Do you practice as you learn?

Practice makes perfect, or so they say. 

Too bad I forgot to practice.

The last few weeks I’ve immersed myself in books, websites, and articles to help me improve my writing skills. Thanks to the many wonderful writers and bloggers in the web universe, I’ve learned a lot and passed it on here.

A problem occurred I hadn’t anticipated.

I’ve been so engrossed in “how to” reading and writing, I forgot to put into practice what I was reading. Now I find myself a bit rusty on the “doing.”

Ready to get back to my WIP, I sat at the keyboard and drew a blank. My main character refused to speak to me. Can’t blame her, I’d be mad too if someone ignored me for weeks.

In addition it seemed as if my brain was in overload with too many facts. As I began to write my mind roamed to the technical tips instead of staying with my scene. I struggled for quite a while before things began to flow again.

And that got me to thinking.

I don’t want to stop learning. After all my writing improves the more I learn about what I’m doing. But I need to strike a balance.

So for the next few days, I’m going to try something a little different here at Jean’s Writing. I’ll post a tip from a book, blog or article and then an exercise to practice the tip.

Some books make it easy and have exercise suggestion at the end of a chapter. Too bad I didn’t do all those exercises as I read. From here on out I will. And I’ll try to apply the exercises to a WIP. Who knows I might actually finish more projects that way.

So here’s the deal.

A paragraph, that’s all. Write a paragraph to work the writing muscles. To keep them Ginsu razor sharp and Iron Man strong.

I hope you’ll join me, in writing to exercise. All you have to do is write a few words each day. Just one paragraph. Then post it in the comment section. Hopefully, writing such a paragraph will be just the thing you need for a submission, or be the break-through for your novel.

This is Not a  Challenge.

Why? Because I understand life gets in the way and I don’t want to add pressure to anyone’s hectic schedule. Instead of challenge, I want this to be an encouragement, a tool to enhance the practice of writing. 

Here are the guidelines:
  1. Write one paragraph. Choose any subject, prompt or a WIP you want that incorporates the days writing tip. That shows us how you interpret the tip. 
  2. Keep the paragraph between 50 – 150 words. (Short and sweet)
  3. Post in comment section. (read and encourage those who participate)

That’s it, I want to keep it simple and fun. 

Hope you’ll join in and Tweet this post out to your friends. Don’t forget to follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!



6 thoughts on “Do you practice as you learn?

  1. Interesting idea, I’ve been reading Steve Windsor and his how to write & outline books are clicking with me. I’ve not be consistent on a daily basis but I’m getting better!


  2. The afternoon seemed to have no end. When she looked up at the clock, she stared at the second hand to make sure it was still moving. Oh how glorious it would be to discover the batteries had died and it was in fact only a mere hour before the end of the day rather than the 3 and a half it currently was.
    If only.

    Liked by 3 people

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