Just like we exercise to keep our body healthy, doing writing exercises can keep our writing skills sharp. But you can’t go all pro on exercises without knowing the basics and why you should try them.
Keeping your readers on their toes with your words takes effort. And sometimes you lose focus because there’s so much to get out in the story that you lost the track of creativity and can’t get yourself to write anything. Or maybe it’s just your insecurity and your story feels flat only to you.
Some people might refer to this as writer’s block. Personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I’m not saying that it’s a myth, but the problem isn’t your inner writer being blocked. In fact, there’s no inner writer, YOU are the writer. The problem might be with your outer world and how it affects you (emotionally and physically). Maybe you are getting less sleep than normal and it’s affecting your thought process. Your mind might be empty or full of things, but you can’t concentrate.
But it’s not the end. Every author goes through something like this in their life and comes out stronger. You just need to work towards it with the right strategy.
As you evolve as a writer, your writing style change for the better. With time and enough practice, you see a better version of your imagination on the page. And while I don’t want to feed you “practice makes perfect” medicine, it sure helps in shaping your skills and getting that writer’s block out of the way.
When you have enough practice, you can deal with troublesome times in your writing with ease. For that, you need some cool writing exercises to help you.
So let’s look at 5 cool writing exercises:
1. Conscious Words
Sometimes all you need is to set your planning and plotting aside and let your consciousness run to places that have been hiding from you all this while. It’s a simple way to practice your thought process in a non-stressing way.
In this writing exercise, you write without thinking and don’t stop yourself from writing whatever comes to your mind. But what makes it relaxing is that you are not forcing your mind to write a certain way.
There are many ways to involve this writing exercise in your daily life. One of them is writing a morning page. I know you’ve heard about this before, but it works like magic. Most people write one page, but what I do is pick a notebook (It doesn’t matter what you use) and write till my thoughts turn from a jumbled mess into a less chaotic one. It takes me 2-3 pages to get there.
2. Make A Prompt List
This is my favorite one of all the writing exercises. Whenever writers face a block, there are millions of prompts on the internet waiting to help them. And while they might lead to you completing your writing goal, it isn’t improving your creativity and your mind can get used to prompt giving it the ideas.
But with this exercise, you can try creating simple and fun prompts with the ideas that might just be the reason for your block. You can prevent your creativity from running dry by trying to write your own prompts. It will clear your mind from being cluster and also tell you what kind of emotion and plot your mind wants to focus on right now.
You don’t have to be in writer’s block to give it a go. And your prompt can work as a way of future content and plot fill-ins when you have to fill some plot holes.
3. Write About A Disney Character
We all have favorite Disney movies that we watch now and then. And we all have some characters that intrigued us the most from the first time we saw them. Write about them.
The characters that you think are not developed enough to your liking. Write about those side-kicks that deserve more. About villains with under-developed backstory.
Since childhood, watching Disney has been a relaxing time, and writing about Disney characters can make you feel the same way. This exercise can help you learn the art of writing with a relaxed aura. It doesn’t matter if you write about a good outcome or bad, just enjoy it as if you are having a Disney night.
4. Write A Poem
Many people think that you have to be a professional poet or professionally sad to write poetry, but that’s not true at all. Like novels, poetry is also a way of expressing your emotions.
And while the structure of writing a poem differs from the novel with it having a metallic structure, it shouldn’t be too hard to get the hang of it. Its phon-aesthetic elements help understand the importance of appropriate words to compose a scene or emotion in the reader’s mind in fewer words.
And no, you don’t have to lose yourself in your feelings to write a poem. Here’s how you can try it. Pick a word or ask your friends to give you an interesting word. For example, Mother, Coward, Key, Shallow, etc.
Now write a poem around this word. Write about the story that comes to your mind with it. Or about a character whose world you are knitting in your major project.
It doesn’t have to resemble classic poetry, and it doesn’t need to have fancy words in it as long as you can convey the element of prose.
5. Flip The Genre
Have you ever wonder what a certain book would look like if it was a different genre than the original? Or what your favorite character would do if instead of dealing with fairylands, they are thrown in a house full of ghosts? Well, if you have, then now is the perfect time to try it out.
All you have to do is pick two of your favorite books with different genres and change their genre with each other. Now, I know what you are thinking. How you’re supposed to write two entire books just like that? You don’t have to write whole books for this to work. Just write your favorite scenes and parts from the books.
You can also add your own characters to sprinkle some fun. Experiment with all your wild thoughts and imaginations. This can help to keep your imagination active in different situations. It helps you understand how a character change with a change in their world. Do you have to change the characters to fit the stereotype of the genre, or can you develop the characters without losing their identity?
It will broader your aspect of the character’s dimension in any kind of situation and genre. If you are having a problem with writing main characters, check my post here.
Bonus: Story Game
Now that we covered all five writing exercises that will help you in the long run. Here’s something that you can try for fun.
In this game, one player starts the story by texting the beginning (word or sentence) and another player reciprocates with their own words or sentence. You can play this with your friends or in the comment section with fellow commenters to see how it works. You can also set word count if you want. This game gives you an overlook of your skills on the spot.
Writing is an exhausting task and having some common ground with your improvements is necessary to keep you confident while you move forward from every mistyped word and writer’s block.
I hope this post helped you and you find what you were looking for and even if you didn’t, I’m sure this post moved your creativity towards things that might help you.