Writing Exercise: just do it

Every writer who has ever lived has, at some point, stared blankly at the paper / parchment / monitor and wondered, "Now what?"

Writer's Block isn't a curse, it's an opportunity.

Today's writing exercise is simply a series of timed exercises.  (These are all ten minute segments)

How to begin? Start with the words, "I remember" and let it roll from there. It doesn't matter if it was five minutes ago, five years ago, or five lifetimes ago. Dump some stuff out in whatever non-grammatical, nonsensical form it arrives. This is NOT an exercise about editing. This is NOT an exercise in writing 'good stuff'. This is an exercise in getting the blockage out of your head so you can reconnect with your inner self.

So, "I remember" and what comes after for 10 minutes. Use a timer, wait for a commercial break on the TV or radio, or whatever means you need of timing yourself. Just KEEP WRITING. It might be your father's neckties, your sibling's constant (whatever it was), or breaking your arm last week in a car accident. Go with whatever flow is there. You DO remember something, don't you?

Now then, take a break and walk around the table. Change the flavor of your chewing gum. Maybe toss out that bit of newspaper lying on the edge of the table.

Ready to continue? Start with "I don't remember", and continue writing for 10 minutes. The same rules apply. What did you eat on that trip to Vegas? Where were you when you got mooned by those kids? Well, you have forgotten a few things by now, haven't you? Who was your third grade math teacher? Hrm?? Did you turn out the lights before you left the house? What does your dog look like in the night?

This stresses the brain in both positive and negative ways, and gets things rolling.

Take another break. No, seriously. Take a break because we're about to change channels again.

Start again with, "I'm thinking of…" and go for 10 minutes.  Well, you were thinking of something, even if it was pretty absurd.  Pixies in your computer? How your spouse would look with blue hair?

Take a break and start over again with, "I'm not thinking of…"

You get the idea.  To continue the rest of the exercise, do the following pairs of thoughts with breaks in between:

I know / I don't know
I am / I am not
I want / I don't want
I feel / I don't feel
The first time I / The last time I

Now looking over what you've scribbled, since you've made it this far, might there be some nugget that you can write about now?

While this is an exercise for creative writers, these kinds of exercises can help writers of any level or background. Or at least that's my 2 bits for today.

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