I recently finished reading Lauren Graham’s “Talking As Fast As I Can” and while it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read in my entire life it was enjoyable enough and I got one rather amazing little take home from it when it comes to writing.
The long and short of it is that she has a practice where she sets herself up to write for a set period of time that is achievable every day. You aren’t allowed to write longer than whatever your time slot is and she recommends not setting a time you can’t achieve. So based on that each day I am going to write for 1 hour every day.
For that one hour I will switch off all other things and not pay any attention to them and just write. I love this idea and I want to do it for a few reasons.
- I love to write. It is actually one of the first things I remember being any good at and I truly enjoy it. I loved writing stories for exams during high school. I took great pride in what I turned out. There is something within me that is both interested in this and actually half good at it so I want to work on that a bit.
- Speaking of working on things, I tend to never fully do anything. I embrace something, start it for awhile and then if I’m not gold medal standard in some short period of time I decide I’ve done what I can in the arena and shove it off for something else. As we all know time and repetitive practice are the things that make us better at things even where a natural gift exists. I’m telling my 7 year old this all the time! So why don’t I give that a go? Write regularly, hone my craft, study it, find my true voice and SING!
- It gives me a chance to journal my thoughts and where I am at. I mean, I won’t journal EVERY DAY as sometimes my writing time will involve actually publishing my thoughts on my blogs – both here and Stories for Strength. I really feel I might be able to get somewhere with SFS. It needs to morph a little first but I do think I am on the right path there. I’m not ready to give it up. And anyway, at the moment I am publishing NOTHING so something is better than nothing, right?
The thing I like best about Lauren’s method (which she stole from someone else whose name I can’t remember) is that it isn’t about churning out usable work every time you write. You can chop and change between things you are writing ie journal, blog post, other blog post, life story, your life changing novel, the shopping list, WHATEVER. it is this approach that makes it feel so achievable. If you are bored with one thing, no pressure, just move on to the next. All you gotta do is write.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
PS My book review from Goodreads is below if you are interested.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I absolutely adore Lauren Graham so I really wanted to enjoy this. I am a big Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fan. However I have to say it is a nice easy read for fans and nothing more than that, really. The early chapters, which are more of an introduction I guess, really made me afraid of my choice. It is all exclamation points everywhere and just quite average writing. It is more of a conversational style in these early pages so I can see how it probably plays really well as an audio book which I believe Lauren narrates. This would totally transform the experience I think and make it much more enjoyable. As you get into the later chapters about her experiences on set for both her big shows I found the writing improved considerably (less conversational) and it was easier to enjoy. She did have some lovely little nuggets of wisdom and as a person she comes across as delightful as she seems on screen. If you are looking for something light to skim over in 1-2 days then this is your read.