Your Writing life: Writing Pursuits
By Norma J Hill (aka Pen And Paper Mama) ©2020
In our last series for writers, on “Self Exploration,” you had the opportunity to work through a set of nine checklists/questionaires to discover who you are as a writer. If you missed that series, it starts here.
In this new series, we will explore “Your Writing Life” : your writing and related activities in the past, your present writing and related activities (personal and with your writing community), and your future hopes and plans. This series has five sections:
Tribe, Team, Community
Your Writing Pursuits
Your Writing Related Activities
Plotter or Pantser; Introvert or Team Player
Ideas for Writing From Your Own Life
At the end of each post in the series, there is a link to a downloadable and printable PDF copy on which you can write your responses. Put them in a binder or Duotang-type folder (you can continue to add to your series #1 binder if you wish). Then, periodically along your writing journey, return to your answers, read what you noted previously, and add new thoughts and experiences. Through this process, you’ll end up with a wonderful personal record of your writer’s journey.
2. Writing Pursuits
What kind of writing have you engaged in, past and present? Do you experiment with different formats and media? There is value in many kinds of writing practice. The amount of writing you do, and the many types, might surprise you. In the following table, indicate if you have engaged in these kinds of writing in the past [P], currently [C], and/or would like to try them out in the future [F]. Also jot down notes about how they are (or could be in the future) helpful in your writing life (for example: “Tweets could help me write more concisely and might be a good way to meet other writers”).
|Friendly emails and/or letters:|
|Business emails and/or letters:|
|Texting, Facebook statuses, Twitter tweets, and other short bits of writing:|
|Practical writing: grocery and to-do lists, recipes, agenda book notes, etc.:|
|Memos, reports, and other work-related or education-related writing:|
|Online writing: personal websites/blogs, writing site such as Medium or Quora, or Wattpad, guest posts on other sites:|
|Writing for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, video games, other media:|
|Fiction: short stories, book-length (novels), oral storytelling, video/film screenwriting, children’s books, etc.:|
|Nonfiction: how-to books and articles, self-help, memoir, biography, textbooks and other academic writing, etc.:|
|Script writing for plays, TV, videos, etc.:|
|Diary and journal writing, freewriting, writing from prompts, etc.:|
|Other writing (list details):|
Writers are often urged to write every day, but they can become very discouraged, thinking it is impossible to find enough time to write in their busy lives. But when you look through the list above, you might be surprised and encouraged at how much writing you actually do—often daily—and how even small bits of writing can be useful for improving your writing skills, creativity, and craft. In the space below, write your personal thoughts about the possibilities of daily or frequent writing in your own life:
Putting your notes into practice:
Get a wall calendar with fairly large squares for each day. Toward the end of the day, take a few moments to jot down in today’s square what kind(s) of writing you’ve done, even if it’s something small like a grocery list or helping your child write a few sentences. Then think about what you’d like to do tomorrow and jot that down in the next square. Be sure to use a check mark, a star, or sticker if you complete (or even just start) that daily goal. Start with small goals and build up. Once every week or two, look at all the writing you’ve listed, and give yourself a reward—whatever makes you feel celebratory! You DO have a writing life!
PDF LINK (Your Writing Life: Writing Pursuits). Download, print, fill in your responses, and place them in your binder or Duotang.