I actually signed up for a writing workshop and, yesterday, I went to my first class. It's "A Vacation From Procrastination" being offered through Richard Hugo House. For two hours, I sat in the classroom and thought, "Ha. I don't need this workshop! This is so elementary! After all, I only have two chapters left on my first draft!"
... and then I went home and avoided my writing, and it occurred to me that I've had "two chapters" left for at least three weeks now. (I know, I know: you have much to learn, young Grasshopper.)
So obviously I do need this workshop, and I'm grateful to be able to take it. For those of you who may lack free Saturdays and/or proximity to Seattle, these are the exercises that will keep me occupied until the next class:
- Word of the Week: CLOUD (write 500 words somehow associated with it).
- Get up earlier or stay up later, and see how that affects my writing.
- Do an interview using a childhood photo of myself as the subject.
- Walk around my neighborhood and write about what I observe.
- Eavesdrop for dialogue.
- Collect sounds and smells (very visceral).
- Before I go to bed, write a phrase or sentence on a Post-It note and put it on the coffeemaker. When I first wake up, take that phrase as a starting point and write for 15 minutes.
- Turn "no" into "yes"... give in to something I normally refuse and see what happens.
- Sit at my desk every day for at least 15 minutes, even if I don't do anything.
- Observe a media boycott--turn off the TV, put down the newspaper, and go without stories so I feel forced to create my own.
That last one will be the most difficult for me. With the current situation in the Middle East--not to mention midterm elections on the horizon--I can't in good conscience stop reading the news. I have, however, resolved not to watch television, read novels, or surf blogs for more than 15 minutes a day. The horror! The horror!
So if anyone wants to cheer on my efforts, feel free. And if anyone wants to join me doing these writing assignments, let the DSW know so that we can cheer you, too!