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.