I did catch up on all that grading - which is a relief, but that does not fully explain the long absence. I have been very intrigued by the NaNoWriMo emphasis this month (National Novel Writing Month, for those who are as unfamiliar with this odd term as I was a year ago) and this has caused me to asses my own writing desires. Now, I am a very methodical person, and it is very common for me to research, analyze, and process an idea over and over and over again. So no, I haven't been writing these two weeks, but I have been reading about writing, thinking about writing, and dreaming about writing during this time.
I have always enjoyed expository writing, but since taking the Rewriting a Life class this summer, I am interested in further developing my creative writing skills. I was also greatly inspired by the wonderful stories my 9th graders wrote during the month of October. The physical writing does not intimate me nearly as much as honing ideas for potential stories. I have allowed this side of my brain to become dormant over the past decades, and I need to put myself on an exercise routine to develop this weak and flabby muscle.
To that end.....I have found a number of books that I think will help me reach that goal and I believe that I am ready to begin a writer's lifestyle; that is, I am ready to start carving out a bit of time each day to write. The three books that have helped me the most, and to which I plan to refer again and again, are:
by Susan Wooldridge
Three Rivers Press
I discovered this book as I wandered the library on the UNC Asheville campus this summer. I absolutely loved her carefree writing style, and this was the first time that I was introduced to the concept of writing prompts for adults.
by Bret Anthony Johnston
I read Dawn's post at She is Too Fond of Books when she talked about a writing workshop she recently attended. She spoke so highly of the book they used that day that I immediately surfed the net, placed a hold at my local bookstore, and picked it up that night.
by Jack Heffron
Writer's Digest Books
I found this book as I perusing the local Half Priced Books earlier this week (I have those coupons, you know, and I simply cannot let them go to waste). I have found the prompts to be varied in interest as well as difficulty. I plan to start with a few of the easier ones this week.
As with any new exercise routine, I must be willing to start slow, be persistent, and over time increase the amount of time and difficulty of the workout. For me, this means that I will begin a writer's journal. Some days I may be inspired to write something on my own, other days I may use one of the many prompts available in these books. The goal will be to write every day - something. Over the course of several months I would hope these journal entries will provide the basis of creative ideas that can later be turned into essays or possibly short stories. And who knows, perhaps I will be confident enough to participate in the NaNoWriMo event in 2010.