Tag Archives: Writing Exercises

Do It Standing Up

Among writers who are known to enjoy writing while standing are Vladimir Nobokov, Thomas Wolfe and Ernest Hemingway. This week, take a stand and dedicate at least one of your writing sessions to writing standing up and discover the many benefits, including: freedom of movement and therefore freedom of thought, better posture and therefore less back pain, passive exercise (you burn more calories when standing than you do when sitting), and a general change of pace that may result in clearer writing and fresh ideas.

Not sure what to write on while taking this new approach to working? Try a clipboard, your kitchen counters (clean and dried), the top of a waist-high bookshelf, a piece of plywood resting atop a few bar stools, or one of those tall tables at the library.  If you like the results, you can build or purchase something permanent, like a drafting table, later.

Remember, the best way to get your writing done is to write – so don’t over think it, just write right now!

Celebrate Your Independence…with a Poem

Today America celebrates its declared independence from Britain. For today’s prompt, write about achieving your own independence. Perhaps this means independence from parents at the age of majority, or maybe it means gaining independence from a spouse through divorce. Independence can also be a a state of mind, so perhaps your independence has to do with thinking, and making choices independently.

To serve as inspiration for your poem, here is A.A. Milne’s poem of the same name:

Independence

I never did, I never did,
I never did like “Now take care, dear!”
I never did, I never did,
I never did want “Hold-my-hand”;
I never did, I never did,
I never did think much of “Not up there, dear!”
It’s no good saying it.
They don’t understand.

Good luck in your writing, and have a happy, and safe, Independence Day.

Summer Solstice Calls for a Poem

Jemez

This past Wednesday, June 21st, was the longest day of 2011. Not literally, of course, for June 21st did not contain any more than the usual twenty-four hours allotted to that segment of time referred to as “day.” And yet, because more of those hours occurred while the sun was “up” than any other day of the year, we in the western hemisphere label it the “longest day.” Australianson the other hand, recognize it as the shortest.

For today’s prompt, consider what conditions warrant the superlative label of “longest” and juxtapose it with the concept that shortest exists simultaneously with longest. For example, sometimes time drags and brief minutes seem to go on for days as seconds stretch into hours. Recall a moment in your life which seemed to last forever – perhaps due to agony, impatience or bliss. Maybe your memory is of the longest car ride, longest parental lecture, longest wait, longest kiss…or the longest 10 seconds of your life. Maybe it is of the longest poem.

Let the image act as inspiration to craft a poem and share it in the comments section below.

Most of all, have fun!

Poetry Month Writing Exercise: Walkabout

There aren’t many people who would argue that walking isn’t good for you, and that certainly holds true for the poet. What better way to clear the cobwebs from the mind and lubricate joints that are aching from too long sitting at the writing desk than to take a stroll around the block or through the park. Make a conscious effort this week  to take a walk, paying close attention to the world around you when you do. Leave pen and paper behind and really, truly use your five senses to take in the environment you encounter. Trust your senses to store your experience to write about when you return home, for nothing triggers memories better than strong sensory associations. No need to limit yourself to walking in your neighborhood, though that can be an adventure if done with an attitude of a foreigner. Consider taking a slightly bigger adventure and try walking a trail in the woods you’ve been thinking about since Autumn and didn’t get around to exploring before winter set in. If you are a fair weather walker, then check the forecast and make a concrete plan to engage with the outdoors on the nicest day this week. Better yet, use April showers as an excuse to don raincoat and goulashes for a child-like stomp in the rain to get in touch with your inner youngster (just let your inner parent keep the inner child from catching cold in the process.) Or perhaps the best way to approach this week’s writing “exercise” is to simply drop what your doing and take that walk right now!