Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Mad Skillz

On I go with the second writing prompt for the 28 day Author Blog Challenge!!

What kinds of classes, programs, or workshops have you taken to hone your skill as a writer? What sorts of exercises did/do you use to improve your craft? Have you ever taught a writing class or workshop?

I have taken a number of college level writing courses and most had nothing to do with my major. I remember when I told my comrades in the design department that I would be taking extra Composition and English classes and how their faces looked. You'd have thought I sprouted an extra head. What they failed to realize was, my design briefs were the best in the class because of it. Even with the extra workload, I was more relaxed because I was doing something I loved. You wanna see real stress? Go visit a college design class the last four weeks of the semester :)

I took extra History classes in college as well. Lots of papers to write. A paper for one of those classes is what spawned the idea for my book titled Yassa that releases Tuesday.

I also trowel around on the web looking for writing prompts. - Yes, I posted some last week. Follow the link to be inspired!! - Many of those creations never see the light of day but they make me think about things I may not have otherwise. It has helped me in more ways than I can tell. I find that people are afraid to put their writings out there to be hammered on. I suppose being an artist has helped me there because I am used to critique.

Exercises I do include automatic writing, READING, blogging, and critiquing other writings (even if only in my head). I find the automatic writing allows me to give freedom to my constantly changing thoughts and opinions. I think all writers are a bit crazy and we need to give our crazed brains a chance to show us what it may be thinking beneath the surface. Writing whatever I want in a nonsensical way and not worrying about punctuation or structure has given me some fabulous ideas for books. Reading does the same thing. I lose myself in whatever book I'm reading and my brain opens up to new possibilities. Blogging is like a warmup for me each day. I don't usually blog on the weekends because I take time off from writing to spend with my kiddos and I don't need the punch in the brain - I can't shut it off once it gets going. Critiquing other people is an exercise that lets me see what falls flat and why.

While I haven't taught a class on creative writing, I did tutor Composition in college and led a number of team papers to As because I understood structure and how to use sensory words. I have considered holding a small workshop in my neighborhood for kids this summer but haven't laid plans for that just yet.

This prompt made me think. I like that.

That's all for today.

Until next time, WRITE ON!!



  1. I love the phrase 'blogging is like a warm up for me each day'. I really get that. I blog every morning and some evenings to and it sets me off on a good foot for everything else.

    Lisa x

  2. "I think all writers are a bit crazy and we need to give our crazed brains a chance to show us what it may be thinking beneath the surface."
    Yes~! And especially to show us that maybe we're not so crazy -- that there is a certain humanity, logic, or a the very least a really entertaining story underneath the madness. :)

  3. Thanks, Lisa and Sonja! I love blog love!! :)

  4. I have blogged for almost a decade and recently started a fiction project. It's weird how the writer 'crazy' is different, but the same. LOL

    1. We are all nutz, that's for sure. If you need help from someone who's been there, don't hesitate. I'm full of useful information :)

  5. I agree. I try to shut down on the weekends too and that's why I'm not very quick to respond on emails over the weekends. We all need some time to recupperate and recharge our batteries.

    1. Yes ma'am. I take every chance I can and relax. Lord knows it's rare that I can!


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