“Real writers practice… I’m not talking about rehearsal. I’m talking about doing what musicians and boxers and lion tamers all do in order to get ready for their work. To become awesome at their crafts.
They practice in public
In other words, they perform. They go to work. Get stuff done. They stop stalling and playing around and actually do the stuff.”
That’s a blow to my perfectionistic pride if I ever saw one. Practice in public? Yeah, that’s terrifying.
It’s also so incredibly freeing and healthy.
One way I’ve attempted to practice out loud was joining a Twitter poetry chat hosted by TweetSpeak Poetry a couple weeks ago, a sort of poetry jam where prompts were given and 13 writers tossed lines and fragments into the chat, riffing on each other’s ideas.
It freaked. me. out. At first, anyway. Finally, after lurking for some time, I dashed off a quick line and threw it out there. Before long, I was caught in the little word-storm, and watching beautiful things happen. Everyone was so talented and the work was so beautifully raw, and when I finally worked up the nerve to offer something, it was such a rush.
It was practicing out loud. And very good for the soul.
Twelve stunning poems were later woven from all of that, which you can read here and here. I took a few bits and wrote my own piece, “Hum.” It’s astonishing to see such beauty born of chaos, but perhaps that’s the nature of creation.
All this to say… find a way to practice out loud this week. Whatever your craft is, whatever scares you, do it. And then, perhaps, come back and let me know how it goes.
There is art inside you, and the world is waiting for it.