Showing posts with label writing exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing exercise. Show all posts

Fitness for Writers || Tips for Action


Fitness for Writers - Tips for Action by Deborah Lyn Stanley
Fitness for writers includes: A daily writing practice to stay fit and physical exercise to support writing endeavors. As writers, we need both.

Let’s start with tips for maintaining physical fitness to support our writing time.
1)    Walk! Walking is a great exercise. We are after a refresh time, not a full-blown workout. 10-20 minutes is good.
        Listen to audio classical music or your favorite tunes.
        Listen to writing craft audio books.
        Record notes that come to mind & transcribe later.

2)    Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water! Soda, coffee and tea don’t count here—Chips and chocolate don’t count either.

3)    Remember to be realistic, watch your expectations and make adjustments. Create a plan that will work for you long term.

4)    Exercise in spurts. Spread the good through-out the writing day to keep empowering thoughts, ideas and typing.

5)    Promise yourself breaks; every 1-2 hours take one. Spend 10-20 minutes moving—Do you have stairs in your house? For your break, go up and down.
Avoid “a quick snack” and eat a meal. Your brain with thank you.

6)    Be innovative, use a standing writing desk. Even above your treadmill. Walk between 1-2 mph. You may find you are more creative and have less back and leg aches.

7)    Other ideas include stopping for:
       Several push-ups, pull-ups, squats, or sit-ups
       Use a balance ball chair. How you sit matters. Bad posture strains the neck and the spine.
       Place your computer screen at a distance to avoid strain with the top of the screen at eye level
       or slightly below.
       Move & Stretch regularly, make it a routine

Be proactive concerning your health and well-being.
Your writing will thank you.

Tips for writing daily, which is sometimes a hurdle.
1)    Stock the tools for your favored writing area, desk or office with all you’ll need. Include reference books, your goal plan, and project list.

2)    Write every day. Start with journaling for 10-20 minutes to get the wheels rolling, then dive into your specified project for the day. Make this your practice.
Also, use your journal to create a strategic plan to reach your goal(s).

3)    Include writing exercises. Write poetry or short pieces using a prompt.

4)    Free writing is a great starter. What are you thinking about? Start writing about it and let it flow. You just may find inspiration for a future story or article. Let your creativity bloom!
       *Free write with limitations, such as no ‘being’ verbs, or without using pronouns.
       *Use a dictionary or newspaper. Choose one word at random to start.
       *Use a line from a favorite poem or story as your inspiration.

5)    Create a Metaphor List to draw from.

6)    Use your Commonplace Book to jot down notes, any which way line breaks, in the margins--whatever, record ideas for writing a story or poem from a different perspective—note anything that comes to mind. You’ll remember as you read it later!

Have Fun & Keep Writing!

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at:   
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Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:

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You Are Unique: This Writing Exercise Proves It

Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

"You Are Unique: This Writing Exercise Proves It" by Joan Y. Edwards

You Are Unique. Your experiences make you different from others. You have different likes and dislikes.
If you have a snack bag filled with multi-colored M&Ms, each of you might choose the same color to eat, once or twice, but probably not with the entire snack bag of candy. If you made a design with the M&Ms before you ate them, your designs would be different. Why? You have different likes and dislikes. (Personal aside: You can personalize M&Ms for special occasions:

Below are 15 words to use in this writing exercise. Even though each of you uses the same 15 words, the stories you write will be different. Your life experiences and interests decide what you write. Start a new story, add to an old story, or write freely as it comes to you, but try to use all 15 words in your passage.
Although the words are the same, the passages may differ in the following:
  • Genre
  • Characters
  • Dialogue
  • Conflicts
  • Senses
  • Emotion
  • Time
  • Place
  • Weather
There are verbs, nouns, and adjectives. I used to help me choose these words.

Find more exercises to stimulate your brain and put life into your writing in a book called, Writing Open the Mind by Andy Couturier. When you use random words, it stirs up wondrous experiences and helps you create passages filled with life.

This is a great exercise for writing groups that meet either online or in person. We did this exercise in our Savvy Wordsmiths Writing Group meeting in Fort Mill, SC. No one used the same characters or situations.

If you and another person have the same idea for a book, it will not turn out the same. Why? It will be different because each person is different. Enjoy being you. You are unique and a blessing to our world. Write and enjoy it.

Try this exercise. Ask a friend to try it, too. Compare your stories. I’ll bet they will be unique.

Directions for this writing exercise:
  1. Get out a sheet of paper (or open a new file on your computer)
  2. Print out this blog post.
  3. Take one minute to read, study, and think about the 15 words.
  4. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
  5. Write for 15 minutes making an effort to use all 15 words in your passage.
  6. Read your passage aloud at the end of your 15 minutes.
Enjoy yourself. You are a Master Writer. You have a gift. Go for it.

15 Words for This Writing Exercise
  1. spirited
  2. evaluate
  3. post office
  4. indulge
  5. newscaster
  6. muscle
  7. barrel
  8. incredulous
  9. slippery
  10. advertise
  11. annex
  12. sapling
  13. unveil
  14. tongue
  15. photograph
Now compare what you wrote with the passage I wrote at our writing group. It's in the comment area. Please do the exercise before you read my comment passage.

If you're willing to share your passage, copy and paste it into the comment area. It will be fun to read the variety of passages.

If you want to do this type of exercise again, you can choose 15 words at random from newspapers, magazines, wordsearch puzzles, or crossword puzzles, or your favorite books. Enjoy being you.

I'd love to hear from you.
          Celebrate your uniqueness.
                    Never Give Up - Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle, the happy little duck who Never Gives Up

                Joan's Elder Care Guide 4RV Publishing Coming in June 2014

                                          Celebrating over 71, 000 Views - Join me there.

Follow that Writing Trail!

We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, right? No? Well, basically this is a well-known German fairy tale originally published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. When a young brother and sister, Hansel and Gretel, wander into the woods, they take a slice of bread and leave a trail of crumbs to follow home. Brilliant idea, however, the birds eat the crumbs, and they are lost in the woods. We'll leave the story at that point.

Recently, I spent time following crumbs left by other writers. Thankfully they weren't eaten by the birds. (The crumbs that is, not the writers--they're fine.) The crumbs I followed were actually links tucked into posts on blogs and even in comments. 

This leads me to the question, How often do you follow links (URLs) in articles?

Certainly, if you followed all the links in some articles, you would never reach the end. I make it a practice to always read the complete piece, then if a link interests me, I go back and follow it. Even then, I am careful to right click and "open link in new window". That way I don't lose the referring article until I know I'm finished with it.

The post I was reading was on the this Writers on the Move blog and was titled, Why Write a Memoir? Wait! Remember what I said? Read to the end before following those links! The writer, Heidi M. Thomas, speaks about how to capture short snippets of life. I opened the comment section to add a response and read the other comments. A fellow writer, Mary Jo Guglielmo, had this to say, "I like doing short memoirs or Flash memoirs." And she added a link. 

Hmm. Flash memoirs? I read to the end of the comments and added my own. Then I returned to Mary Jo's comment and followed her link. This took me to a guest post on the same blog by yet another writer, Jane Hertenstein. In the second paragraph, Jane wrote,  "Six Minute Magazine is looking for quality fiction that can be read in under six minutes." And she gave a link.

I finished reading then returned to that URL. I'd never heard of the Six Minute Magazine. It sounded fun. I had a look around their landing page, and then spotted an invitation to "visit our partner website, FLASH FICTION FORUMS." And you've guessed it. Another link!

Intrigued, I right clicked on that one too, and it took me to a series of forums. I was about to close the window when I spotted a topic that caught my attention: Word Games: Got a word game? Have a short writing game? Share it here with members of the site!

This sounded intriguing, so off I went to a page full of fun-sounding games. I noticed the topic Three Word Story had 7 pages of comments. 

How could you write a story in three words? I decided to investigate. This link took me to a post that introduced a new idea like this -- Each poster copy/pastes the previous post then adds three new words to develop the story. The writer then gave the command, "Start!" and then the words, As he was . . .

Those were the initial three words of the story. I glanced ahead and saw the next seven pages were loaded with a gradually unfolding story. What fun! Time to stop following links. I had work to do.

I opened my mail program and commenced an email to my on-line writers group for South African Christian Writers. I explained how the exercise worked and then issued the command, "Start!" I gave them the words, "The elephant lowered . . . " and hit send. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Should be fun. 

This got me thinking. How often do we miss some real treasures because we don't follow the trails laid down for us by other writers? Now I'm not for one second suggesting we click on every link, but maybe we need to glance back at the article when we finish reading it, and see if there are any trails worth investigating. After all, if you're not a South African Christian Writer, you probably don't want to follow those crumbs. But sometimes following an almost hidden path could lead to some fascinating on-line destination.

Just don't forget to right click and open in a new tab or window so you can find your way home, otherwise the birds might get there first, and you could be lost on-line. Forever. 

Let's have some fun. Click on comments, copy/paste the previous comment, and progress the sentence by a further three words.

 The sun is . . . 

 Other posts about writing exercises: 

Wanted: One Writing Buddy

SHIRLEY CORDER  lives a short walk from the seaside in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with her husband Rob. She is author of Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer. Shirley is also contributing author to ten other books and has published hundreds of devotions and articles internationally. 

Visit Shirley on her website to inspire and encourage writers, or on Rise and Soar, her website for encouraging those on the cancer journey. 

Follow her on Twitter or "like" her Author's page on Facebook, and provided you leave a link, she'may even follow you back.

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