I used to volunteer for an organization that sent thousands of people around the world a year, most of whom kept blogs about their travel experiences. Working with these fledgling writers, I found out most people had no clue how to write about travel.
We’re here in Paris, and in honor of our trip, I’ve been reading A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s memoir about living and writing in the city. In the book, he reveals what I think is one of the hardest parts about being a serious writer, a writer who cares deeply about the quality of his or her prose.
Write about leaving (e.g. a young adult leaving for college, a wife leaving her abusive husband, a writer leaving for a great trip).
Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers.
Years ago, when I imagined the lifestyle of a writer, I envisioned myself sauntering along the streets at dusk, sitting at cafés while stories unfolded magically in my imagination, the whole world seemingly at the tip of my pen.
Now that I’ve been writing for a while, I’ve realized that creative breakthroughs do happen, and when you experience them, they’re better even than how you imagined them to be. But they come at a terrible cost.
First, I want to say thank you. Yesterday, I launched my new book, a choose your own adventure memoir, and I shared why I think these kinds of collaborative books are going to be more popular in the future. So far, the response has been amazing. The Kickstarter reached thirty percent of its minimum the first day. While we still have a long way to go (I think we can raise $7,000, which will allow me to print a gorgeous hardcover edition), I’m humbled by your support.
I need your help.
Today, I’m launching a new book, but it’s not written yet. And without you, it won’t be.
Let me explain.
If you read the writing of the average MFA student, you’ll find perfectly composed, uniquely styled, completely boring stories. What’s the deal? Some of the best, most highly trained writers in the world are producing work few people outside academia wants to read.
Of course, I don’t mean to single out MFA programs. Too many writers—and I at times include myself in this group—are writing navel gazing stories that are perfectly written but lacking everything the average reader looks for in a story.
How do you write fresh, beautiful, experimental stories that are also interesting to read?
If deliberate practice is the best way to improve as a writer, how do you actually do it? I’m always looking for new, better ways to practice your writing, and today, I’m excited to introduce something that I think is going to make practicing your writing easier and much more fun.
I love writing these posts for The Write Practice, and normally, when I sit down to write them, ideas come instantly and unbidden. Today was not one of those days. Today I had no idea what to write.
Write about a couple moving out of their house or apartment.
Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, be sure to leave feedback on a few practices by other writers.