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    10 Creative Writing Exercises to Inspire You

    creative writing - pen and paper

    Stuck for inspiration?

    Don’t panic! It happens to all writers.

    Here are ten of the best creative writing exercises to inspire you to start (and finish) that book.

    1. 7x7x7
    Find the 7th book from your bookshelf (or digital library). Open it up to page 7. Look at the 7th sentence on the page. Begin a paragraph that begins with that sentence and limit the length to 7 lines. Repeat. Read them out and choose the one with the most promise.

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    2. Dictionary
    Open the dictionary to a random page. Find a word that you do not know how to define. Write an imaginary definition for it. Repeat until one inspires you.

    Maybe that’s how Terry Pratchett come up with his ideas 🙂

    writing excercises

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    3. First
    Describe a first. Your first kiss, your first kitten, your first day of school—all will make excellent stories.

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    4. Magazine Puzzle
    Cut out interesting words, phrases, and images from a magazine. Place them in a bowl, close your eyes and pull out two of these magazine snippets. Write a mini-story of not more than 250 words. You’ve now created the basis for your first book.
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    5. Pin the Atlas
    Find a world map and blindly put your finger on a spot. Then pretend you’re a travel writer and write about a weird experience you had in that particular country.writing exercises 9

     

    6. Sell the pet
    Write an advert selling a boa constrictor as a family pet. What happens next?writing exercises

     

    7. Hello, you!

    If you want to write a non-fiction book, write a letter to your future self. What do  you want to say?

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    8. Found Ads
    Find two ads in the newspaper. Create a book idea only using words from the two ads.

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    9. “I remember…”Start a paragraph with, “I remember…” and let your memories dictate what you write.

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    10. Switch Persona
    Write a mini-story in the first person. Take on the persona of someone with a different gender, different nationality, and different age. Again, this can form the basis for a great book.

    Writing exercises 17

    I hope these creative writing exercises helped you move forward with your book.

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    Image courtesy of Pixabay

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab her latest all new course Blogwriter's Bootcamp 2.0 or a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Fiona Just says:

      Hi there!,
      I’m about to start teaching creative writing to early onset dementia patients (research into whether creativity staves off symptoms) and your ideas are amazing. Thank you very much!

    • Thats an awesome and helpful post by you for the people like me. you really made my day. The tips you have shared will surely help the bloggers in writing awesome contents for their audience.

      Do you know what i like the most about your blog? Its the easy language and well explained content. i really love visiting your blog.
      Thanks again

    • HD Wale says:

      Hi marry,
      Thanks for sharing the great experience in the field of writing.
      I am agree with your all points, I hope that all of your regular readers will like it.

      Regards,
      ~ Vijay

    • Lisa Tener says:

      I love how the images you chose add to the playfulness of these exercises, Mary!

    • Carl Evans says:

      I really enjoyed this blog post. Personally, I’ve used countless creative writing exercise books from my library. However, I still managed to find some unique exercise ideas here. For that reason, I’ll be sure to fit one of these exercises into my writing schedule each day!

    • Liz Templar says:

      Demagogue: an audience of spellbound Jamaicans.

      • Sameerah El-Amin says:

        At first I didn’t get it; then I thought of a Jamaican pronouncing it. THAT IS TOO FUNNY!!!

    • megan says:

      I tried the 7x7x7 one and it just didnt work with the book that i chose but the “i remember ” one was amazing !!!

    • Jessica says:

      Anyone who can sell a boa constrictor as a pet deserves to bag the highest copywriting honors! ?

    • Alta says:

      Great article.

      I just wrote around 30 lines remembering one of friend who died in 1989 from blood cancer. I am happy because I remembered my long lost friend and various incidences around him.

      Alta

    • Wow…! The tips seem really short, and I got it really fast as well. Honestly, These all above list are awesome idea about improving of writing. Actually, I love the most is #2, #3, #4.

    • Take a tour of the office, interview an employee or a client, film a training session or an appearance at a trade show. It doesn’t have to be anything complex. As long as it gives a little glimpse into your business, that’s all that matters.

    • Also, listening to music is the most creative way to come up with new post ideas and stir up with your writing.

    • One of my other favorite ways to stir up story ideas (because I’m such a people-watcher) is to scan crowds until you find someone particularly interesting. I won’t define what interesting is — that’s a personal decision. Find that person who is interesting to you and then imagine who they are, what their life is like and write a story about it. It can be a lot of fun.

    • Shamit says:

      Thanks for these nice exercises, I have never thought about doing things like this before and I can’t wait to get started. You always have kind words to encourage your people, and I am proud to be one of them. You always give great tips and inspiration. Thank you.

    • It was an very good idea and thanks for sharing

    • Supreet says:

      Hi Mary! Thank you so much for the amazing ideas. These are really interesting and helpful, I really like the idea of writing to the future self. I am going to do that for sure. 🙂

    • Pat says:

      I like the persona switch most or do does somebody else like it and they are making me write this?

      Pat

    • Jackie says:

      I am in love with this post. And, am feeling inspired just by going through the list. Time to try the 7×7!

    • These are extrememly innovative ideas, Mary! How in the world did you come up with them?

    • I loved writing a letter to my future self. Thanks for the great tips.

    • Magdel Roets says:

      This is an excellent idea. I like most of the prompts and will try out more than one. Selling a boa should be fun and humorous. I like humor. The “I remember” one should be interesting too. The best, to my mind, is the letter to my future me. I ‘ll do it twice: my better me and my worst me. I can hardly wait to see the results

    • Laura Ryding-Becker says:

      These are all awesome prompts, Mary! They’re not like the usual ones I see floating around out there. I really do like them all, but #2 especially sticks out for me – and I can’t wait to try and sell that boa constrictor! 🙂

    • Gena says:

      These are some great ideas! I often use #10 before starting anything new. Anil’s comment about music rings very true for me. Sometimes when I hear a song, an entire scene unfolds in my head. Yatin had another good one with the dream diary. I started keeping a diary originally to get some insight into my psyche but found that there are some great moments in them that would fit perfectly in a story. My favorite exercise that’s not listed here is where you find some random photo and write a story about it. Inspiration is everywhere.

    • tope says:

      I love this!
      I always look forward to your mails and exercises. They spur creativity.
      “Dear Me” and “I remember” caught my attention.
      Working on them already.
      Thanks Mary…..

    • Juliar Nur says:

      Thanks for this Mary, i grateful i read about this article, i new knowledge for me. Pardon my english, i’m from indonesian.
      Hopely i will improve my writings

    • Hi Mary, Thanks for these lovely exercises, I have never thought about doing things like this before and I can’t wait to get started. You always have kind words to encourage your students, and I am proud to be one of them. You always give great tips and inspiration. Thank you. Veronica.

    • Roxanna says:

      Thanks for this Mary. I always look forward to your posts, they are very helpful.
      I’ve done Dear Me twice before and it worked for me. I think I’ll try out the “I remember”.

    • Ernest Enobong says:

      Your stuff always touches the spot and sparks my creativity. I just love the number 10, ‘Switch Persona.’ Picture the conflict. I look forward to more of such prompts. Thank you, Dear Mary.

      • Hi Ernest, yes, I like no. 10 too! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

    • Kimsea Sok says:

      Wow…! The tips seem really short, and I got it really fast as well. Honestly, These all above list are awesome idea about improving of writing. Actually, I love the most is #2, #3, #4.

      You know..? I am poor at writing because I have less knowledge of English, thus I love to learn to improve more words.

      Thanks for sharing, great idea. I would admit that I never expected that those work like this..!

      Have nice day…

      • Thanks for you interesting comment, Kimsea. I think 2 and 3 are particularly useful if you’re trying to improve your English. You wrote a good comment, though!

    • Subramanian Krishnamoorthi says:

      Interesting exercises. I will try my best.

      S.Krishnamoorthi

    • I loved several of these. “I remember” is a good one, and “Dear Me” would be fun, too! Thanks for the tips!

    • These are really creative ways for generating wonderful ideas. All the exercises are really interesting. I want to add one more exercise. I have read it somewhere. After waking up, try to collect your dreams and jot down some points for writing it later on. In this way, we can make a dream journal.
      Thanks Mary for these lovely exercises

      • Using a dream journal to kickstart your writing – what a great idea, Yatin!

        Thanks for adding an exercise to this collection.

    • Anyone who can sell a boa constrictor as a pet deserves to bag the highest copywriting honors! 😉

      LOVEEDD these unique prompts – “I remember” is ENTICING! 😀

      Thanks Mary

      Kitto

      • Ha, ha! Yes, I like the boa exercise too, Krithika!
        It’s difficult to find the right words.

        ‘Snuggly’? No.
        ‘Likes to curl up’. Possible.
        ‘Like to embrace people’. Hmmm – doesn’t quite do it for me.
        ‘Will brighten up any party’. Maybe.

    • Pam Fernandez says:

      Hi Mary,
      These are all good exercises to get the brain centered on writing. Currently I’m working on a novel which encompasses the use of both number 5 and number 10 — it’s just kind of how things worked out. And it is an interesting take on creativity, especially having to imagine being someone completely different, but I’ve found that I really enjoy building imaginary lives on a page. I plant to try a couple of the others also.

      Thanks — Pam

      • Hi Pam, great that you’re working on a novel! I agree with you that warming up the writing muscle with exercises like this is important.

    • Very inspiring and creative! A great follow on to #7 is write a letter from your Futurel Successful Self 5 or 10 years from now …A You who has achieved your goals and dreams and what advice can he/she give to become her?

      • Hey Caryl, what a great idea to write a letter from the ‘future you’ to the ‘you today’!
        I love it…

        thanks!

    • Vince says:

      Great ideas, I will put some of them to use this week.

      • Thanks for stopping by in the comments, Vince! Hope you have fun with the exercises.

    • Very actionable tips, For now I’m just practicing as I produce content for my blog. I used to practice using tip #7 but I found it was taking too much time.
      Practice as you produce content. Thanks

      • Hi Brian, yes, the no.7 takes time. It’s more or a ‘once-a-year’ exercise than a daily one.

        BTW, I visited your blog. EXCELLENT post on leg exercises (I left a comment).

        Oh, and in your post, I found a word I’d never seen before: “plyometric”

    • Michael Rimm says:

      Hi Mary…as always I like your posts on “Write-To-Done”. But I’m a short-story writer and am stuck in the middle of a short-story at the moment. I just need to write, rewrite, and rewrite more, and work on my “show” don’t “tell” to keep the continuity of my story logical for the reader. I want the reader to ENJOY my story enough to read more, and not ENDURE through the story in hopes of finishing it….maybe. I’m a tough self-critic, but that’s not a bad thing I guess.

      Ideas for new material is never a problem for me…as I have a thousand ideas…it always comes down to the process of writing a good story. Does that make sense? And thank you again for all of your posts….I’ve learned a lot from your prompts and ideas for writing well.
      Be well…..Michael

      • Hey Michael, I like the way you’re approaching your short story! Yes, it’s not so easy to make the reader *enjoy* instead of *endure*.

        Give us a link to the story when it’s done, okay? I really want to read what you come up with 🙂

    • Great list!

      Also, listening to music is the most creative way to come up with new post ideas and stir up with your writing.

      • Music? Great suggestion! Maybe I could do a post with different clips of music to inspire writing. That would be fun!

    • Tayyub says:

      Thank you so much Ms. Jaksch, these really are great tips for beginners like me.

    • Joe Kovacs says:

      These are all great ideas, Mary. My personal favorite is the travel one because I enjoy going to different places.

      One of my other favorite ways to stir up story ideas (because I’m such a people-watcher) is to scan crowds until you find someone particularly interesting. I won’t define what interesting is — that’s a personal decision. Find that person who is interesting to you and then imagine who they are, what their life is like and write a story about it. It can be a lot of fun.

      Thanks again for the tips.

      Joe

      • Hey Joe, I really like your idea of scanning crowds and letting whichever person which takes your fancy as a creative seed for your writing!


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