My friend (and dude I used to do a ton of improv with), the Austin-based writer Owen Egerton, was interviewed on the Read to Write website. In the article, he expresses something I’ve often thought but never put into words, about how a background in improv helps with writing:
Improv and writing are wonderful bedfellows. Long before I revise, I must create! In that place — that hot cauldron of creating, that hunt for self-surprise — the revising mind is an enemy. That part of my mind questioning my choices, correcting my spelling or simply asking “what are you doing here?” — that part must be shut up if I’m to thrill the page. I leave the revising for tomorrow. It’s the same in improv comedy. In improv we train ourselves to say “yes” to the wild, untested, unwritten ideas. We do not stop to ask, is this the best idea? It is the idea! So we play with it, we build upon it. So when I write, I tap into this mode. I splatter my pages with messy ideas and fractured sentences and fantastic surprises!