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Writers need exercise too!

The American journalist, Gene Fowler, once wrote ‘Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead’.

In the battle between finding inspiration and keeping up motivation, our writing can suffer.  Life gets in the way, we don’t have enough time, the project we are working on is at a stand still…..oh, there are a thousand excuses for why we are not writing regularly (and I should know because I’ve used every single one of them).

Recently, I’ve been participating in a weekly writing exercise called Write on Wednesdays, which is run by Gil, a Western Australian writer, from Ink Paper Pen.

The aim of Write of Wednesdays is to motivate, inspire and create regular writing work habits.  Each week a new writing exercise or prompt is posted on the Ink Paper Pen blog.  The exercises are not time consuming, – you can set a timer and write for 5 minutes or write a short piece around 200 words.

Some of the more recent prompts have included –

  • Songbird: Take a favorite or random song and write the story behind the lyrics in 50 to 200 words.
  • Bring me sunshine in a cup: Write Emily Browning’s famous first line at the top of the page, set a timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head.

The weekly exercises are great for keeping ‘the writing mind’ refreshed and active, and the various prompts encourage us to write about different subjects or genres than we would normally work on.  It’s a great way to stretch our (sometimes self imposed) boundaries and hone our craft.

If you have a blog, you can link your writing exercise to the Ink Paper Pen blog each week and receive feedback from other participants.

Another great exercise is 5 Sentence Fiction, from Lillie McFerrin Writes.  Each week, Lillie provides a one word prompt or theme e.g. Shenanigans.  Your task is to create a nano-story in only 5 sentences around this theme.  This task, although not time consuming, requires focused story telling and editing skills.

Well, I’m off to work on this week’s exercise – a short piece inspired by Margaret Atwood’s line “We are learning to make fire”…..you can read my take on it here.

Article submitted by Eloise Verlaque from The True Adventures of Eloise

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