Exercise The Write Side Of Your Brain

These writing exercises are meant to help you fight writer’s block and make it a thing of yesterday. They are based mostly on the same concept, but each focuses on a different thing. Begin each with a clean piece of lined paper or a new page or new document on your computer, and a sharp pencil if you’re using paper.

Morning Paper

You can do this any time, but always before you write. Say, “Go,” and begin. Write whatever comes into mind, and don’t stop for more than a minute, even if you just end up writing “This is so boring, since I have nothing to write. I wish I had an idea but I don’t…” for about five minutes or until your hand gets tired. I actually did this today, and it was really fun. A diary or journal could be a great place to put this!

Word Poop

This is really, really fun, and it does the same thing as morning paper, but you must keep writing for a longer period of time, only stopping for about thirty seconds. Just sit there until a word or thought comes into your head, write that word down, put a comma after it, and continue forever. If you like a certain subject, stay there for a while, but keep writing the word, repeating if you go to the same spot. This is like falling asleep, and you can see where your mind goes.

Word Stomp

Now, this exercise is a great tool for poets, helping to get your brain set for detailed poetry. Pick a word, any word. Tell someone to give you a random but not silly word. Then make a list of all the words you can think of that are synonyms of the first word. If you’d like, write “mild” or “sharp” next to the gentle and harsh words. You can take as long as you’d like to think up a word. And if you want a little bit more fun, look as the last word you write, and see what you think of. Like in word poop, write the first word, then keep writing synonyms for that.

Still Life

This is one of the things I do whenever I try to write poetry, but it’s an important skill when you want to make a moment in your story more imposing. Pick any event, but make sure it’s a little event, such as a drop of water, a falling leaf, a rolling stone, a wave…. Then write a paragraph about this event, using as much description as possible and as many adjectives and adverbs as you can cram into a sentence, but don’t use more than five similes. Metaphors are fine, but don’t use more than ten! Make a poem, if you’d like, or just write a paragraph, or even try to write an entire page about a bubble!

Okay, sure, they’re just four exercises, but they really help, especially word poop. On my brother’s blog, he’s working on writing posts that are basically morning paper, but a little bit more extreme in the sense that he can only correct the sentence that he’s working on at the moment. Go ahead, try one, or heck, do them all, and see how it affects you!

~Lydia

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