As I mentioned in class last week, I started my professional blog at dynamicsubspace.net to help myself improve as a writer. I had read research that showed the more writing that you do, the better your writing becomes automatically. While I could have opted to take more writing classes, taking ownership of my goals and taking intentional action put me in the driver’s seat of improving my writing skills.
Also, writing regularly is a good reflective practice. It gives you time and cognition to think about things you’ve learned, things you’ve experienced, and things that you would like to do in the future. It helps you remember things through the cognitive processes involved.
It is with those things in mind that I wanted to invite you all to write more outside of class in fun and meaningful ways to help you improve in parallel with the things that we are doing in the classroom.
A fun writing activity that I enjoy is sending postcards. My wife and I are members of postcrossing.com. It is an online service that gives your address to other members who send postcards to you while you are given the addresses of different members, who you send postcards to. You can write about anything that you want in your postcards, but some members help you out by asking you to tell them a story or a joke or a secret, etc. The service is free, but you have to purchase your own postcards and stamps.
A free writing activity is blogging. You can easily and quickly create your own blog on wordpress.com or blogger.com. To help you think about what to write about, here are some lists of writing prompts to get you started:
- 52 Blog Writing Prompts
- 20 Professional Writing Prompts
- 365 Writing Prompts (one for every day of the year)
Finally, Freelancewriting.com has a comprehensive list of general writing contests. Writing to a contest prompt or sending work that you have already written might yield a big dividend. However, I would warn you away from contests with entry fees, and I would recommend that you always perform due diligence to investigate the contest and who is offering it.