It has come to me in a blinding flash that A. this blog needs something and B. that something is writing exercises.
Eureka! (Or as my late father would say, E-Da-Ho! He was from Idaho, and he always said the way the state got its name was when the Native Americans saw the light coming over the mountains and yelled, "E-Da-Ho!" Which is supposedly Native American for light over the mountain. I know, I know you kinda had to be there.)
Anyway, back to the need for writing exercises. I've been dipping back into my neglected love of knitting lately, and well, the truth of the matter is that today I've been reading knitting blogs. Gasp. I know. Not only am I betraying you all by going over to the other side of….dare I say it…crafts, but I've also been seriously neglecting a ghost-writing project I'm supposed to be finishing up today.
(For the record, the knitting blogs I read regularly, even when I'm not knitting, which unfortunately is more often than when I'm knitting are Mason-Dixon Knitting and the Yarn Harlot. Where do you think I got the inspiration for the name of this blog?)
Most knitting blogs tend to have commentary, information about knitting, and free patterns. Which is where I had my light-dawning moment. This blog has commentary, information about writing, and….well, that's when it occurred to me. We need free writing exercises, the virtual equivalent of free knitting patterns.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I can't write patterns for novels, or patterns for screenplays, or patterns for a personal essay. But I can give you exercises that will help you develop skills to write that novel or article or poem.
I remember reading an interview with the Mexican writer Laura Esquivel, author of Like Water for Chocolate(who, by the way, sold over 3 million copies in 30 different languages, I just learned as I was looking up how to spell her name) in which she talked about how writers need to do warm-up exercises to keep limber, just as a concert pianist practices scales.
The more we write, the less necessary this is, I find, and yet I still think there's a huge place for writing exercises in every writer's life. They can be incredibly helpful when you find yourself stuck, for instance, and I think that in certain forms they are indispensable in planning a novel or any long piece.
So. Writing Exercises. Stay Tuned.
Anybody have any specific needs they'd like an exercise for?