Last week we started clearing some ground, getting rid of negativity, and looking at how we think and talk about writing.
This week, the fun really begins. We'll be playing around, being silly, and having a blast.
Yep. I mean it. Having a blast with our writing lives. Sound good to you?
If it doesn't, if you're still not in a great place with writing, I'd like to just say this:
There is some really fantastic advice out there, that says when you act as if something is true, you eventually start feeling like it's true.
Interesting, right? Emotions can follow actions.
And that's the principle that we're going to exploit this week.
Let's practice acting like we love the writing life, and maybe those warm fuzzies will follow. Worth a try, right?
Let's dive in.
February 8: Steal some moments.
I don't know exactly why this is true, but when I start stealing little moments out of the rest of my day to spend on writing, several things happen:
- I start feeling more excited about my work.
- It gets even easier to continue working, to keep stealing more moments... a nice little snowball effect.
- And I generally feel happier. Like I'm doing something special.
It's a little like the phenomenon of keeping secrets about our work.
By the way, adding extra little sessions of writing isn't a productivity strategy. It can be, of course. But today we're doing it to have more fun, not to do more work. It's an important difference.
We're just turning our attention to our work, and giving it a wink. Taking a few minutes to play with characters, play with sentences, enjoy the words.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Take fifteen minutes today to write when you normally wouldn't.
And you can totally break it up: Maybe this means three little bursts of five minutes, or all fifteen at once, or a bunch of two-minute sessions. However you like.
Maybe you decide to write as the first thing in your day, or maybe the very last. Maybe you slip it in between appointments, or sit in your car for fifteen minutes after getting home—writing in that little space of quiet before diving back into the fray.
Maybe it's you and your morning tea, or maybe you're jotting notes in the line at the grocery store.
However it looks for you, the main objective is: Write when it's not a usual time for you to write.
And the second main objective is: Keep it playful and fun.
This isn't serious. It isn't work. It isn't burdensome.
It's meant to be lighthearted, and a little quirky. Have fun with it.
February 9: Write silly little love notes.
Yes. You read that correctly.
Just go with me on this. Remember, we're acting in the way that we want to feel, even if we don't feel this way yet.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Write a silly little love note to your writing life.
Take that whole relationship of you + words. And send it a love note.
It can be super short. It doesn't have to be overly gushy. You can do this even if you think it's the dumbest thing EVER.
You can just write, "I cannot believe Lucy is making me do this, but, Writing Life, I think you're pretty great."
That's all it has to be! I promise! Just write it.
And then stick it somewhere where your writing life will see it. In your journal, in the pen cup on your desk, on your bulletin board.
If this is fun, and if you aren't rolling your eyes at me right now, you can write as many notes as you like.
Celebrate all the tiny little things about the writing life that often get forgotten. And feel free to keep it silly.
February 10: Enjoy each other's company.
One thing about healthy relationships: you spend time in each other's company for no other reason except that you like each other.
Just hanging out, just having fun, just because you can.
What does that look like for us?
(Don't get scared.)
Writing exercises are the perfect place to have some fun with words, in a no pressure situation. (No pressure writing. How nice is that?)
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Here's the deal. I'm going to give you six writing prompts, and you'll pick five.
Grab a timer, and spend three minutes on each writing prompt.
Just three minutes!! You can do anything for three minutes.
I'd encourage you to do this even if it feels like a TERRIBLE idea. Even if your brain has been blank for WEEKS.
You don't even have to write in complete sentences. You can write only nouns and verbs, or snippets and phrases, or just scratch your pen over the page in huge lines.
Just enter the writing space. Put down a few words. That's all.
But mostly? I'd love for you to enjoy writing just because you can.
Choose to enjoy it. This doesn't have to be hard. No one's going to read it.
You can write the silliest things, you can spend all three minutes writing down one sentence over and over, or creating a huge run-on sentence.
I don't really care what you come up with, but I'd love for you to write, and to write with the mindset of enjoying it. Words on pages. It really is a lovely thing.
Ready for your writing prompts? (If none of these work for you, I have fifty crazier ones over here.)
- The flock of starlings tumbled around in the sky, and for a moment they formed the exact shape of...
- When we finally opened the door, we saw...
- It was the last thing I expected to hear on a summer morning.
- "This," he said, "is why I never like poetry..."
- The most eccentric babysitter I ever had was...
- Even when I'm old, even when I'm dying, I'll never forget the smell of...
Pick your five favorites, three minutes each. Just write the first word or image that comes to your mind, and follow it. It can be from your own life, or just total fiction. Okay?
The main thing is, decide to have fun. Ready, set, go!
I really hope that you've had some fun with this challenge so far! I'd love to hear how it's going for you, so please do leave a comment so I can cheer you on.
And then come back on Thursday for more fun ideas for loving your writing life!! (And more exclamation marks. They'll be coming fast and furious for the rest of the month...)