The ways that I practice my best writing are many, like anything the more you practice the better you will get at it. I find that it is important to write about things that are meaningful to me or interest me the most, although it is good to challenge myself with writing about everything because the wider variety of topics that I practice writing about can help in situations where it is less comfortable writing about a topic that is not something I am knowledgeable about or necessarily interested in but required to. Sometimes even writing e-mails is good practice because it helps in the way that we communicate with each other and it’s important to write a message that will make sense because it’s important to write in a way that is understandable and well received especially when turning writing into published works. I feel like staying true to myself and the way that I write is one of the best ways to practice writing so that I can enjoy it and produce writing that I’m proud of, the cool thing about writing is that there are no set rules when writing for myself and it allows the most creativity in my self expression.

Skateboarder turned writer

Jim Bates holding his book
Skateboarder turned Children’s book writer Jim Bates

I am a professional skateboarder and it took many years of practice, hard work, dedication and not giving up to accomplish my goals and build up my talent, not to mention falling down over and over and continuously getting back up until I would succeed. Learning tricks can be very time consuming and frustrating but rewarding once I finally accomplish the trick. I think of writing in the same ways, I have to put in a lot of practice, time and effort and not give up until I get it right or at least to the point where I am happy and satisfied with what I have created. I find that when I am passionate about something then I can write about it more naturally and it seems to just flow as I continue to write, this is always a great feeling.

Writing has always been a positive creative outlet for me to express my emotions in a creative way, I also draw to go along with my writing. I have always been quiet and shy so talking and expressing myself to people with spoken words can be challenging but being creative and laying out my feelings and emotions on paper is an amazing way for me to communicate what is going on in my mind while practicing writing or drawing. Some of my best writing comes from the darkest times in my life when I have been struggling with depression or anxiety, social fears, insecurities or even just a bad day, it really helps me get through those tough times and create something that captures those feelings and helps release them so that I can move on instead of dwelling on them.

It’s good to practice different types of writing, I like to write poetry, short stories or even just notes. Some of my favorite things that I have written are stories for children that inspire them with positive messages, this is the most rewarding because I’m able to give back to kids in a fun and exciting way that they enjoy. I have written and illustrated two children’s picture books and have been given some amazing opportunities to share them with kids, it’s been a way for me help them learn to believe in themselves and follow their dreams and to know that they they are capable of amazing things even through obstacles and struggles that we all face in life. I also like to be a positive role model and help them know that each and every one of them are unique and special with their own talents, some of those kids will be writers themselves and if they learn to practice and work hard and not give up then they can accomplish the goals they set just like I have.

I started writing and drawing when I was in grade school at a young age and always enjoyed it, the best ways for practicing is while doing something that is second nature and doesn’t take a lot of effort because then you can put time into it while doing something that you like to do, it’s always a good thing to be able to put in a lot of hours so that you continue to progress the skills to master a craft. I don’t think that I will ever be the best writer or even well known for it, but I will keep creating projects that are meaningful and hopefully inspiring to others as well.

I hope to publish more books for kids and will keep practicing writing regardless because it is something that I enjoy doing and sharing with others. I hope everyone is inspired by life and all the amazing things that we can write about to share with each other. Keep practicing and finding meaningful things to write about and do what it is that makes you happy. I’m grateful for this opportunity to practice writing and share it with you!

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