I am having bitter-sweet emotions as my writing class comes to a close today. Bitter because it is over and I will miss the connections I've made with the people who are now my friends, and the excuse to be writing each and every day. Sweet because I have become a better writer and a teacher and I also now have some time to go play with my family in Wisconsin. Before all these wonderful memories become more fuzzy in my head, I wanted to write down a few tips for writing.
Make time for it. Play with words. Get creative. It doesn't matter what you write but it does matter that you are writing. Just start with what comes to mind and go with it. Maybe while writing about something you didn't think was significant will bring many ideas to you. I know that while I was writing about a specific writing prompt in my class, I would often get ideas for other things to write about. When you exercise and use your writing brain, it starts to work that creativity muscle.
2. Figure out how you write best.
I am the sort of person who writes with pen and paper for my first draft. I just get ideas better to paper than just to my fingertips on the keys of the keyboard. But that could be different for you. You may be a solely typer kind of writer. If you are a paper kind of writer like me, you need to find your preferred writing utensil. For me it is a gel pen. I thought it was the G2 by Pilot, but now it is these fabulous Korean fine-tip pens. They rock. Sometimes it is pencil though and that pencil better be very sharp. The paper also matters. I gather ideas in a tiny notebook that I can carry in my pocket, but I like bigger notebooks to write my drafts. Fancy journals don't work as well as just plain old composition notebooks. But again, you need to fine what you like.
3. Don't be afraid to fail.
Sometimes I really didn't like the subject I was writing about, but I just went with the idea. Sometimes it was horrible and boring writing but sometimes it blossomed into something more. I do know that it is important to write about something you are interested in. So if it isn't working, move on.
4. Be willing to be vulnerable.
It is really hard to share your writing at first, but having the ideas of others really can help your writing and the whole process of writing. I loved my writing group in my class and I really hope the three of us continue to read each other's writing and help each other to write better. The more you share, the easier it is and the better your writing will get.
I think those are the most important things I have learned about my own writing process. What kind of things would you write about? What are your writing preferences?