Writing Exercise Wednesday

 

I have always loved writing prompts. I remember in the fifth grade my teacher passed out the first paragraph of a story that we could finish. It had something to do with opening the doors of a giant, decrepit castle. It was a revelation, to see how a little seed might lead to something so much bigger.

Of course, the tale I wrote that day wasn’t brilliant. I’m not sure I even finished it. I have a tendency, even now, to embark onĀ ambitious projects that test to the limits my skills and my ability to finish them. Rather than get frustrated, I view these challenges as an opportunity to learn more.

At least I try to view them that way. Don’t ask my family how that’s going.

These days, I like to use writing exercises as a way to warm up after a long absence from my longer manuscripts. Life has a way of getting in between me and my paper, sometimes for much longer than I like. When that happens, the idea of sitting down to a huge project is daunting. That’s when a short, intriguing workout is so helpful. Rather than focusing on the thousands of words that I need to finish up a novel, into which I’ve poured so much intense emotion and such big ideas, I can work in a smaller, more comfortable space. I can play with words, and enjoy expressing something more manageable.

I like to think that no words are wasted. Sometimes these exercises do find their way into a larger story, with tweaks. Sometimes a larger idea can hide within these little pieces of writing, and eventually lead to stories of their own. Even if that’s not the case, every time I put pen to paper, I am progressing as a writer.

I’m going to share some of my writing exercises with you. These prompts are going to have a lot of room for interpretation, and they aren’t intended to lead into a novel. Rather, my goal is to kick-start creativity for anyone who is feeling stuck, and maybe doesn’t have a lot of time. Which seems to be everyone.

 

Are you ready? Here is the first one.

coffeecup-1-of-1

Write about your favorite drink from the perspective of someone who loathes it.

 

Go get out a pen and paper, or your keyboard, and get writing. Let me know how it goes.

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When a Writer Doesn’t Write

When a Writer Doesn’t Write

At some point after my daughter was born, I convinced myself that I wasn’t writing because I liked it. I wrote because I sought fame and fortune. Basically, I wanted desperately to be the next JK Rowling, and that, I realized, was a fruitless pursuit. No but JK Rowling ever has been, and no one ever will be again, JK Rowling. Which is fine.

In light of this, I gave up writing. Full stop. No more.

Continue reading “When a Writer Doesn’t Write”