Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Writing Life: Writing is a Sensory Experience

By JJ Murphy--a nature writer, curriculum creator, blogging hiker, locavore, and tree-hugger currently based in Harriman, NY. Visit http://www.writerbynature.com for more information on JJ's writing services and her favorite places for gear and supplies.

I’m always on the lookout for writing exercises, crossword puzzles, hidden picture puzzles or any system that will jump start my writing. Here are a few ideas for filling the page without the pressure of producing a final draft:

  1. Write a one-sentence description of ten friends or family members.

  2. Write your obituary in 500 words or less.

  3. Describe your favorite place to relax in 300 words.

  4. Select an essay that you wrote and rewrite it in third person.

  5. Choose a chapter written by you or another author and in third person and rewrite it in first person.

  6. Sit in a cafe or public place and transcribe a conversation between two people. Now create characters based on the conversation.

  7. Freewrite for ten minutes, then stop and read what you wrote. Write down the central theme or issue and begin another 10-minute freewrite. Stop and read that freewrite, find the central theme and begin another 10-minute freewrite.

  8. List ten activities that you love. Now write down the last time you did each activity.

  9. Take a walk and list every smell or every sound you notice. Use that to write from a dog’s point of view or a cat’s point of view.

  10. Find a passage from a favorite book and rewrite it in another genre. If the passage is science fiction, try writing it as a romance or a comedy.

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