Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Practicing Your Writing ~ Do You Actually Do That?

O.K., imagine a basketball player

Imagine they go to the park every day and play a pick-up game with friends.

That player would probably get better over time.

Now, imagine that same player getting help to break the whole game down into its component parts—dribbling, passing, shooting from different distances from the hoop, defending against another shooter, etc.—practicing each of those skills six days a week then, once a week going back to the park

Eventually, the second method will produce a better player.

So, do writers practice the components of their process or do they just try to write a story, then another, then another?

Eventually, writing a lot of stories will improve your writing but breaking it all down and practicing the narration, description, dialogue, flash-backs, POVs, etc. will help much more.

Do you practice your writing like this?

Would you like to?

It’s said the great artist Michelangelo would first have his students copy the masters, using that practice to find their own style.

Here’s a description of a very special blog for writers:

“Fifteen minutes a day, six times a week, you will practice writing like Hemingway, James Joyce, Malcolm Gladwell, and many others. As you imitate their voices, you’ll grow into yours. And you’ll be on your way not just to publishing, but to publishing something people will actually want to read. Sound good?”

Here are two recommendations for that blog:

“There are so many worthy writing blogs out there, but what makes this one unique is how extremely practical and relevant it is. It’s focused and intentional, providing exactly what every writer needs: PRACTICE. —Jeff Goins, Author and founder of

“I love this blog, both as a writer and a person interested in seeing other writers succeed. Joe’s insights are good for both new and accomplished writers, and the exercises keep his readers writing and learning every day. —Mark Almand, Author and Professional Editor

And, if you subscribe for free to their Updates, you’ll get a free copy of a book called 14 Prompts.

This free book is rather special since each of the prompts/exercises is keyed to a special section on the blog—you do the exercise and submit it to the blog and get feedback :-)

Here’s the bio of the creator of the blog:

“Joe Bunting is the founder of the Write Practice. He loves the sound of a good sentence and would like to think of himself as a literary snob but can be kept up far too late by a page turner meant for thirteen year old girls. He would like for you not to know that though. He and his wife, Talia, enjoy playing backgammon and Angry Birds on her iPhone.”

And, without further ado, here is a link to this blog:

The Write Practice

If you go there and like what you find, do, please, come back and share in the Comments :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
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6 responses to “Practicing Your Writing ~ Do You Actually Do That?

  1. Tomas Karkalas June 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

    The eyes radiate the heart and the lips draw a smile. That is the desirable, yet I am going to write in foreign language, so is that possible? How long such mood would prevail? The grammar rules are a sinister adversary. What did make us the winners?
    The “Heart” versus “Mind”. The questions challenge the world since its dawn, yet I enjoy the smell of the flowers. Where is a key to the radiating peace? What is that? Name it aloud please. Wake up your Spirit.


    • Alexander M Zoltai June 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Thank you, Tomas—you always share Wisdom *:-)*


  2. Tomas Karkalas June 20, 2013 at 7:50 am

    a comma splice… I got the gist that prior writing something one must open a dictionary to examine the unknown words and terms / the grammar rules in order his mind could be recorded to you for we could come in a hug as spiritual brothers and sisters.
    I put a sentence but can I dot it, or ought to look for the possible grammar mistakes in order the sincerity of my intentions could obtain the beauty of expression too in the process of editing?


    • Alexander M Zoltai June 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm


      I wish I could speak your native language

      English is certainly hard enough for me to comprehend :-)

      Mastering ANY language is extremely Hard Work………


  3. Jane Watson June 20, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I have heard of this method of practice and it seems to be an interesting exercise! It is true that an artist often learns to draw by example before they invent their own art….why not writers? Perhaps this is what we do though when we read, we store up ways and methods of expressing? Perhaps this should be the next step – write something like Hemingway! ‘The Write Practice’ looks like a fascinating blog. I subscribed ;-)


    • Alexander M Zoltai June 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Well, Jane, since we’ve had the benefit of lengthy real-time conversations, you know I’m a strong proponent of Reading being the best Teacher for Writing

      I think we do “store up ways and methods of expressing”; but, I also think we (if we’re authentic) transform those elements of expression

      Though, I wouldn’t mind being able to write like C. J. Cherryh :-)


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