For some of us staying with a regular writing practice is a challenge at the best of times. So what do we do when the holidays come with their time demands and additional madness? Following are a few suggestions.
•Set writing appointments with yourself and put them on your calendar. There’s something about seeing an appointment printed on a calendar that makes it more compelling than simply a mental note to write “sometime.” And you know how easy it is to lose those mental notes-to-self.
I’m knee-deep in a new book based on my Wild Women Writing Workshop, and just as I’ve done with other projects, I’m using visual images to inspire me.
In this case, I stripped the bulletin board above my writing space of its mini-collages of characters in my novel (the novel has been put in drawer until I finish this project), and filled the space with images of women—some mini-reproductions of famous art, a couple of greeting card images, random clips from magazines, a few postcards, even a picture of me taken way back when I was a Wild Woman apprentice. I included some mementos, a few pins, a Chinese fan, and a wooden bracelet.
This short sentence is probably the most famous of famous first lines of English language novels. And, maybe how you would expect a post entitled “On First Paragraphs” to begin.
No surprises there. And that’s the problem. The first sentence, the first paragraph of any piece of writing—even a blog—should contain some kind of surprise. At least something fresh, something you weren’t expecting to hear.