There are exercises we can do to practice and improve our writing skills. And I think that the writing process itself can be a mental exercise. Occasionally it is physical exercise: when we pace the room, walk our dogs to help ideas ferment, or we frustratingly throw our ideas at the wall.
In 2016 my resolution was to work on my writing or photography for 10 minutes a day. Those structured minutes often blossomed into 50, 60 minutes as I got engrossed in my daily project. I updated both my personal and work blogs frequently, explored other blogs, conversed online with fellow writers, read works by a variety of authors, and started to head into unexpected areas.
This year, without a specific plan, I recently realized that I am filling that allotted time with additional work tasks. I miss my creative outlet. Ideas remain spinning in my brain, wisps of characters evolving then vanishing, months without poetry.
I am going to mentally slot that time back into my day. It is a gift to myself—just 10 minutes a day.
In A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway said:
You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.
And then you can keep moving forward.
The journey continues.