The thing about practise (practise with an s is the verb, practice is the noun, I remind myself) is that it does improve skills and abilities. With writing practise, you learn your style, and what you think about, and how you express it. In the practise process, you put things together, take them apart, and knit words into a practice (ha) that helps you develop, and sometimes, just might result in a piece that’s worthy of polishing for submission, which then becomes acceptable to a publisher. That’s the story of my latest update anyway. A flash fiction was accepted for themed publication – out around the end of March. My piece was based on what I wrote for an exercise in 2018, rewritten for a publication in 2022, submitted once, and accepted. Them’s the breaks eh.
In 2018, I started Tim Clare’s eight week Couch to 80k writing boot camp audio series. There were exercises to limber up language skills, kick start free association, and fire up the old imagination. Clare’s exercises were quick, useful, and an end in themselves, which is why I kept them, and still occasionally go back to pick over the results like a bower bird in search of something shiny to present to the world. I do recommend Couch to 80k (even though I didn’t get to 80k), but there are plenty of other options, there are Julia Cameron’s stream of consciousness Morning Pages, from The Artist’s Way, which I have tried (but not in the morning ew). There are all sorts of prompts and guides to get you writing. I quite like The Writing Book by Kate Grenville, and also The five-minute writer by Margret Geraghty but there are thousands upon thousands of books like these, plus videos, podcasts, websites, images, and classes, if you need inspiration, or a prompt, or a knife to throat of your fear of the blank page. Get some (writing) exercise anyway, you never know what may come out of it.
What else is going on? A new poem is out at the end of this week, and never fear, as you can see below, my writing is still getting rejected all over the place.
Steady as she goes – the 2022 writing update
Acceptances by publisher: 14
Acceptances by work: 17