Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Writing--A Chance to Slow Way Down

Outside my office window, the snow is coming down fast. I cancelled a dentist appointment today, shoveled the steps, walked to the mailbox, but mostly I'm reveling in being snowbound. It gives me no excuse not to slow down.

Slowing down is great for my writing. A naturally speedy person, I tend to get bored with passages where I should linger longer. So I use snow to lull my fast-paced mind into that drifty dreamy place my characters often need.

What slows you down? We're not talking coma level, just slowed to the place where you appreciate--and can write--the finer details. This week's exercise will help you notice how your book comes alive in the small things that you might notice more as you slow your pace.

1. Put on some music that lets you drift.
2. Don't look at emails, Facebook, or My Space for 20 minutes--force yourself!
3. Look around the room you're in. Begin noting what you see.
4. Then pay attention to sounds. Note what you hear.
5. If you can, add temperature and texture--the touch sense. Or smell.
6. Do this while breathing. Deeply if you can.

What's the difference in your writing?