Creative Writing Exercises Help to Unlock Your Imagination
Whether you’re suffering from writer’s block or you’re starting a journal for the first time, sometimes we all need a little bit of help to push the words from our brains to the page.
If you’re having trouble writing, a creative writing exercise can relieve some of the pressure you may feel and allow you to push past your self-judgments and fears. For more experienced writers, creative writing exercises are also a good way to practice and take a break from the regular writing you do each day.
No matter what you’re writing or how many words you’ve penned in your life, we recommend starting each writing session with a creative exercise like the ones found below. Just as you would stretch before exerting yourself at the gym, think of these activities as a way to loosen up your creative muscles and prime yourself for a productive and enjoyable writing session.
Creative Writing Exercises
1. Picture This
Choose an image and write a story or reflective piece about what you see.
If it’s a piece of artwork, imagine what the artist may have felt as they were creating it or how the project came to be.
If it’s a photograph of a place, try to immerse yourself in the setting and think about the smells and sounds and sights you would see if you were to explore it further.
2. Interview a Character
Choose a fictional character (either one of your own or one from a favorite TV show or book).
Then, pretend you are interviewing the character for a job or that you’re out on a first date, and write about how he or she might answer your questions.
What are the character’s greatest strengths and weaknesses? What is the character’s favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Alternatively, you can also find a personality quiz online and try to answer some of the questions as the character.
3. Talking to Yourself
Write a letter to either your past or future self.
If you’re writing to your past self, consider questions like: What do you wish someone had told you when you were younger? What events, people, or places should you watch out for? What things did your past self do that you are still grateful for today?
If you choose to write to your future self, think about questions such as: What hopes do you have for yourself? How will you measure your future success? What do you envision your life looking like in the future?
4. Writing From A to Z
It’s time to get creative with the alphabet! This exercise will really stretch your writing muscles and force you to think outside the box with the language you use.
Remember when you were a kid and your teachers would have you write those poems where the first letter of each word spelled out a phrase (such as “Magnificent, Outstanding, Marvelous” to spell “MOM”)? Choose a phrase or simply use the alphabet and write a story where each sentence begins with the next designated letter in your pattern.
You may need to have a thesaurus or dictionary on hand, especially when you get to some of the tougher letters in the alphabet like “Q” and “X”!
5. Just Two Sentences
Sometimes when you’re struggling to write, it helps to give yourself a very small goal to achieve. That’s where the “just two sentences” exercise comes in!
First, look around the room and make a quick list of the first 10 things you see. Choose the very first things your eyes land on and don’t spend too much time thinking about them.
Then, your task is to simply write two sentences about each object. The sentences don’t need to be deep or profound—they can be descriptive, simple, or even questions.
When you’re done, you’ll have already written 20 sentences! Then, try moving back to whatever writing you were working on… or continue on with this exercise until you feel ready to move forward.
6. Getting to Know You
They say you should write what you know… and in this exercise, you’re going to write about a subject you know better than anyone else—yourself!
The goal of this exercise is simply to help you get writing, so you don’t need to worry about where you begin. You can start out with basic facts about yourself (your hair color, age, birthday, etc.) or write about some of your favorite things and what you love about them (your favorite book, flower, or food).
Write about your job or your family or your home and how each one influences you and your life. There’s no right or wrong answer when the subject is simply you!
7. Write About Writing
Sometimes, there’s no better way to refresh your writing skills than to write about writing.
As long as people have been writing, writers have sometimes stopped and wondered why they put themselves through the struggle of trying to find the right words to express an idea. Any skill that requires creativity can be draining at times, but you can fill yourself back up by reflecting on your craft and remembering why exactly it is that you write.
Creative Writing Prompts
Try one of these 10 creative writing prompts about writing to refresh and inspire yourself again!
- Write about the first time you ever wrote something creative. Do you remember what it was about? What inspired you to begin?
- Do you usually find writing to be easy or difficult? What makes it this way?
- Who is your favorite author? What do you admire most about his or her work?
- Why do YOU write? What do you have to say?
- If you were unable to write for some reason, what other method would you use to express yourself? Would you miss writing?
- What is your favorite type of writing to create? What do you like most about it?
- What is your favorite type of writing to read? How is it similar or different to what you write?
- Do you prefer to write for yourself or for an audience? Why?
- What is your favorite piece of your own work? Why is it so significant to you?
- What does writing bring to your life?
Until next time, write on…
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