Writers come in all forms. From inexperienced to extraordinary, covering every topic or genre imaginable– plus some. No matter what the topic at hand, there is a person who can write it. Then there is a person who can write it better. Whether we’re new to the vicious literary game of outdoing one another, or if we’re perfectly confident and seasoned, there are still two things we all have in common as writers. A: No matter how much of an awesome writer we are, we can always use improvement. And, B: We all have some days that are, well, far less creative than others.
If it’s an off day and we’re drawing a blank, if we’re between projects and need a little skill buffer, or even if we’re bouncing around looking for tips because we’re utterly hopeless in terms of focus on our current project, then don’t fret there’s hope. Basically if we’re struggling all around to keep our heads in the game, then here is an exercise to help improve oneself while killing time, rather than an aimless WiFi browse.
Step One: Sit yourself down to that PC and crack open a fresh clean new document to dirty.
Step Two: Find a physical object in whatever room you’re in. Something you can touch to feel its texture, and take a close enough look at to get a real understanding of its every last fiber. It doesn’t matter what it is. Could be that squatty yellow, dimly lit lamp to your side. Could be that sparkling diamond ring around your commitment finger that secretly isn’t a real diamond at all, because let’s face it– there’s a reason for the term “starving artist.” Gosh, it could even be your finger itself, minus the ring, lonely little wrinkles and all.
Step Three: Write three separate sentences to describe your choice object. Example: *The shoe on my foot is skater style with green laces. *I have a white shoe decorated with green. *I love the way my shoe hugs my toes.
Step Four: Pick one or two words in each of those sentences to improve on. Make them less plain. This step is easier than it sounds because most programs actually have a feature that helps you cheat. Just highlight your word and right click on it to explore your options. Example: My lamp is an ugly yellow. Changed to: My lighting is a putrid mustard. And, so on and so on.
Step Five: Now that you’ve played with words in general and have a feel for giving your sentences a little extra zip today, let’s do something bigger with your object. Tell a story about your object. Could be a paragraph, could be a page or two, it could even be in a poem if your heart so desires. After all, the whole point in being a writer is to find your own individualized creative voice. You’re the creator, you’re in the lead, you decide. Where did your object come from, where is it going in life? Is your bracelet stolen from overseas and smuggled to you specifically by your secret foreign lover? If so, what was the ship like, and why did this particular bracelet call to him? Was it the intertwine strands of silver and gold, laced together in flawless union? Write your pointless tale completely guilt free. Because even if it is stealing your time from important projects with actual deadlines, at least it’s poking at your brain, and scratching the surface of improvement rather than aimlessly scrolling through social media with said time.
Step Six: Move on. Don’t get stuck in exercises, just like you don’t want to get stuck in any project. The whole point is learning to write anything at the drop of a dime, and to write it stylishly with spunk. Now that your head is in the writing game, you feel improved and your creative confidence is boosted, you can get back to the task at hand. There’s inspiration everywhere. The trick is finding where to look and figuring out your own unique way to put it in words.