Now don’t get out of your seat, it’s just me, Katy Lee, and the kind of exercise I’m talking about lets you sit right where you are. You see, this exercise is one for your mind, particularly the part where your writing comes from.
Since the freak snow storm and week-long power outage, and now with the stressful holiday season upon us, my writing has come to a screeching halt. Lately, I find when I sit to write I end up making out my shopping lists instead. Anyone else going through this? Perhaps it is just the season and after I lose my yearly Thanksgiving weight gain all will be back to normal, but I’m not waiting to find out. Instead, I’m getting physical.
To do this, I needed some instruction. So, I signed up for an online creative writing exercise class. There’s a bunch to choose from, and having never taken one, I opted for a class on food, hence the weight gain. Anyway, I needed something to jump start my brain as aerobics jump starts my day, and after completing the first exercise, I knew it was just what the doctor ordered.
The class began with a simple first person narrative describing a food experience. Nothing to break a sweat over and totally unrelated to my WIP. (Work in Progress) And I got to eat. This was the best exercise ever!
It was a fun and low stress practice piece with nothing riding on it and no pressure to get it “right.” But something it did do is remind me of why I write. And that is because I am happiest when I am doing it. My kids tell me they can always tell when I am writing at my laptop. They can tell because I am smiling. And while writing this piece I could feel my smile getting stronger. Of course, it could have been the chocolate.
The next assignment called for using four descriptions from the first exercise in a scene with my main characters from my WIP. It was now my characters turn to partake in the food I had just eaten, and it was exactly what I needed to refresh my mind of who my characters were and their motivations. Would they like the food? Would it end in a food fight? Or would their meal bring them closer together?
I won’t go into all the assignments but with each one I was effectively brought back to the task of finishing the book. A writing exercise’s main purpose is to trigger your imagination and help you come up with great ideas for your stories, and they can also refocus your mind when it decides to block up. But wait, there’s more. A bonus just for you! Performing these exercises can also perfect your writing skills.
The Unlocked Secret: Don’t ever look at a writing exercise as a waste of time. They will help you with your metaphors, spelling, character profiles, plotting, and much, much more. Using writing exercises to help you refocus can only make you a stronger writer. And if you’re anything like me, your smile will prove that you’ve been working out.