It’s been almost a month since I started participating in the daily object writing challenge. I’ve been writing everyday for ten minutes a day. I accepted the challenge to hold myself accountable to write something everyday, as well as to increase my writing skills. Object writing is writing that is sensory based; when writing, the focus is on the senses–sight, taste, smell, sound/hearing, touch/feeling (internal and external). We are encouraged to “show” vs. “tell” in our writing. If done correctly, by focusing on the senses, our readers should be able to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste what we’ve written.
Here’s what I’ve learned/discovered throughout this process so far:
1. Ten minutes goes by faster than you think: Sometimes I can be on a roll with writing and my timer goes off. When I initially started the challenge I wondered how I would find 10 minutes in my day to make time to write. Now that I’ve been participating in this challenge for a while, I’ve realized that 10 minutes is such a small sacrifice of time to make in order to devote to my craft. It goes by so fast, that I’m actually excited to not only devote those 10 minutes a day, but to add even more time to the craft. After all, if this is in fact what I want to do, it shouldn’t be a problem to devote time to it.
2. It’s best (for me) to write first thing in the morning: When I’m alone in the quiet of the morning, I feel like I’m so much more productive. There are no interruptions or distractions. Also, if I get it done in the morning, I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day, nor do I have to try to rush and squeeze it in after my day job, when most times I’m too tired to even think about writing, let alone doing it. Not to mention, usually after work I’m running around the house doing laundry, cooking and trying to prepare for the next day.
3. Show vs. Tell: I have to be constantly aware in my writing that I’m showing and not just telling. Of course, it’s challenging (it’s so much easier to tell), but it strengthens my abilities when I don’t take the easy route. It causes me to really focus on what I’m writing or what I’m trying to convey. Sometimes I find myself closing my eyes, trying to actually see, smell, taste, hear and feel what I’m writing about. The group’s organizer gave us an example of showing vs. telling:
Tell: “Valek was angry.”
Show: “Valek took a gray rock off his desk and hurled it toward me. Stunned, I froze as the stone whizzed past and exploded on the wall behind me.”
4. I need to expand my vocabulary: I’ve found that I use the same descriptive words over and over, so what I’d like to do is study and learn more ways to express certain things in different ways.
5. I would like to travel to expand my experiences: There’s only so much I can write about if I haven’t experienced it, or read about it, or talked to people well versed in the subject matter, or totally immersed myself in it. I’ve always liked to travel, but now I understand how important travel is to gaining perspective on life.
All in all, I’ve discovered that this is challenging, but worth it. I’m looking forward to continuing to participate in this challenge and I’m excited about where this will lead. Be sure to check out the “Daily Object Writing” tab above to check out what I’ve written thus far.