Writing Exercise: Stretching (W is for Write)

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

It’s been a tough two years. Emotionally draining, which means also creatively draining. Eventually authors will process the emotions through writing some amazing works, but right now survival is the primary concern.

I’m finally getting the energy back. Tax season gave me a reset, a change of duties and thoughts, which resets other things. Fortunately this year they didn’t extend the tax season, allowing me to keep up hope, energy, and momentum. I’m ready to write again.

But how?

You may have noticed, I’ve been attacking my blog, catching up on two years of sporadic creation. First Book Reviews to remember reading and analyzing other people’s writing, then Magical Words for writing advice and lessons, next Editing Rants to revisit lessons learned. Onward to Writing Exercises to bring those lessons to life again and Geeking Science for ideas and the joy of learning. Other Blogs for writing advice.

I’m stretching.

If you run, you don’t start cold training cold. It doesn’t matter if you ran marathon before, after two years off you have to work your way back up. And the first step is stretching.

Likewise BIC after a long break – COVID, surgery, or raising children related – and expecting to return to your old writing production level is unrealistic and self-defeating, just like running a marathon out of the gate. First you stretch. If your production level was 2,000 words a day, but when you started as a new writer, it was only 500, then start at 500. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Reading was my first stretch. I hadn’t really read in months. 2021 was my first year since I started keeping track on Goodreads I read only 100 books. I’m over 50 already for 2022.

Then my warm-up expanded to blogging. Daily BIC for most of March.

During the last of tax season, the beginning of April, I broke out the flashes. Sprints of full on creative. I forgot how exhausting pure creation is.

Once those creative muscles have built up again, I will move onto novellas and, finally, novels. In a few years, maybe even series of novels. According to my Strategic Plan (created during the blogging muscle builds), I will write two stand-alone novels this year.

I may need to stretch some more.

WRITING EXERCISE: Have your muscles sagged during the COVID drain? Think back to when you first started writing. What “exercises” did you do? Me, it was book reviews, so kicking off my reading and book reviews got everything flowing in the right write direction. Create a daily writing exercise for this week which will get a bit of time in chair to start building the creative writing muscles again and share below. 

My attempt

As I mentioned, I read and did book reviews. Yes, for the month of January I read 20 books, nearly a book and book review a day. My brain finally kicked back into gear. The reading frenzy is slowing down as my mind continues down the writing path to rediscover other old skills.