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3 Exercises for A Writer Who’s Stuck

Hello artists (and readers as well!), I recently sent this out as a personal email in response to a writer asking for advice. We can all use a boost sometimes so here it is! 3 great writing exercises to get you going when you feel stuck…

Photo on 10-20-14 at 10.15 AM #2Number #1: About Yourself Writing Exercise
by Judy Ireland

This is a very thoughtful exercise and is great because its super structured and very interesting, more than your typical writing prompt…

1. Write 5 things that you see everyday in the order in which you see them
2. Write 3 non-primary colors (NOT red blue yellow)
3. List an object you have encountered in a dream
4. List a childhood experience that made you angry
5. List a forbidden thought pertaining to love
6. Write down 3 questions for which you never found an answer
7. Write something about love that you find boring
8. Write down 3 slant rhymes (3 sets of words where the consonants are similar like moon – mine, years—yours)
9. Write down 3 things people said to you in the past 24-hours (short phrases)
10. List 3 transitional objects (sometimes called comfort objects to get you from one place to another during an uneasy time. Example – a blanket, a teddy bear)
11. If you had aow put it all together…
Now put it all together…
Use #11 for your title
Use #6 for your 1st line
Use #5 for the line in the middle of your poem
Use #9 for the last line of your poem
Add in #4 and #7 where you see fit
Add in #2 and #8
See what you have, move things around, and maybe fill in the rest (#1, #3, #10)
You will see a theme or direction emerge, go with that

Number #2: What’s in the room? What’s in your life?

Photo on 10-20-14 at 10.14 AMThis one’s one of mine, a metaphor/simile exercise though I’m sure others have thought of it too…Make a list of 10 objects you see in the room around you. If you are stuck, mix things up by changing your setting – go somewhere you don’t normally go and bring your journal. After making a list of 10 objects. Pick an object on the list and write about how this object represents an idea or an issue in your life. For example, “my table shows stability, it’s calm is like what I wish I could see around me”. Or “the radio is noise like the constant input of other people, telling me who I should be and what I should do”. Use what you come up with as your first line and write a poem.

Number #3: Write A Letter

Photo on 10-20-14 at 10.24 AMThis is a pretty textbook writing exercise but it never gets old and always helps me when I’m stuck. Write a letter to somebody, or even to a place or a thing. You can write a letter to your 10-year old self, write a letter to your future children, write a letter to one of your ancestors, write a letter to someone in your life right now (you don’t have to send it), write a letter to your favorite food, write a letter to your apartment…you get the idea.

Hope this helps!

This post was written by Kristin Richardson Jordan
Pens Up Press

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