Writing can be a very pleasant experience once you get into the flow. Whether you want to write a novel, an essay, or just improve your writing skills, there are creative writing exercises that can help you with your writing.
The idea with creative writing is to ignite an idea, a thought, or a story in your head so that you can begin writing.
So instead of sitting for hours over a blank page, check out these creative writing exercises. They will definitively open your writer’s chakras and remove your writer’s blockade.
Here’s what we got:
1. The Free Pages Exercise
The idea is to allow your consciousness to run freely in your pages. Sounds a bit holistic, and somewhat confusing, but it’s not. Quite the opposite, it is a pretty straightforward exercise.
So, the idea is to start writing the moment when you wake up. Simply let your brain take the lead and see what comes out of it. Begin with a blank page and if possible do it every morning.
Julia Cameron (“The Artist’s Way”) named this exercise the “morning pages”. She and many other successful writers have only praises for this exercise.
2. Write Someone Else’s Story
Think of someone close to you, a family member such as a grandmother, an uncle, an aunt, or someone else that always had the best stories. We all have or had at least one of those family members that had the best, often the funniest stories. It doesn’t have to be a family member, it can even be a friend, someone that can deliver a good story.
The idea is to “borrow” that story and write it down. Write it down as if it happened to you.
Another approach this exercise is to “borrow” a story from a nonfiction book. The twist here is that you need to insert yourself into the middle of the events within that book.
This can be a very powerful exercise and can be a great boost for your writing juices.
3. Use Writing Prompts
They are also called story starters. They can be found pretty much everywhere, from famous novels to billboards. A story starter or a writing prompt is a short passage or sometimes even a sentence that can be used as a springboard for a new story.
“I’ll be back” is one of the most iconic lines in the movie industry. That line alone can be the source of a completely new story. Another line is “Just do it”. That too can be a great starter for an interesting story. There is no limit to what can trigger a new story.
4. Compose a Letter to Your Younger Self
It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can be just out of high school and yet there will be something that you could advise your younger self. Even though no post office in the world doesn’t deliver letters back to the past, it doesn’t mean you can’t have while doing so.
You can address some important event or a situation you wished you’ve done things differently. Write the letter as if you were writing to a separate person. It can be in the form of advice or a message, whatever you want it to be.
Just get it done and you might be surprised by the outcome.
5. Write Flash Fiction
Grab pen and paper, sit down in front of your laptop, and start writing flash fiction. That’s a short story, 500 words long or less. There is a big difference between “free writing” and flash fiction.
“Freewriting” is a process in which a stream of thoughts is generated from your consciousness and there aren’t any guidelines, whereas in flash fiction you need to mind every structural element that is present in every story. By minding the structural elements we mean creating a plot, conflict, and character development.
The list of creative writing exercises goes beyond what we’ve listed here. There is a bunch of things you can do to boost your creative juices. But, if we are to speak of proven and popular methods, the ones here are more than enough to get things going for you.