Writing Exercises

If you want to get your “writing muscles,” imagination, and creativity into better shape, the only way to do it is the same way you firm up your real muscles: you need to exercise.

The problem is that writing exercises are often perceived as pretty boring. Or else you sit down to try to write, and suddenly can’t think of a single idea.

Marketing strategist Mark Levy has some interesting suggestions in a recent blog post, Exercising Your Writing Muscles. Levy got his ideas from the book, Writing Without the Muse: 60 Beginning Exercises for the Creative Writer, by Beth Baruch Joselow.

One of Levy’s favorite suggestions is one where you take ten minutes and write about that door across the room, the details of what it looks like, what it feels like to open it, and what you might see when you go through. The other suggestion Levy likes best is taking ten minutes each day to write about something you do every day, like brushing your teeth or getting dressed or something like that.

If these ideas still don’t spark your interest, or you want more than just those two exercises, try visiting the WriteSpa section of the blog of author Winslow Eliot. Eliot calls this “An Oasis for Writers,” and it does seem that way. Every few days, Eliot makes a suggestion for a writing exercise.

For example, WriteSpa #35 is called A Message in a Bottle. You are invited to imagine yourself on an island on a beach. For one week, you can send a brief message in a bottle to a stranger. So each day, you need to narrow down what you consider to be most important that day, and then express it concisely for whatever stranger might find and read it.

Farther down the list, WriteSpa #31, Elemental Beings, invites you to write a short story from the point of view of one of the beings Eliot describes in the post.

There are many ways to get inspiration, and exercise your creativity writing skills. If you can manage to do some writing every day, you’ll gradually get better at it. So get out your notebook, collect a bunch of ideas, and start exercising!