deliberate practice

Deliberate practice. It sounds intimidating and is a personal challenge for me, and my writing at the moment. I have bursts of enthusiasm and creativity followed by periods of writing a lot of dreck.  I try steering myself back to that place of writing nirvana where I am excited about words and not wrestling them to tell a story. But this week with my daughter’s birthday and my mom visiting from out of town has left me unable to return to the fantastic place of imaginary creation. However deliberate practice should help me through the feeling of how am I ever going to do this if I keep writing crap? Right? If I set my intension to practice writing no matter what the outcome I should continue to produce pages, and those pages should get better.

I prefer writing my first drafts long hand in my journal. Then I layer in information- like setting- as I type the pages into my computer. But this week my first draft pages are weak and I recognize it. I don’t want to turn them in to my writing group because I know the notes I’ll get back. Is this my internal critic or a self-sabotaging moment?

How can I recreate the magic? In my Writers on Fire Workshop we do 5-minute exercises. And more often then not I write the most potently then. I find this exhilarating and annoying.  I’m going to try to write for 5-minute blocks of unfettered time this week and see if I can tap into the creative part of my mind that inspired me to write a Young Adult novel in the first place.

If you’re curious about my latest 5-minute exercise please click the excerpt tab up top. Our assignment was to write a portrait of someone we love, I chose my Aunt Marilyn.

If you’re interested in reading more about deliberate practice check out Justine Musk, a friend of mine who happens to be a talented writer, blog

And if you’re interested in learning more about Writers on Fire go to


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