Exercise… the Writing Muscles

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If you want to get fit, you exercise. You lift weights, you do cardio, you eat right, etc. But what do you do to hone your Craft? How do exercise your writing muscles, so to speak? I feel like there are four ways to improve:

1-Write

2-Writing Challenges

3-Read

4-School/Lessons

One: If you never write you’ll never improve. That’s just a simple fact. So writing this blog, writing for work, actually sitting down and puttering about with an outline, whatever it is, I just need to be writing. Without that, I’m not doing anything to actually, physically make progress.

Two: I bought a book a while back, 642 Things to Write About, and I’m not sure I’d ever cracked it open. Not really. So I’m going to start adding that in as a segment for this blog. I’ll just write in it, snap a photo, and Bob’s your uncle. Post done. Brain expanded. Challenge accepted.

Three: You have to read. If you aren’t reading, you aren’t learning from others. This may come in a variety of forms for me. I’m part of a tv writer’s group, Chicks with Scripts and I’m really enjoying it. We just increased the number of writers in our group, so every couple of weeks my reading may just be the reading for the group. But I also need to be reading the Trades like Variety and Deadline to stay abreast of current information. And I need to be reading books– how else will I research a new topic or discover something interesting?

Four: I don’t have all the answers. So right now I’m getting my screenwriting certificate at UCLA. The big writing class this quarter is Genre. So I’ll be learning about the different genres (hopefully more than just what they are, because that’s a check in the old box) and coming up with movie pitches for the different genres. So that’ll be an exciting one as well.

#16 – Update

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Well, that was basically a bust. I made it two days before I cut my foot, thought I was going to die, and decided to numb my pain with some whiskey. And then I had a dinner engagement, and a party, and I almost sliced my finger off (thank you #24) and blah blah…  I may have to re-think this particular goal. I don’t have any stretches of 7 days where I’m not going to some networking event or another and my industry isn’t really conducive to going dry.

Whining over, now on to deeper analysis:

I will say, myself the absolute drop off come day 3, that I did well during the two days I was on a fast. I had an event where there was a free bar (free, by the way, with top shelf liquor) and I opted for coke with lime. It wasn’t weird to not order a drink, that part was fine. I didn’t miss the alcohol or drinking as much as I thought I would, probably because the free tacos were delicious and I wasn’t expected to network and make nice with people. The other day I was at home, and you know, easy until I injured myself.

As a recovering shy person, sometimes I still need that liquid courage when out at a party or at a networking event where I don’t know that many people, or the people I know are not my bff’s. As I type this, it makes me feel like crap that it sounds like I need the alcohol to “loosen up” or “take the edge off” but that’s legitimately what it does, and part of its appeal. I don’t need it, but it helps. And it tastes good. The two days where my options were water, tea, or more water, I got pretty bored with drinking beverages. I love the way different beers and wine tastes, how a well-mixed cocktail delights the tongue, and how with a few ingredients you can make such a wide variety of things.

I think I’ll keep the resolution for now, but I’m going to combine it with the Whole 30 challenge– if I’m overhauling my entire diet I feel like it will be easier to overhaul everything together. Maybe.

Original post: https://wordpress.com/post/amandakgriswold.wordpress.com/421

30 in 330 challenge post: https://wordpress.com/post/amandakgriswold.wordpress.com/399