Lately I've been turning to cookbooks when I sit down to practice calligraphy. I write out the recipe names, ingredients, directions, and notes in no particular layout and focus solely on letter forms, slant, and posture. If I practice with inspirational quotes or excerpts from literary fiction, I tend to get too caught up in the saying or message and end up making the session more about presentation than actual calligraphy practice. For whatever reason, this doesn't happen when I use text from cookbooks as fodder for practice (although I do get pretty hungry).
Anyway, I've spent some time refining my calligraphy skills and testing out a few new-to-me techniques for writing out menus, and I've been pretty happy with the results.
I'm also finding my stride with style. The more disciplined I am in my practice, the more I see a certain style emerge, which has been very gratifying.
Each tutorial and workshop that I've watched or participated in has taught me something new about how to approach my practice, but it really is all in the doing. It's easy to get caught up watching demos, reading blog posts, or simply scrolling through websites and Instagram looking for tips and style inspiration. Nothing beats picking up a pen and putting nib to paper, though.