Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writing exercises

Earlier this month, I blogged about Writing every day. I work on writing every day. I revise, I draft query letters, but sometimes I don't get to do what I'm most passionate about: actually write.

Lately I've felt my routine has become staid and, coupled with the stress of the submission process, missing some of its passion.

So last weekend I instituted daily writing exercises.

Yeah, I know. So far I've only done five of them. But can I tell you how much fun I've been having? I've written a family argument over dinner, a murder in progress, and two kids escaping in a beat up station wagon full of dwarven gold.

I've been using Adam Maxwell's Fiction Lounge for writing prompts. It took me a while to find prompts I was happy with. I want to write fiction, not anything introspective (ie: write about the last time you cried), and I want a prompt that can throw me in the middle of action, not just suggest a color or object (ie: "mint"). Adam's prompts work for me, and have sparked a lot of fun randomness (dwarves! gold! murder!).

I only give myself five minutes. Five more minutes if I'm enjoying myself. So it's hardly taken up any writing time. And I've found it sparks enough creative energy to carry me for quite a while through my slog of revision.

I'm not sure how long this will last. But for this week, at least, I've become a total writing exercises convert.


  1. What a great idea, Anne. I'll have to go click on the link because I've avoided writing prompts for the same reasons you mentioned. In fact, I'd kind of given up on them being useful.


  2. Oh, I hope these work out for you, Bridgette!

  3. I love writing prompts too. This year, one of my resolutions was to allow myself only USEFUL procrastinating. Which isn't a hardship, is it, since there is so much of it about?

  4. I really like that idea for a resolution. I might have to borrow it myself! I think you're right, that sometimes we look down on any type of procrastination, but some of it really can be helpful.


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