17 June 2010

50 Excellent Writing Activities to Cultivate Your Creativity and Craft

by Jesse Young

Continued from last week...If you’re a good writer, you can succeed in any industry, no matter what kind of online degree you have. But even great writers sometimes have trouble organizing their work, polishing up the details, or even picking a cohesive idea to write about. Here are 50 excellent writing exercises to help cultivate your creativity and craft, from brainstorming to beating writer’s block and remembering your motivation.  

Part 2 of 7: Writer's Block

When you feel like procrastinating or just can’t get past your insecurities and anxiety, use these exercises to get back to the page.
  1. Use prompts: Print out and then cut up these prompts to store in a writer’s block box. Pull one out whenever you have trouble starting a project or even a scene.
  2. Change up your environment: If you’re stuck at the same desk all day, it will be hard to get your mind out of your rut, too. Go sit outside or even try the library for some added inspiration.
  3. Write a letter: When you have trouble with your style or with developing a story, try writing it in letter form first.
  4. What? So What? Now What?: In this exercise, ask yourself what topic you want to explore. Write down all your answers, then ask yourself "So what?" Write a more analytical page about the topic, and then finally ask yourself "Now what?" to reach a more conclusive point or idea.
  5. Write the worst thing that could happen if you write your story: If you can’t think of any ideas beyond your procrastination or writer’s block, use that as your guide.
  6. Write: The most obvious exercise is to keep writing. You won’t get anywhere if you just sit there.
  7. Write outside of your routine: Experiment with different genres, points of views and character types to spice things up.
  8. Try block writing: Write in timed blocks instead of getting hung up on single sentences or editing paragraphs. You’re not allowed to go back and change anything, only to propel the story.
  9. Play with crayons: In this exercise, you’ll get your frustration out by coloring on a blank sheet of paper and then have to write about the colors and what they mean to you.
  10. Write for fun: Take a break from your serious project and answer a silly writing prompt so that you’re still practicing your craft.
next week: Games

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