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Reflections: Getting Out of My Writing Habits

August 9, 2012

Dear Students and Readers,

In my mind, I email you every day. I have things I want to say that only you will understand because you attend class or study the Feldenkrais Method® in your daily lives. Often, I’ve thought of a way the work applies to this or that and I want to share.

But, I haven’t sent those thoughts via email because most of us get too many email messages and I worry that one more thing will be too much.

Also, there’s the fact that my writing style is  . . . in a word, wordy! I’ve been writing my column and articles for Walk About magazine, as well as articles for other publications and my blogs on various topics, for over 6 years now. I’m incredibly reliable at 700-750 words. Every. Single. Time.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’m a habitual worder. I use a certain number of words to tell a story. It’s almost as if the 750 words on any subject are sitting somewhere inside me, waiting to be inked on the page, as if it’s a genetic thing that every story has 750 words. I’m chuckling as I write this, there’s no such thing as a genetic tendency toward a lengthy, 750-word writing style.

Over the next four to six weeks, I’m going to practice what I teach and get out of my rut and away from my comfort zone. I’m going to break out to something that isn’t my usual, I’m going to give myself a challenge. Rest assured that I will not begin sending you even longer 1500-word essays to read. Rather, I plan to write shorter. 250 words, or less, each day. Short. Zippy. More often.

I have the capability of blogging from my phone which means I might be sitting on the top of Neahkahnie Mountain and update my blog and you’ll get the message in your email. Or, I might walk my dogs on the beach or read the paper at my favorite coffee shop and decide to send a note to the blog. It’s easy, it takes just a few moments.

Start the watch, pet the dog and get ready for the 250 words, or less. A snippet. A thought. An essence. A moment. A pause. I will distill or I will let go. I will no longer worry how it sounds. I want to be more spontaneous with it. I want to think it, write it, send it.

I’ve got one more email planned before the Class Break (August 20-September 17). In it will be the finalized Fall schedule. I’ll ask you to mark your calendar for the dates for those workshops. I’ve added two more Change Your Age workshops, one in Klamath Falls and one in Portland.

Begin looking for the 250 words, or less, of something related to something about life.

Somehow it will make sense.

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