Musicians, Actors, Writers
Growing up, I learned early that it was imporant to sort the things I do that everyone does from the things you might call . . . um, er . . . “uniquely Liz stuff.”
Knowing the difference has saved me from looking foolish and made me a better teacher. . . . Unfortunately, knowing doesn’t come with immediate credibility on that self-same subject.
Sometimes I know that other folks do the same things that I do. Yet the idea is apparently so incredible that people hearing me say so assume I’m delusional and that the subject in question is . . . sshhhh don’t tell Liz, but we all know it’s . . . a “uniquely Liz thing.”
I’m writing this because I know I’m not the only writer who rehearses before writing.
I can’t imagine a person who hasn’t used the process, you included.
We all practice what we want to say when the conversation is really important.
“Mom, I don’t want to go to the party. . . . I need to. My entire life depends on it.”
“Sweetheart, when you talk that way, I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
“In the past year, I’ve take on significant new responsibilities . . .”
Those aren’t words that just happened. We rehearsed them.
Actors rehearse improvisations.
Musicians rehearse jams and free-wheelin’ rock solos.
Writers rehearse before writing. Some prewrite. Some freewrite. That’s rehearsing too, but I mean thinking words before sitting down, typing, before having to look at them.
Here’s something of how my rehearsing goes.
- I think about the words I might write.
- I say them and listen. I construct and recontruct sentence as if I were preparing for an important conversation.
- I think I might say this. I think about whether that statement makes sense and makes me want to pursue it.
- A few words come that sound right.
- I find a word I particularly like. That word begets another and there are two, three , and four.
- Soon I have sentence, sentences — whew an idea is rolling — it’s a paragraph!
- I walk and practice and play with words until I feel ready to write jazzed about what I want to say.
Rehearsing is more fun than sitting at my computer.
I hear some folks rehearse in the shower, . . . That’s okay for writers. It’s not a good idea, if you play electric guitar.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you think Liz can help with a problem you’re having with your writing, check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.