15 Minute Writings: 5 Minute Edits

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Since I'm a drafter, a multiple, and I mean multiple, reviser, I want to get better at writing something quickly and getting it in publishable format quickly too. As my college newspaper editor for two years at Tabor College, I used to be pretty good at that, but that was back in 1987.

Everything posted here will be from a prompt I've gotten online or from a book.

I will write, stream of consciousness-style for 15-minutes only. I will do a little editing as I write, but not much. The online egg timer will buzz, and I will edit and revise for only 5-minutes.

For those who don't know the difference, editing is the process of fixing errors or adding correct punctuation, capitalization, and the like. Revising involves re-wording things, moving stuff around, deleting, adding, etc.

I love revising. I find it exhilarating, but since I still have a day job that starts back up again soon (I teach seventh grade English and sophomore public speaking), I need to get faster to keep my blog going.

So, this is my writing in raw form. Beware, I type fast and I will most likely have typos that I don't catch. I will not go back in and correct them. Later, when I go back and look at it, I will make comments on my own work at the end to identify the errors or problems I see. This will help me track if I get any better at this or not.

Who knows, maybe this will encourage someone else to start writing or practice their writing.

What I am doing is Deliberate Practice. Read more about it here.

I've zoomed in on a weakness, and I'm going to practice getting better.

Did this sort of thing my junior year of high school with basketball. In our machine shed named the Butler Building, I would pick a spot and shoot until I made 3/5 shots. I always completed the set of five even if I knew there was no way I would make the goal of 3/5. I would decide at the onset how many sets of five I would shoot before rotating to the next spot.

How did this deliberate practice help me and my basketball team? I started making more shots in games and having the confidence to actually shoot too! I certainly wasn't the leading scorer, but I could be counted on to swish 'em from 15 feet out.

I used deliberate practice with golf a few years ago. I'd play two balls on each hole and force myself to use a certain club on one ball. That's how I learned to actually use my 3-wood. Then I'd do the same with some of the longer irons.

So, deliberate practice is easy to implement in sports, but now I will try it on something more academic because I am determined to keep up this writing. As of today, July 31, 2014, it has been 74 days now in a row that I have made the time to write, and I'm not breaking this string! I have a thing about streaks. Read about one that lasted 14 years in my second-ever blog post.

So Deliberate Practice...here we come! I'll nickname it DP.

DP #1 is Summer Sunshine (and I got it from Joe Bunting's awesome site)

Now I will just have to figure out how to link it without starting a whole new blog! Oh Kristi, you are three states away when I need you!

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