Sometime around last Christmas I discovered a really fantastic blog by this badass named Justine Musk. Perhaps you've heard of her.
I absolutely loved what she had to say in her posts and more or less devoured everything I could in three hours (and I read fast, so that was about 90% of her posts). While in the midst of this veritable feast for my mind and imagination, I came across one of her posts on deliberate practise, which linked to a post on Study Hacks on the same subject, and I was like: "Hey! This deliberate practise thing sounds exactly like what I've been needing to give me a boost in my writing skills" -not that I think that I'm a terrible writer or anything, I just love it when I find a practical way to get even better at something that I adore doing.
I got to thinking about this idea, and it really excited me. So, I started a little blog where I'd introduce and exercise, and then I'd do it on a regular basis until I've learned what I can from that exercise for that time, at which point I'd start a new exercise. Since it was really just for me, I didn't tell anyone on the internet about it, and only told some of my friends and family, people who might be interested in writing-related activities.
As it turns out, I've actually had at least one or two readers from day one who keep coming back. I have no idea who they are or how they found my little practise blog, but it was a pleasant surprise to see that at least one person liked what I was doing enough to keep coming every day (that's how often I was practising at the beginning; it's now once a week due to my planning a book series and university), every day, mind you, and read what I'd written. It gave me warm fuzzies to think that there was someone out there that liked what I was doing, even though they've most likely never met me. Not only that, but it's given me courage, which is why I'm telling you all about that blog now. So, without further ado:
Ladies and gentlemen, let me announce to you my new(ish) blog: Arpeggios for Writers.
It currently consists of eleven pieces of flash fiction, analyses of each, various bits of news, and six parts to a multi-part story which I am still writing (the seventh part will be up in a few hours). Some stories are very bad, but these are outnumbered by those that show quite a bit of promise, and all the analyses result in my learning something new, despite the fact that some are more like rants than anything else.
Also, it has an about page, where you can learn what an arpeggio is, and why I picked the title that I did. I also have a page of helpful links which is tiny now, but I'll add to it every once in a while as I find articles that I think are, well, helpful. There's also a snazzy terminology page because I found that, in writing my analyses, I came across phenomena that I didn't have words for, so I just made them up and hoped they made sense. In case they didn't, I made this page in order to explain the definitions.
It's a very nice little blog, and I'm very proud of how it's coming along. My favourite thing about it is that it's unpolished. I just write a story and stick it up and that's okay, because I made the blog to keep me accountable. What I write can fail miserably, and that's fantastic, because I'm still practising, still learning.
If you're worried about whether or not you'll like the stories, then I would suggest you read the "Are You My Reader?" page on this blog to decide whether or not my writing sounds like your kind of thing. If you've been reading this blog, then you'll probably like the stories on Arpeggios, but I know that some people like to be sure of things ahead of time if they can (I'm one of them).
Also, if you decide you don't like Arpeggios, then that's okay. I won't mind, and neither will it. Just thought I'd give everyone here a chance to check it out. :)
Here's the link again: http://arpeggiosforwriters.blogspot.com/
Edited later to add: Arpeggios for Writers is now known as Written Arpeggios, and can still be found at the same link.