're staring at a computer screen.
-- Daydream. Seriously. Allow yourself the freedom to fall into reveries. Even the most ludicrous thoughts can turn into a fantastic scene, story or short story. (This works best for me when I'm cleaning the house or riding in a car.)
-- Grab a digital recorder (or mini cassette recorder) to capture interesting descriptions, conversations or turns of phrases that might pop into your head. Plus, you'll need something to keep track of those daydreams.
-- Read. That includes masterpieces, not-so-masterpieces, gossip rags, newspaper stories and obituaries. (You'd be surprised by the story ideas you can come up with by reading about those who've passed on.)
What about you? How do you practice your writing skills? How often do you practice? Do you set daily goals?