WriteOnWednesday…the 3 Ps

July 23, 2008 § 7 Comments

What do the three P’s of writing…practice, pleasure, profit…mean in your writing life? asks Becca in this week’s prompt. Hmmm…

Practice…sitting down to the piano for 12 years of lessons involved practice and although I often would have sooner poked my eye out, I learned music and a tad bit o’ discipline as I plunked through my pieces 5x daily as my German teacher meticulously wrote on the pages in his pencilled hand. Had I been asked to practice writing at that time, I would likely have rolled my eyes and laughed and run out the door, yelling, “How do you practice writing?” I would have hooted at the suggestion. I would not have understood it.
I do now. Writing is like an instrument, something to be tuned and altered, arranging the notes in such a way and finding rhythm. And practicing writing is fun; sessions are always cut too short. Honestly, I ogle ads for writing retreats.  There is naught to be done there but write. Would it be the bliss I imagine? Little matter. We snatch our writing bliss where we can. Practicing writing is integral to my day. At least then, regardless of what I’ve done, I can say I’ve written. It’s a club to which I want to be a member. And then there’s this “blog” thing – I MUST call it practice! or is that a euphemism for addiction? Either way, it gets me to the keyboard.
  
Pleasure?
  Yes. Pleasure is a side effect of writing. It is a natural result. A good one.   

Profit?  (ok, first allow me this – ahahahahahahahaaha!) Where does profit fit in my writing game? Side effect. I do not count the writing I do in my day job as writing for profit. Nope, not even as practice. It’s when I’m let out of the tech writing corral and into the pasture of a nice clean screen or page that I truly run -that I truly  write. Money is a lovely offshoot of the game. Journalism pays but that is not what engages me about it.
I think that to approach writing for profit requires not only discipline but often just sheer persistence. I do not look at my “free time” writing as a way to make a profit. I think the weight of that would crush the wings on which some writing soars.
And if I did have “a room of my own” and the entire day’s length to fill with nothing but writing, I wonder if I would go blank or just sit there, wordless after all? 
Um, actually, I do know the answer to that.

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§ 7 Responses to WriteOnWednesday…the 3 Ps

  • Hi! I found your blog thru Becca at Write on Wednesday. I’ve blogrolled you, so I’ll be checking back. Nice blog!

  • Becca says:

    Seems a lot of writers also have music somewhere in their background…it does help with the concept of practicing, doesn’t it?

    I loved what you had to say in your “profit” section. I’m a technical writer myself, and I don’t even count that as writing, although that’s the only kind I get paid for doing!

    And I think persistence is another ‘p’ word we should talk about – thanks for bringing that one up!

    Great post!

  • oh says:

    Bobbi’s BN: thanks for stopping in! I will gladly return the visit.

    Becca: Thanks for keeping us practicing – it really makes a difference you have created a place for us to check in and keep at it.

  • Andi says:

    Aaaah, a wise insight about having the maturity to accept a practice – I, too, could never have done this writing thing much earlier in my life – my patience simply wasn’t there. Thanks for your thoughts and for visiting my blog.

  • Redness says:

    Love your line ‘Writing is like an instrument, something to be tuned and altered …’ and the profit … well isn’t that getting it out there, feedback and satisfaction ??? Well done!

  • anno says:

    There’s an awful lot to just showing up, isn’t there? It keeps the channels open, and the skills sharp. I’m always surprised by how even a short absence makes it hard it to find my groove again.

    I share both your feelings about tech writing and your desire for a writer’s retreat. Someday…. Good luck with your projects — hope we get to hear more about your short story soon!

  • oh says:

    Andi, Anno and Redness – Thanks for your comments and now I’m headed upstairs to my own, for now, “retreat.” With a new pen.

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