Today I jogged about 16,500 steps while scaring up a half-dozen grouse that exploded from the growth at the side of the road. When not getting the adrenaline rush from the whirr of grouse wings, I thought about writing this blog. Since I was exercising at the time, the parallel between writing and physical shape seemed obvious.
If I didn’t exercise at all, I would have all my waking hours to spend as I wanted, but my level of physical fitness would rapidly decline to the level justified by my normal activities. After some period without exercise, I would soon pant climbing stairs. Since I want to have more energy than that, I choose to invest time in obtaining a higher level of physical fitness. Currently jogging (aka “slogging,” given my speed) is my method for getting and staying aerobically fit. I could have chosen swimming, or bicycling or jazzercise or any number of other aerobic activities.
As with physical exercise, there are many available forms of writing exercise from which to choose. Writing nearly every day is not much different from walking every day to get from bed to breakfast to wherever. As with exercise I need to do something more than the daily minimum to improve, something that stretches and strengthens my writing muscles. I need to spend time improving my craft, but I need to be judicious about it.
On my run I decided allocating 10% of my time to craft improvement might be the right answer, but I don’t really know, and I’m curious. How much of your precious writing time do you allot to studying your craft, flexing muscles, trying new things?
WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Sasscer Hill on 5/18 and Carolyn Mulford on 5/25. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.