Writing is weird. It’s not like other art forms. And every writer at some point has found it difficult or uninspiring to write. Over the years, I have tried all sorts of writing strategies, exercises and techniques. Sometimes out of frustration, and sometimes out of a desire to embrace all the weird ways that we… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Get Things Moving
This exercise is an opportunity to explore a different side of yourself by experiencing yourself through the eyes of another. Much of the time, we are stuck in our own limited perspectives — we have our habitual way of seeing ourselves and that’s it. On occasion, we are open to outside opinion and able to… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: How Do Others See You?
You are so weird! Thank God for that. Here is an opportunity to sing the praises of a quirky facet of your individuality. We are all made up of a mishmash of habits, beliefs, traits and preferences. Plus a given quantity of ineffable something. How does this unique aspect of your individuality see the world?… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: What’s Strange About You?
For this exercise, you get to retell a story that at some point has been told to you by someone else. We all have stories we carry around. Some of these stories come from our own experience and others are those that have been shared to us by someone else. Stories passed along by an… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Rewrite An Oral Story
This writing exercise takes you from a very general idea to a more fleshed-out draft or outline. What you need to begin A rough idea of what you’d like to write Twenty minutes or so If your rough idea is a single statement, break it into three parts. Use these three plot points to freewrite… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Quickly Sketch Out Plot Points
This exercise will only take about fifteen minutes but it’s guaranteed to make your day. It involves spending a few minutes now to write a letter that will get delivered to yourself in the future. Think of it as an electronic time capsule. A secret message you can send into the future for yourself. Who… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Write A Letter to Yourself in the Future
There is a lot of value when artists are magpies, collecting, listening, mimicking. Trying their hand at different things. This exercise is about remixing, collecting, gathering, playing with existing stories. Doing your version of something just as an experiment. The opportunities here are endless. I find the mimicking and copying approach more valuable than studying… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Story Remix
Interesting things emerge from inviting opposites into the same space. Delicious recipes often involve stirring together very different ingredients. This is the kind of freewriting exercise that is as much about stirring up potential material as it is about simply getting into a state. Just as a singer needs to warm up his/her voice, a… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: ‘I Remember’ and ‘I Want’
Images are a great resource for writers to take advantage of. With tools like Pinterest and Google Image Search, it’s trivial to dig up all sorts of useful images relevant to just about any element of a story. [bctt tweet=”The more you are able to draw from life, the less you have to invent, and… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Use Visuals (Photography, Illustrations)
Writers are fortunate to have all sorts of different descriptive tools to label the things we do and how we use language to give shape to our thoughts and feelings. This article introduces a couple of useful distinctions. They sound more complicated than they really are. They sound complicated because they are Greek. They sound… Continue reading Freewriting Exercise: Write Using Hypotaxis / Parataxis