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3 Exercises to Get Writing

By Isabelle Scott

You sit, staring at a blank white page with a pencil in your hand (or maybe it’s the blank Word document where the cursor keeps blinking, blinking, blinking). Nothing comes to mind. No idea of what to put on the page. You sit, waiting for some inspiration. You glance again at the time, waiting for an idea of something, anything to write.

Writing can be pretty daunting sometimes. So, may I introduce three writing activities to just “get started” on writing? These exercises can be helpful to spark your creativity and get you writing.

1. The classic “mental throw up” exercise

Once you have everything you need, set a timer for however long you want (I would recommend starting small with just a couple of minutes). Then, as soon as you start the timer, start writing. Just write whatever comes to your mind. As thoughts come to your mind, jot them down immediately onto the page. Don’t judge the writing, don’t be critical, just keep writing. Write nonsense, write in a way that doesn’t make logical sense, write full sentences or fragments or even write single words. It doesn’t matter. Just keep writing, without stopping, until your timer goes off.

2. The “A to Z” exercise

For this exercise, you’ll simply write a story. The catch is that the first letter of the first word of your story must start with an “A.” Then the next sentence must start with a word that begins with a “B,” and so on until you go through the entire alphabet. You can choose to be as ridiculous and creative as you’d like, or you can try to make the story flow as naturally as possible.

3. The location exercise

For this activity, you’ll need to get up and move around. Change your location. Go outside or go to a place you’ve never been. Sit down and just notice your surroundings. Then write something that relates to the place. You could write a poem where you personify an inanimate object, or you could start a short story that takes place in this location. Whatever you write, just use your surroundings to get ideas flowing.

These three exercises are simple, easy ways to get writing. Whether you’re a brand-new beginner or an experienced writer, these activities can help you warm up and get those creative juices flowing!

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