Sunday, June 23, 2013

As Writers, We Practice

As writers, we want to write really good stories, novels, poems.  And then we want to get these pieces out there at readings, salons, in publications.  At workshops, such as the Chuckanut Writers Conference we learn as much as we can, and take that back to our writing space.  And then we practice.  We practice our sentences, our themes, our characters, our dialogue.  Thus a writing practice is essential.  Daily writing is good...

I was told once that every day do something toward your goal, whatever that goal be a published writer, to build a massage practice, to better yourself as a person.  Always work toward the good (the goal).  I used to write my morning pages every morning...then I followed my own advice and Natalie Goldberg's and wrote my writing practice each morning.  Now I get up and go to work...either on my book or on my writing. And for income, to see craniosacral clients as a massage therapist.  I also walk or do Pilates.  A strong body, a clear mind, a practice.  All essential.

As a child I played the Hammond organ...every day I did my hour of practice, every week a piano lesson with Mr. Key.  Later as an adult, I learned to play the piano...I read music, so I didn't need to learn that, but I needed a refresher on rests and complicated counting, and I needed to learn how to touch the piano...heavier touch than the organ. So I practiced.  I took my weekly lesson.  I tapped out rhythms to strengthen my hands. Songs floated through my head when I did my daily walk.  While I painted.  While I cooked dinner.

This is the way we become confident at what we do.  And this is the way we grow our skill.  We practice.  The word is nice...I think.  It invites me in.  It feeds my artist...not like cake, though cake is good...ideas and art and nature and meanderings are good too...and practice settles me down, hones my art, makes it clear to me that I am practicing what I preach, when I say, "I am a writer.  I am a musician.  I am an artist."

What do you do for a practice?  I hold a weekly writing practice in my art studio in Fairhaven.  If you want to join me Monday's at 1PM, you are welcome.  Call for more information: 360-710-7139.

1 comment:

susanissima said...

You're so right about the importance of practice, Nancy. Maybe that's what life is all about. My Grandma Lucy used to say, "Practice makes perfect," but it seems like practice is often more like meditation; you are locked into something so magical, so important that the outcome is really not the point, it's the process itself. I learned this when I worked on my journal for two weeks in Spain, painting more than 40 pictures, and then lost it forever in a moment of forgetfulness on a plane. It was the practice that will stay with me forever.