New Writing Practice

Yesterday, as I was scanning my Facebook feed, I found this article called How to Write Your Best Story Ever With One Epic Exercise by Jennifer Manuel.  My curiosity was piqued, and I have to say the article really resonated with me. Basically, she advocates finding a book you enjoy or admire the writing of and copy it out by hand every day before your other writing.

By Unknown – Original: Blades, William: Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges (1891)

The idea fascinates me. I’ve always thought about how painters learn to paint by copying the masters, but I had never thought to apply this to writing beyond reading good writers. It makes so much sense to me to physically copy out other author’s writing in order to learn from it. It slows us down and makes us pay attention.

And, Manuel sites a tradition of authors copying out other writers to learn their craft, from Robert Louis Stephenson to Benjamin Franklin.

Manuel said that she has been copywriting for a year and has seen stunning results — and has written the best story of her life during this time. I highly suggest visitng Manuel’s page (click on the link in the first paragraph) as she lays out three different ways of practicing copywriting.

So, I’m going to give it a go.  I also have had trouble lately getting into the creative flow, so I am hoping that copywriting will help by getting my brain gently into writing mode. Even if I have writer’s block, I can still do something towards my writing, which I love.

I’m going to start with one of Thoreau’s essays from Walden because I think he has interesting sentence structure. I started today and found the exercise soothing and meditative. I’ll keep you updated.

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Art in the Park

On Canada Day, my writing group (Books in the Belfry) had a booth at our local Art in the Park, art show/sale and music, celebration here in Kamloops, BC. Here we mostly are:

It was a fantastic, beautiful day, full of people coming by to talk about books and writing and I appreciate everyone who stopped by.

I am so fortunate to have this amazing, supportive group in my life. A common thread among the writers who visited our booth is that they often feel disconnected and would love to connect with other writers. It’s a funny thing, how so many writers are introverted and we work on our own so much, but that we need times to connect and get support as well. After our Art in the Park experience, my group, Books in the Belfry, is looking at trying to find ways to connect with other writers, perhaps even world wide, while still maintaining the integrity of our group. One of the things we really value is our feeling of safety to share our work or speak our mind — because we know how rare it is to find.

Thanks again to everyone who made Art in the Park a fantastic day, and feel free to sign up for our newsletter here to keep up with our plans. And here’s a link to a post about our group, but basically, we are all batshit crazy about writing and keep each other going through (mostly) weekly meetings at a local coffee shop. And how did we start? Through creativity courses and by going up to people who have Nanowrimo stickers on their laptops in coffee shops.

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