I find it hilarious that I've been tagged to give writing tips, when I can't seem to update my blog nearly enough for anyone to think that I remember HOW to write. I think I do, that is, remember how to write. Jill and Kathy, the awesome women behind the DHX, have kindly tapped me (and lots of other lovely people) with the ROAR! for Powerful Words award. Which, if you haven't checked out their amazing, enlightened site about step-parenting and communication between two households - please do. I so admire their commitment to a relationship with each other, and hope and pray that their solid, wise work will help others along the way. Just their example is Jill and Kathy, you rock. If I ever have to get a divorce, and manage to get through it without applying an iron skillet to my husband's noggin, I want to be just like you.
Okay, so writing tips - mine are not particularly original but this is what's rumbling around in my brain:
1) You have to start. Sometimes the hardest thing is making your way to the blank page - whether it's truly paper, or the "Compose New Post" page. I am especially awful in reading every last blog I care about, and then whoops! all my time is gone and the baby is tired of the exersaucer and I am out of time to write. Something like that may have happened all week, actually, and that's why I'm up at 12:30 a.m. writing, because I'm afraid that the pattern will happen again. But if I force myself to stop bingeing on blogs, or TV, or whatever it is that is keeping me away from the page, and actually allow myself to start typing, something will flow. I'm finding this is true, as well, as I'm having fun with art. If I show up, something is going to happen.
2) Good music helps. I can listen to the same CD or album over and over for months, and it helps me get into my groove. It gives me a safe place to start, a little routine. If I feel like I have nothing new or interesting to say, the music helps to pull me along, relaxes my "drunken monkey" (as I saw that inner critic described in someone's comments somewhere recently). I don't necessarily listen to the music on a deep level, in fact, I blank out while writing and several songs will go by without me "hearing" them. Songs are short stories, anyway, and they want to help you, I know they do.
3) Be aware to the stories happening around you. I'm a magpie, burrowing away (in my mind, usually, but sometimes I do manage to scribble ideas down in a journal) situations and conversations that I've overheard. Don't ask me to recount a conversation that I've just participated in, I won't remember. I'm too absorbed in what I'm hearing and saying to REMEMBER what I just said. But take me outside of the picture, as a listener/observer, and it's completely different. The other day, on my antique store jaunt, I eavesdropped to my heart's content, and it reminded me how important, as writers, it is to listen. It's also terribly FUN! It probably helped that I was all alone, without a little one to distract me from all the life around me. Listening ears - they're not just for kids, anymore!
Okay, I'm really supposed to pass this award on, and so I hereby the award the ROAR! award to Elizabeth of Peregrinatio (formerly believe), Stephanie of Creature Bug, and Rae of JourneyMama. I've had so much fun (and learned, too) from some of the other ROAR ladies, and I'd love to hear what these three have to say about writing!