Friday, January 28, 2011

Creativity Exercises to Keep the Inspiration Going

Inspiration is never as abundant as we'd like.  Here are some exercises to help you find inspiration when you don't exactly feel like writing.

Write out a list of nouns.  You can start with any theme - say the inside of your refrigerator, or the desk in your old room.

You'll find that listing the nouns of your past will bring up interesting memories.  To mix this up, try verbs and adjectives.  Why don't adverbs work as well?

Are you trying to organize a story?  Then a list might turn out too jumbled for your work.  The advantage of webs is that you're using the whole two-dimensional page, jotting down words and notes wherever they apply best.  (This is also a good way to plan out essays.)

Only have ten minutes?  That's okay.  Sometimes, your best writing comes out when you have only a few minutes to spit it out.  Grab a pen, set a timer, and go.  Write fast enough that you can outrun the inner critic.  You don't need to worry about what reaches the page - if you don't like it, then you won't share it.  And chances are good that you'll write down something here that you'd never want published, the kinds of personal details that are yours alone - and that's a good thing.  The best stories arise from personal conflicts, the kinds of conflicts that make authors (and their readers) at least somewhat uncomfortable.

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