TDB’s Writing 101 – Unlock the Mind, Commit to a Writing Practice

I’ve found myself with the itch to write again. I was doing so well last year, leading up to and then all through November and even December as I worked on my novel. The novel has now languished for nearly a year, unedited, and thus uncompleted. Part of it was that I wanted to let it rest, like letting the twist set in a yarn I’ve spun. Then work got weird. I got a promotion to full time and to pet trainer, and there was added stress from my coworker. This has resulted in me turning to more mindless forms of distraction in my off-time, like Minecraft.

But I’ve been feeling the itch again. I want to write. I found an article on Facebook (oddly enough, my main source of information) today about writing and health. It claims that there is a link between people who write 3-4 times a week for 15-20 minutes at a time, and their health and well being. That just seems intuitive to me. And in hindsight seems almost obvious: when I am writing, it seems to me I’m healthier, when I’m not, I tend to get illnesses.

The itch to write now has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been sick for nearly two weeks, though it is helping my resolve to reclaim the writing habit. I’ve had to alter other habits in my life recently, especially my eating habits. I’ve discovered I am diabetic, and that I’ve been living with elevated blood sugar levels for probably years now. My headaches, certainly, were coming from high blood sugar levels and not from tension, as I’d assumed they were. I had to shift my eating habits, and learn to control my weight and my blood sugar much better. Certainly I can shift my writing habits, and see if there’s something to this writing/health connection.

If nothing else, writing 3-4 times a week for 20-30 minutes a day would give my brain something to do. Maybe I could vent my work-stress into something more productive instead of (as I suspect I have done) internalizing it. It might also develop into an every-day habit and then I could almost certainly edit and then perhaps even publish my novel. I have a dream of it being a series, actually, and have the imaginings of another novel already in my head. It would be nice to actually do something with my enjoyment of writing.

I’d also like to work on a collection or two of poetry. I have a hard time writing poetry with a specific theme, honestly. I write when I am moved to do so, and the themes tend to be quite emotionally charged. I’d like to break out of that, to see if I can write poetry that doesn’t have anything to do with intense emotions, that isn’t inspired by drama, effectively. My dream is to write some nature-based poetry, which requires me spending time in nature. Perhaps seasonal themes. Maybe a spiritual collection as well. I don’t know. I need to get in that habit as well, writing poetry more regularly. Perhaps practice with specific structures and styles. Nearly all of my previous writing has been free-verse, but I feel like I want to have some experience with more structured forms.

I think I need to develop some sort of plan, a schedule of sorts for writing. Perhaps nothing too structured, but something that gives me a framework. Like with my crafting, nothing too rigid that I feel as if I’ve failed if I cannot do something exactly as I have planned, but rigid enough that it keeps me motivated. I’ve been restructuring my DayZero.com lists with that in mind, so I can just extend that into the writing realm. I’m going to continue with that, and see if I can’t push myself over the course of the next month and a half, so that come November, I’m ready to write another novel for NaNoWriMo.

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