23 February 2009

write now.

welcome to the club. here we go.
i'm starting write along with you.

i'm so fired up about writing. real writing. and i hope you are too. i've decided to start a writing club to get me writing in a notebook on a very regular basis. to stop talking the talk and actually walking the walk. i was going to start a few weeks ago, hoping i'd be the guru in write club, but i've been procrastinating waiting for your company. which now i realize is like selling blueberry cream cheese muffins without first tasting one. do they have enough brown sugar? are they done in the middle? are the blueberries ripe? so here we go. i'm simply along for the ride. as, i hope, are you. making it up as i go. pardon my inexpertise.

onto club business. my goal is to write. with my own hand in my own notebook for at least 15 - 30 minutes every day. i am aiming high. but i'm not going to beat myself up if i cannot get to it. though i'm truly going to try. no grocery lists. no to-do lists. no recipes or design ideas. with these writing exercises, i am planning to juice my imagination. to dig in deep. to give writing a shot. to not be afraid of what i'll find. to not be afraid of failure. to look fear in the face and just write what's on the inside. write. everyday. yes, it's a commitment. which gnaws at me. but i know, in the end, good things will arise. hopefully this will form a habit.

No one likes to write but everyone likes to have written. - Joel Salzman

the real writers advise to practice not lifting up your pen, to keep your hand moving during the entire exercise. you can always sift through the mumbo jumbo later. jot down whatever you come up with. whatever your mind is whirling. it can be a daily journal, it can be a random rant session, it can be a character sketch about the stranger next door, it can be details about your childhood, it can be chapter three of the mystery novel you hope to publish someday. every day can be a completely different writing session. no rules. no edits. no comparisons. no strings attached. do not worry about grammar or spelling. you are not handing this in. do not worry about who might read this. it's just for you. it's just practice. it's simple. just keep writing and good writing will eventually come out. though you may have to hunt for it among the busyness of your words. i figure practicing every day will only assist in juicing the real flavor.

so if you plan to play along, every week i will list three writing prompts to help you get going. they will only be suggestions. if you had a fabulous encounter with a mad man on the street, by all means, write about that instead. prompts are a simple way to get the pen to the page.

other write club suggestions.
start reading books by people you admire. books that have stimulating words. texts by authors who you want to write letters to and thank them for writing such glorious books. when you are so submerged in a good book, you are more motivated to write. good authors make it look so easy.

create sections in your notebook. 01.) excellent quotes that keep you inspired. 02.) writing prompts that you want to visit in the future. once you start noticing the details in every day, you'll begin to conjure fantastic writing material. don't forget them, write your own prompts down. i have whole notebooks with one-liners. ready for upcoming novels. if only my creative genius could come in paragraph form. 03.) make a list of books about writing that you have read or want to read. that way when you re-visit your notebook in four years, you'll get all fired up again and know where to go to feel enlightened.

but be warned, do not allow the set up (the notebooks and tabs and the reading of inspiring quotes and the search for the perfect pen) snatch up all of your energy. if you take too much time setting up, inevitably you will need to start dinner or make your bed or check your email or water your plants. and you will have missed your 15 - 30 minutes of madness. make your writing sessions brief but enjoyable. treat yourself to a handful of chocolate chips whenever you sit down to write.

ready, set, go.
write now.

writing prompts | week 01.
the real you. you got a new notebook? very good. now introduce yourself. use any of these prompts in any mixed up fashion you'd like to get your juices going.

01. describe your daily routine from sun up to sun down. use only nouns.
02. list your obsessions. what do you think about, obsess over, what types of things, ideas, ideals, plans, dreams, and hopes consume your mind? what are you known for? wearing red lipstick? write about that.
03. pick a year from your life. past or future. describe who you were, what you wore, what your problems were, what your biggest concern was, who you spent time with, who you dreamt of becoming, what you watched on tv, what type of shoes you wore, what you ate for lunch. dig deep and rediscover who you were then and who you are now.


have fun.
meet back next week.
with ink on pages.

67 comments:

Balou said...

i'm excited to do this with you! i love to write but my creative juices have been running a bit dry lately. thank you for starting this club!

Kristy said...

Yay! It's time. I'm stoked.

hannah said...

I am totally doing this! I haven't done anything like this since I started blogging! Thank you!!

Jen in MN said...

Hi, I subscribe to your RSS feed and love to read your blog every day. One of your writing assignments triggered a memory-- Have you ever read "Time and the Art of Living"? It is so very inspiring. http://www.amazon.com/Time-Art-Living-Robert-Grudin/dp/0395898315

I used to write every day in college in a notebook after reading his book.

swell.life said...

thanks for heading up such an inspirational challenge! i hope i can keep up!

Kim said...

a big thank you for starting Write Club! what an adventure it will be...

Carrie said...

I hope to join in...some sort of strange accountability. writing with others, always helpful.

thanks

Oh Mandie! said...

I popped by your blog a little bit ago and have been silently reading along for a bit now :)

I'm thrilled to do this writing adventure with you! I went to college (and promptly dropped out) for creative writing. It'll be fabulous to write again!

Thank you!

Vanessa Rae said...

Great job Marta! I'll be writing right along with you! Have fun.

Nicole said...

oh goodness. i read this in the middle of the work day and now i just want to run home and START. fabulous prompts. thank you for lighting the match. let's go!

Anna Kristina said...

I graduated 1.5 years ago with a creative writing undergrad degree. Since then, I've kept busy and keep meaning to write regularly, but don't. Thanks for inspiring us and helping to keep us accountable. I think I'll post an invite on my blog. I'm hoping you don't mind me using your lovely image, with a credit, of course! :)

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know others are itching to write...but where to begin? You've given us a goal, and a starting place. And now, the sky is the limit. Thanks!

summer said...

what a lovely send-off for our first week of writing.
thanks for establishing this! i'm really looking forward to getting into your prompts for this week.

have a lovely said...

i would love love a recommendation for a fabulous journal...leather bound with not fluff...just an open canvas for your thoughts...and lots of paper to be filled with words!! i thought i your first after scouring the internet and stores for a perfect one!

Meg said...

i love writing but seem to lack motivation and inspiration. i am excited to do this!

Ty and Jenny Robbins said...

I have been thinking about this for such a long time and you've inspired me to JUST DO IT! I think you're right if you just get in there and don't wait you'll come out with something pretty cool. Or at least have it out of your brain. I'm definitely in!

Dee said...

marta, you are awesome. thanks for the inspiration

Who Sees the Seven said...

You just made my Monday so much more meaningful (I didn't even mean to have that much alliteration either). I am really looking forward to getting on the subway with a pen and mini notebook. Thanks so much for the inspiration kick-starter!!!

Christine said...

Seriously, this is a great idea. Bravo (brava, I guess) for having the guts to put it all out there and to encourage the rest of us to get writing too!

Sarah said...

did it. loved it. thanks so much. loved writing prompt 01. see you next week.

tara said...

yeah! here we go.

mary elizabeth said...

oh miss marta, you've done it again. i love this idea, and definitely will be joining in!

Elizabeth said...

Oooh! This will be fun! Some books on writing that I have enjoyed and others might find inspiring:

Foolsgold and Poemcrazy by Susan Wooldridge

Life's Companion by Christina Baldwin

A Trail Through Leaves by Hannah Hinchman

jere said...

i'm so into this! i've been fighting with writing for far too long, it's time to make it fun, or at least make peace with it. thanks for this!

Kate said...

What a fantastic idea!

Samye said...

I love this idea! I haven't had to dig deep and write since...well since I graduated from college! Thanks and I am excited to join in!

gem said...

marta*
i am weaving this into my participation in The Portfolio Project. loving this week's prompts! thank you for creating this. i am gratefully inspired by you.
in joy,
gem

Laura S. said...

I typically don't comment, but I must say that I'm an avid reader of your blog and I think this is a GREAT idea. I'm right there along with you. Thanks- this gives a boost to my motivation that's been lacking lately.

mary said...

marta, this is wonderful - thank you so much for the inspiration! - mary

polly said...

i have actually been doing some writing exercises this past year and it is fun to go back and look at what is down on the paper. it is surprising at how much sense it makes and how it kind of weaves itself together. writing exercises aren't always just exercises..they can actually turn into something.this is a fantastic thing to do.

Nance said...

i'm in. :)

TravelinOma said...

I set aside my actual writing project to write about the day I got my braces off. Very fun.

ShiriMe! said...

can't wait to start writing just for the sake of writing.

will start as soon as i'm done with my fellowship application this wednesday! and then good riddance! i'm anxious all over with this whole dang application process. just get it over with.

YnR said...

This sounds like fun!! I think Im really going to try this!!!!!!

I know of a book you may want to add to your list if you havent already. A great English teacher I had a while back made the class read an excerpt and was a big hit so I decide to read the whole thing and it is indeed inspiring!! It makes you want to write freely and carelessly.
It's called If you want to write, by Brenda Ueland.

This Books is AWESOME!!!!!!! And fits PERFECTLY with this subject :D Im about to read it for the second time!

maria said...

It's so fun - I've been reading your blog every now and then, but recently I've been busy and I think this was the first visit I made in 2009. Yesterday when my daughter had fallen asleep I decided I'd try harder to write on my novel and that I'd write a little bit every evening (but in a relaxed way). I told myself I'd begin immediately, but first I wanted to read something to inspire me. I choose to go to your blog since I like your language. But what did I find? This text!! It must be a sign, right? ;-) Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Marta, I'm not a writer but I love to read and I'm happy to see you pursuing your gift. You make words come to life on paper/monitor. You are awesome!!! Elizabeth

Abi- trainers in nightclubs said...

what a fabulous idea. im definatley going to do this.

nmmillan said...

I found this page via tumblr.com, this is a great idea and as a writer who struggles to get my words out, I will be doing this with you :)

gab said...

You inspire me! I will try...

kira lee said...

such a great idea!!! i'm in!!!

allison said...

i am so in!

Louise said...

I'm already inspired by the prompts - thank you Marta!! Can't wait for more!

All Rileyed Up said...

Sounds fun! I'm in!

Jenny said...

My friend sent me your blog. I, too, am excited about this blog. I consider myself a novice writer -- having sold one article that I've written -- but wanting to do so much more. I'm in the process of writing a YA novel, but we'll see how it goes. When I taught high school, I had my students keep a notebook just as you described. I was HUGE on writing. I was determined that my students would leave my English class better writers. I've received emails from old students telling me that they still have that notebook. That just warms my heart. Some of the most heartfelt and ingenious phrases, ideas, and thoughts are written in quiet moments when we are alone with our pen. Even when it's an assignment.

Lauren said...

I'm in too.. this is just what I need.

Bambola said...

WICKED IDEA!

I'll be in on this... now to find a notebook....

Bambola x

mary said...

I got started yesterday http://www.flickr.com/photos/mere2007/3308110690/

Heather said...

fabulous! thanks so much for the inspiration.
www.bitofbliss.blogspot.com

justbeingjenn said...

... Does thesis writing count? I think until I am done with that I won't have the energy or enthusiasm to write much else. It's a great idea though. I might try and catch up later.

Caroline Armijo said...

I became addicted to writing morning pages over ten years ago. I found that I was much more focused if I wrote my three pages everyday than when I skipped then. I have since added a fourth page, which is 10 thanks yous and 10 help mes. Most of the time the content is pretty mundane. But sometimes something really good finds its way to the page. After attending the inauguration, I ended up writing 35 pages and sobbing. Being part of this historical event obviously impacted me more than I had realized.

I'm excited about following your writing prompts. Maybe I will write about more inspiring things...

Suzanne said...

I am so very happy that I found your blog... and I'm totally on board!

Susan said...

Great idea...writing club. I have always loved writing but I'm horrible at it. I took a senior writing class in college and had to write a memoir. Decided to post them on my blog as I got chapter by chapter done (in no particular order). Last week I put the first one up. I'll love this site. Thanks. I'm going to pick out a journal now.

jlsprinkelbug said...

marta i just love your blog!!! and a few weeks ago i was thinking about how just doing a bit every day worked so well for me in running a marathon, why couldn't it work for writing a novel as well? not two days later you wrote your first post about the write club!! i'm so pleased to have others to share the journey with, and i'm excited to read your future entries...thanks for sharing with us! :)

Ali said...

oh i LOVE this idea.....the idea of creating a sectioned notebook....i always write down quotes on bits of paper, and have scraps of ideas....thank you!

Zmaga said...

This is a wonderful idea! I'm soo in! I'll post some of it on my blog, let me know if that's not ok with you...

Sarah: Der Wenigste Blog der Welt said...

Many years ago, I was required to write daily for a communications class. It changed my life. I know it will improve and change yours. Good luck with that endeavor and thank you for reminding me what writing means.

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." -Benjamin Franklin

LiafromLaie said...

Found your link on Sarah's blog and thought this was such a great way to do something other than sleep :0) So hope you don't mind that I'm now following you and am going to get me a spiffy notebook to participate.

Namine said...

This looks fun. I love prompts, helps me find that creative part of me that's been missing for a while

Lin said...

I might be a little late but I'm going to do this too! It's a great idea, and something along the lines of what i've been needing to do for a while now!

Michelle LaPoint Rydell said...

I'm so glad I found you! I've been wanting to start writing regularly - I plan to join in with you!

This will be fun!

Laurie said...

i'm joining. thanks for the prompts.

A. said...

I wrote this week--thanks for the new prompts! So exciting.

Kate said...

I am in the middle of a creative writing course and this is just what I need to give me fresh inspiration. Thanks for sharing and I am in!

Little Gray Pixel said...

I'm so excited about your Write Club, I'm blogging about it. To illustrate, I've used your Write Club image (with full credit of course and a link back to your awesome blog). I hope this is OK -- if not, by all means leave me a comment and I'll take it down immediately.

Thanks,
V

http://littlegraypixel.blogspot.com

gritandglory.com said...

i'm in.

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Love Jay said...

I haven't wrote in a notebook in forever but I will get on it && start writing! Thanks!

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