Saturday, February 19, 2011

Writing is Exercise

Writing is Exercise

By Debra Eckerling,

Writing is exercise! The more you practice, the better you become. Spend too much time away from a project – or from writing in general – and it will be difficult to get back in the zone. It’s just like skipping a week or two at the gym; the longer you wait between workouts, the more painful it is to get back in the game.

It’s also essential to work out all of your writing muscles. Not just the ones in the type or genre you prefer. We tend to play favorites when it comes to formats and genres. We write what we like to read and watch (or at least we should) as a way of studying the craft. While it’s essential to like what you write and “write what you know,” there’s value in testing out less familiar territory.

Most writers work in more than one format as it is. And, if you don’t already, consider trying something new to shake up your writing regimen. That means, fiction writers can try blogging, screenwriters attempt a book review, article writers can give poetry a try … maybe, maybe not. But the point is the more writing you do, in as many areas as you can, will make you a stronger writer.

Here are some tips to jump-start or keep up your writing regimen:

- Write consistently on a daily or mostly daily basis … at least 15 minutes a day. Think you don’t have anything to write about? Look around. You’ll find plenty of material when you are people-watching, overhearing conversations, and just being aware of your surroundings in general.

- Don’t just make goals, post them. You are more likely to accomplish them when you are accountable to more than just yourself. You can post weekly goals on the Write On! Facebook page – and monthly goals on

- Write out of your comfort zone. Enter contests, try collaboration, write badly. Mix things up. You may discover a love for writing personal essays in the adventure genre. Also, practicing a less-familiar type may give you fresh perspective on an old standby.

Remember, first and foremost, writing is supposed to be fun! So, enjoy the adventure, When you put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – you never know what magic may come of it!

Debra Eckerling is the creator of Write On! Online – – a website and community for writers. Debra has written for national, local, trade, and online publications. A communications specialist and “personal trainer for writers,” Debra trains individuals, experts, and entrepreneurs, so they can organize, articulate, and complete their writing projects.


Martha said...

Love your tips. I especially need to work on the "Writing out of your zone."
Thanks for the advice.

The Old Silly said...

Great 'how to' tips on keeping your muse alive, healthy and strong!

Marvin D Wilson

Donna M. McDine said...

Terrific post with essential tips. Thanks for the good old slap up side the head!

Nancy Famolari said...

Great suggestions. You're right, writing is something you have to do every day in some form! Loved your post.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

What a perfect guest for your blog, Robert! Besides, I just love tips! Deb, you are spot on!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging writers' resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

Heidiwriter said...

I'm very bad about both the regular gym routine AND a regular writing routine. Bad girl, bad girl!! Thanks for the nudge.

WriteOnOnline said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Happy to give you all a little push.

Thanks, Robert, for allowing me to guest on your blog.

Bob said...

You're welcome, Deb. Feel free to send me anything so I can post it.

Thank you everyone for visiting and posting comments on my blog.

Karen Cioffi said...

What great tips. Just like anything else you want to do well, practice makes perfect. Well, at least it'll help you become a better writer.:)

Mari said...

Awesome advice. You are so right about the importance of not staying away from a project too long. It's tough to get back in the flow. Great post.