3 Things That Improve Your Writing Skills

We love ping pong at our house.  In fact we love ping pong so much, that we threw convention to the wind and moved our ping pong table into our front room.  Why, you say?  Since I’ve started homeschooling, I’ve become more utilitarian in my approach. We never used that room. It may not be pretty, but now we’re playing ping pong.  My son even set up a tournament schedule.  So far, my kids haven’t beaten me yet, but I have a feeling that I won’t be undefeated for long. Practice, competition and flexibility improve our ping pong and writing skills. 
Practice: There’s nothing more satisfying than a good volley when you’re playing ping pong. And the more you play, the better you get.  Just like writing...the more you write, the better your work will be.

Competition:  Lately I’ve been learning how to return curve balls in my ping pong game.  I know that if I don’t, I’ll start losing.  Competition, even with yourself, helps in your writing life too.  If it weren’t for the12x12 challengePiBoIdMoReViMo,and ReFoReMo, I wouldn’t have many of my stories written. 

Flexibility: Sometimes someone surprises you by hitting a ping pong ball on the very edge of the table. Sometimes you have to move in ways you never thought possible in order to return the ball to the other side of the table. Flexibility is key for writing too. We have to be willing to let a story evolve and to revise over and over and over again.  It’s flexibility that makes an incredible story possible.
What helps you improve your writing skills?
*This was originally posted on Children's Book Academy.

5 Ways to Squeeze Writing Into Your Life

5 Ways to Squeeze Writing into Your Life

My life is a tornado.  Sometimes kids, house stuff, homeschooling, church work, therapist duties, chickens, and everything else pull me into a frenzy of activity that I fear I will never escape.  So, how to write?
1. Take advantage of the quiet moments:  There’s always an eye in the storm. The baby is quiet.  The phone isn’t ringing.  The older kids are playing cooperatively. You are doing the dishes and you are alone!  Take this time to write in your mind.  I actually thought of this post today in the car on the way home from a dr.’s appointment.  I got home, typed this up, and voila!
2.Carry a notebook or smart phone with you at all times: Strong winds will carry your ideas away, so write them down immediately! Even if you can’t write hundreds of words a day, writing even one word a day can be inspiring (see PiBoIdMo).  If you have a way to record your ideas when they come, you’ll get more writing done!  My little pink notebook accompanies me everywhere.
To read the rest of this post, go to Writer's Rumpus.