No, I didn’t say pelican pose. Or peculiar prose (though I’ve seen some of that emerge from my keyboard lately). Peculiar pose, as in, “What is that crazy bird doing?”
This turkey vulture, with his spread-wing posture, is working to absorb solar energy so that he can passively raise his body temperature. Turns out, the vulture’s internal temperature drops during the nighttime, so it needs that pick-me-up in the morning to get the wings a’flappin again.
For Writers: Where do you get your writing energy? How do you warm up? What techniques do you use to start your writing day without stiff muscles?
I find, personally, that reading the works of others is a great warm up – and quite inspirational. And so is outdoor running, which seems always to jostle some creative morsels from my mind. I also wanted to share some excellent instructional tips from Janet Burroway et. al, in the text, Writing Fiction:
- Regular journaling: Write about anything. Write as little or as much as you want. But make journaling a regular habit. Include brief notes or descriptions, overheard phrases, ideas for future stories. “Keeping a journal regularly will put you in the habit of observing in words,” says Burroway.
- Freewriting: Get something down on paper, anything – and at whatever time of day you want. Or use freewriting to unlock your creativity. The point is simply to write. Says Burroway, “If you freewrite often, pretty soon you’ll be bored with writing about how you don’t feel like writing and you will find your mind and phrases running on things that interest you.” It’s a way of developing “verbal muscles,” she says.
- Roll out of bed and write: Dorothea Brande, in her book Becoming a Writer, suggests that writers “unlock” their thoughts on paper by rising each day and heading straight for the desk for 20-30 minutes. Let whatever thoughts roll from your head out on to the keyboard … before you are quite awake, before you’ve spoken to anyone, before you’ve read anything, “before reason has begun to take over from the dream-functioning of your brain.” The key, she says, is to write it, put it away without reading it, and after a week or two, do two such writing sessions each day. “It doesn’t matter what you write,” says Burroway of Brande’s technique. “What does matter is that you develop the habit of beginning to write the moment you sit down to do so.”
What works for you? Would you be willing to try any of the above suggestions? Or do you already employ them? I think I am going to try the “roll-out-of-bed-and-write” technique. If nothing else, some of my bizarre dreams will see the light of day before crawling back to the recesses of my mind. I will be sure to let you know how it goes.