What is Sunday Smorgasbord?
In Sunday Smorgasbord we celebrate all the skills, talents, resources, hobbies and ideas that humans can use to grow and prosper. You have everything you need to get started right now. So get up and start creating! Because there’s no magic pill for life.
This Week’s Sunday Smorgasbord: Creative Writing Resources and Exercises
Even if you never plan to write a work of fiction learning how to do creative writing exercises can help you in many areas of your life. The most obvious areas deal with creativity of some sort. Most of the time when we have creative blocks it’s because we aren’t allowing our brain to relax. Creative solutions and projects require a bit of faith and breaking the “rules”. We are so used to hearing what we should do, what others would do if they were in our shoes, what the experts say we should do and how to do it that we stop listening to ourselves; stop trusting ourselves.
Creative writing can also be really fun. It’s a great way to pass time, either by yourself or with a friend or child. It can also be a great way to practice becoming less afraid with making mistakes.
The point of creative writing exercises is not to end up with a work fit for the Smithsonian. The point is to practice relaxing your mind and using your creative muscles.
So don’t be intimidated. No one will see your creative writing but you. Get a comfortable spot with your pen and paper (or iPad or laptop or iPhone), relax your mind and learn this great, multi-tasking skill.
Short, Quick Descriptions
This exercise is from the book A Writer’s Workbook. It’s made to be a warm-up type of exercise. Describe the following words in a short paragraph. Do it quickly. Try describing them in a minute or less.
- a circle
- a spiral staircase
- the color red
- the smell of a barbecue
- seedless grapes
- wet tears on your face
- the grunt of a pig
You can also do short, quick descriptions about images in magazines. Try flipping to a random page in your favorite magazine and write a short paragraph about what you see.
Finish the sentence prompts
A popular creative writing prompt is to finish a sentence. “If I were a dog I would be…” “If I could travel anywhere in the solar system I would go…” There’s an endless supply of prompts on PROMPT GENERATOR.
Questions to get you thinking
A lot of creative writing exercises are simply questions that you are supposed to write about. The One Minute Writer Blog has a new writing prompt each day. Most of the prompts are questions. And, yes, the point is to take one minute to write. She’s even got a working timer on her blog to time your writing. You can either do the prompt on your own or submit to her comments section for others to read.
Setting up a scene
These are my favorite creative writing exercises. They give a little more information to work with and there’s usually a twist. Like this one from Writers Digest: You had planned to attend a friend’s birthday party and plugged her address into your GPS system, but the system guided you to somewhere else. Oddly enough, there was a man waiting…
Remember don’t worry about the end result. The point is to practice relaxing your mind and letting your creative muscles do the work. The more you practice the easier it will be. And who know? You might even find you enjoy writing and write that best-seller. Who knows…