Practice makes practice

I thought MySpace angles were supposed to be slimming.
Does this MySpace angle make my strings look fat?

The week before I set up this blog, a challenge was issued. Write a blog post every day.

I protested half-heartedly. “Every day? That’s ridiculous. I can’t come up with good content every day… And then to do a good job editing…!”

“It doesn’t have to be good writing!” was the retort.

Now, I’m keeping a blog. This blog. I don’t write in it every day… Because some days I chicken out. Some days I’m distracted or busy or I completely forget. But I’m remembering more often already. And growing more comfortable with the idea that I’m chatting away to myself where you can hear.

This is all good practice, and I realized that practice really takes practice. I wrote about it over here not to long ago, but I’m writing again to remind myself.

I’m impatient when it comes to matters of my being. I expect myself to do well the first time. To succeed immediately and move on to the next task. Sometimes, this approach is awesome. I get shit done. But, there’s something to be said for the slower approach. Imagine taking a bite of your favorite food (mine’s steak); do you close your eyes and savor the sensations? From your tongue and teeth to your nose… the fork heavy against your fingers…

Practice can be like that. It’s a way to be aware of the sensations… The peculiar way I hold my breath as a write, as if afraid of blowing the words off the screen on an exhale… How my voice seems to change if I write rough drafts on a computer versus paper, or even between types of pens.

It’s a really cool process, and reading other peoples’ resolutions only reminds me of my list of 25 things to do before I turn 26. I wish “practice” was on it.

Maybe that can be my New Years Resolution – to practice practice and to savor every bite.

What about you – what are you practicing right now/this week/this year?

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2 thoughts on “Practice makes practice”

  1. I find it interesting that you contrast “getting something right the first time” with “slow”. For me, my problem (in writing) was that I was SO preoccupied with everything being right the first time that it took me forever to write anything to completion!

    I have a ton of smaller writing-related goals for the year that will help me make my way towards getting a book published, but one of the most basic (and perhaps most important) is similar to what you’re saying about practice: just keep writing! Every day! 🙂

    1. Hi Julie!
      I see what you’re saying. I think this maybe a better explaination of what I mean – just because I *expect* myself to get something right the first time doesn’t means it happens that way. When I’m writing while I’m rushed and impatient, then everything’s fast – the words can get jumbled. For my non-work writing, if I write frantically, I’m way more likely to give up. It’s a torture and a chore.
      If I calm down and slow down, I just feel better. I might still write crap, but at least I’m not giving myself a heart attack over it, and I’m learning more. I’m so much more likely to finish things if I calm down and go slowly… I’m more likely to finish, even if it doesn’t see the light of anyone else’s eyes. It’s more meaningful and intentional – a practice.

      Good luck on your writing resolutions and the book publishing process! I browsed your site this morning, and I love where you’re coming from. Hip hip hooray!

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