by Nancy Casey
If you have been following this blog since it began the first week in January, and if you have been making the pages that the blog suggests, you have amassed a sizeable pile of work. Now that a half a year has gone by, it’s a good time to take a look at all of it and think about what you have been doing.
Settle in and read through your pages. Take a closer look at what you have done. Note the different kinds of pages you have made. Some are lists, some are paragraphs, some have illustrations. Do you like the looks of some better than others? Do you remember writing them all?
If you began in January, it was wintertime. Now it is summer. Do you find your writing reflects the change of season? Even if you haven’t written specifically about the weather, does reading what you wrote six months ago make you recall the different season? What else does your writing make you remember?
Check to see that all of the pages have titles. If any are missing, add them in. What makes a good title? Consider making a Table of Contents that has the list of all the titles. You can then read it like it is a poem.
Recall that the goal of a writing practice is to bring the act of writing regularly into your life and accept whatever improvements that brings to you. You can’t know ahead of time what those improvements will be. Maybe your spelling or grammar will get better. Maybe writing will help you think more clearly. The moments of focus that writing requires can be a benefit. Perhaps your writing practice will make it easier to write other things. Perhaps you will take great pleasure in the written record you have produced. What do you think you have gotten out of your writing practice so far?
Have you been writing “about” something? How is that going? Sometimes we choose a topic and decide to write about that. Other times, the topic pops up in the writing itself. Most of the time, it’s probably a combination of both. Occasionally you can notice that a piece of writing causes you to recall a whole host of details that weren’t written down. What would be a good title for this sheaf of pages?
After you have studied your work for a while and noticed as many things as you can about it, write yourself a pep talk for the coming months of your writing practice. It will be a pep talk in two parts. Write it as though you are talking to yourself.
1. Describe everything that you like about the work that you have done. Don’t say a single negative thing about it.
2. Based on what you wrote in the first part, make suggestions to yourself about what to do more of. Don’t suggest anything because you think it will be “good for you.” Only suggest things that you know that you will like and remind yourself why you will like them.
Here is an example of what you might write for a pep talk. Make sure you have put the date on it. Don’t forget to give it a title.
The season has shifted to summer, and in another six months it will be winter. Each day is an opportunity to work a little bit on your writing practice. If you do, you won’t be sorry.
Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times. All are welcome. She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers. Call the Recovery Center 208-883-1045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.