Building a Writing Practice

I cook for myself every day. Over the last few months I have been venturing out of my comfort zone, and trying new recipes, new techniques, applying new techniques to old family recipes, or cooking favorites more efficiently. Cooking and baking have become my anti-depressants. If I’m feeling low and unenergetic, as long as I can get myself to the kitchen, I find myself feeling invigorated. There is something deeply fulfilling about pouring yourself into cleaning, prepping and making food that excites and nourishes those you love.

I was chopping vegetables for a new recipe, enjoying the soothing rhythm of the repetitive action, when I realized that my writing has suffered because I haven’t treated it as a practice. It has been deprioritized again and again. It happens in fits and bursts. Successful creators, create every day. I have channeled all my creativity to the kitchen with astounding success. Now I need to do the same with my writing. Stephen King writes every day. Liz Gilbert has the most delightful journaling habit. I need to write every day. A lot of writers recommend doing it the first thing in the morning. Well, the first thing I do is help my kids get ready for school, including pack lunch and snacks. One could say, wake up half hour earlier and get the writing done. I’ve never been a morning person. If it weren’t for muscle memory, I suspect I wouldn’t get a lot of my morning chores done. What about after the kids have gone to school? Well, it’s time for my yoga class. What about after yoga class? Well, then it’s time to eat and read the news and gossip from around the world. And really after that it’s a whole bunch of tasks and errands until it’s time for the children to return from school. Then its snacks, homework and sports. Followed by dinner and bedtime routines. By the time the children are asleep, I’m ready to Netflix and chill.

Today I’m setting an intention; I’m going to build a writing practice. After the children leave for school, I’m going to make a cup of tea and write. I will go to yoga class later in the morning. To help build this practice I’m going to follow Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. It is a 12-week program “intended to increase creativity by capturing the creative energy of the universe”. A creative friend recommended it. I have the book, a stack of empty notebooks, and a bunch of pens I like. I will write and post a weekly update, thus maintaining some accountability.

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