Thursday, March 10, 2011

(Re) Kindle Your TPR Fire: Step One, Examine Your Writing Habits.

This is the first post in a series leading up to TPR's anniversary on April 12th.

A few years ago I went to a conference on parenting. The trainer used a study as an example of what not to do. It was a study meant to prove Primal Therapy. The idea was that "catharsis" releases anger and makes everything all better. The children in the study were to make use of punching bags and foam bats in managing their emotions. The thought was, when they were all done beating the heck out of things they would be more manageable. Instead the study found they were just more likely to beat on things. It turns out, this trainer told us, that you get better at what you practice. The story and the phrase has stuck with me (hence the doorway to The Practice Room).

Then there is the 10000 hour rule. It takes 10000 hours of practice in order to become a master, according to a study by Anders Ericsson in the early 1990s. He correlated achievement into hours of practice and found that the very best practitioners of ______ (fill in the blank with the expertise of your choice) had put in about 10000 hours of practice, the good 8000 and the average 4000 hours. Read more about it here.

So add those two things together and it indicates you should use your time wisely. Energy flows where attention goes.

This week examine your current writing habits whether you are active in TPR or not. Are your practices getting you where you want to be? No reason to get worked up about it, just notice. Ask yourself these questions: What makes you start writing? Why do you stop? What are your distractions? What are your procrastinations? Just describe. This is the first step in choosing where your energy will flow.

The practice room has been my chance to "hone my attention" (Thanks for the phrase, Dianne Salerni!).   I do my best to let everything else slide during our unplugging hours and have found that because of the intentionality of the time, there is an intensity and productivity to the focus. Try it for yourself. Everyone is welcome!

 Next Thursday: Step Two, Find Your Writing Values.