Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stretching Out

As January closes, I look back on a blur of a month. Maybe it was all the snow and ice that distorted my vision, but I can't believe we've had a month of days already this year. On some of those days, I ran some miles and established a nice — albeit tenuous — foundation in my exercise plan for the year. In a similar fashion, I've been building up my freelance writing "miles." But before I get too far on my running or my writing, I need to pause and make sure I'm not about to injure myself.

To me, writing and running are a lot alike: Once you know how to do them, you can pick them back up without too much difficulty, but to get the most out of them you need to keep doing them consistently. That's how you stay in shape. When it comes to my legs, now that I've got a simple base down, I'll make sure that I stretch out my muscles, keep proper form. I'm concerned more about the long haul than reaching a random goal. In the same manner, I'm approaching my freelance — and my novel writing — by ensuring that I keep my tools (interviewing skills, grammar, language, voice) all sharp and ready for action.

Sometimes just a quick blog post is enough for me to feel I'm ready to bear down on finishing a profile or to get my mind thinking of questions to ask.

What do you do to keep your writing tools sharp?


Brian James said...

For me, it's really about writing a lot of different kinds of things that keeps me going. I try never to write the same level of book back to back. If I've finished a novel, I'll write something for 6 year olds next. It's interesting how much each teaches me about the other.

Matt Sinclair said...

That's very interesting, Brian. Thanks for sharing. I must admit, I'd not considered that, but I don't write for children ... yet.

Caroline Hagood said...

I read your blog:)

Matt Sinclair said...

Thanks, Caroline. And I yours. :-)