Well, it’s day 3 of the Author Blog Challenge and this is the first post I am making, so that is very telling. It’s funny (not funny) that I KNEW I would do this last week, and even made a promise to myself that I would stay committed and follow through, no matter what. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew when I am “high” on life, and then when I cycle down, I let a lot fall through the cracks.
As disappointing as it was to learn today that I totally missed the boat on Sunday, I still recognize signiificant growth in how I handle it. Not long ago, I would have said, “Screw it! I missed the first two days so I will just quit and wait for the next one.” But this time is different. I saw those thoughts come in the front door of my mind, and I quickly ushered them through the back door without a moments pause. And as soon as I did so, I could focus on today’s post.
Day 3 Topic Guidelines
What kinds of classes, programs, or workshops have you taken to hone your skill as a writer? What sorts of exercises did/do you use to improve? Have you ever taught a writing class or workshop?
I was raised believing I had a gift for writing. It was easy for me, my family always praised my work, and teachers ate it up even more. English classes with essays were always A++ for me, and in classes where attendance was lacking, I could easily make up the grade with well-written reports and stories. I didn’t follow writing protocol though, and I think I cheated myself out of some deep skills that will require I revisit a lot of the basics. For instance, I despised re-writes, outlines, and drafts. I always waited to the last minute, and I had evidence (to me anyway) that I did my best work that way. I always got A’s on those pieces of work. But then, the teachers got sneaky on me and would require I turn in the outline, the rough draft, the first draft, and all the revisions separately, which I obviously didn’t have, so that meesed up my flow a bit. Looking back now, and in the midst of writing my first book, I can totally see the value in those lessons now.
This stubborness carried over into adulthood, and I have been hesitant to take on too many critical writing specific courses. Having said that, I have worked around writing a lot, and that in itself has been an education. I was a ghost writer for a blogging company for nearly a year, which taught me how to write short, quick, shallow reads loaded with key words. I have written ad copy for nearly every company I’ve owned or worked for. And, I’ve had my own blog or journal since I can remember.
I am a writer. I think I was born that way. Constantly drawn to the power of words, and yet, writing is also the activity I tend to resist the most. While I haven’t really pursued a writing course, I am constantly enrolled in other life courses that I think help make me a better writer. These are courses that require I go deep within, and get to know myself on levels I never knew were there. They are courses that help heal wounds, reveal insecurity, inspire hope, and gain confidence. So, while they aren’t directly related to writing, I suppose they do help clear the mind and pave the way to expression. In fact, these courses, and the train of thought that follows, even years down the road, are what has led to the birth of Habit Daddy. Essentially, I created Habit Daddy as a self-exploration of implementation (or lack thereof) of all these amazing workshops, seminars, and books I’ve read throughout the years. I wasn’t seeing the results that one should expect from so much knowledge and I want to know why. Habits, I found, were the key. And so begins a new chapter of life, dedicated to creating and sustaining positive habits that point the way to success.