Thursday, April 12, 2018

Push to Grow by Susan Tuttle

This winter I joined an exercise class at my church. I’d realized that my muscles weren’t quite what they used to be, and I wanted to get them back. In speaking with the instructor, she first addressed what had happened. In a nutshell, I had stopped challenging my muscles and as a result, they’d grown weak. If I wanted them back I not only needed to begin pushing their limits, but I had to find various ways to do so. One repetitive exercise wouldn’t be enough.

That got me thinking about our writing muscle. When we only write the same thing, our writing muscles atrophy. To prevent that, we need to test ourselves regularly by attempting new, hefty writing exercises that will keep us from growing stagnate. What does that look like? Tackle a new genre.
Write a short story instead of long one, or vice
versa. Start a weekly challenge with writing friends to find creative ways to describe a similar setting or character attributes. Look at what you’re currently doing, identify your weak areas, then brainstorm how you can grow in that area.

Doing what you’ve always done doesn’t allow for growth, and as writers, we want to constantly be evolving. Each work should challenge us a little more. Have you fallen into the habit of doing the same thing, or do you have ways to challenge your craft? If so, I’d love to hear some of your ideas on what has made you a better writer!

Susan L. Tuttle lives in Michigan where she’s happily married to her best friend and is a homeschooling mom of three. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire, encourage, and grow women into who God created them to be. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. You can connect with Susan at her blog, Steps, Facebook, or Twitter.