Monday, January 27, 2014

Writing warm ups--just as important as muscle warm ups

For the longest time, I would just jump straight into writing whatever I wanted to work on that day. And I learned pretty fast that my writing would always be crappy. It was like I had writing soreness--just like the soreness I'd get if I started working out without warming up first.

As a writer, you've got to get yourself in the right mindset to write. You can't just go from your real life into the world that you've built in your head and expect everything to flow. You've got to ease yourself into it. And that means warming yourself up. Sometimes that actually means warming up your muscles. There are times when I have to stand by my desk and stretch myself out because my muscles just aren't ready to sit down in that chair and work.

Once I do, though, I can't just go straight to writing. I've got to do something to get my mind into the frame of telling the story. That's where the writing warm up comes in.

I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago--or maybe it was just last week--that part of my ritual was to do a warm up as soon as I started my work. I do about 500 words on that just to get me started. By the end of that, my brain is up and ready to go. I'm warm and the creative juices are usually flowing, and I'm chomping at the bit to get into the world that I'm working with that day.

Sometimes the warm up is just a random writing prompt. Most of the time, though, it's part of another short story that I'm writing. At the moment, I'll admit, my warm up is part of a fanfiction that I'm writing for fun. I'm not giving anymore detail than that. I'm not telling. At least it helps me get started when it comes time for me to work. I can write with hardly any trouble at all.

I even do warm ups before I start editing and doing revisions. Either way, I have to get my brain in the mind set of working. And dealing with words and worlds. Warm ups do that for me, just like stretches do for an athlete who's preparing for an event.

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Edited by - Stephanie King