Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Yesterday I did something I've never done before. I wrote a short story. I did it for a Christmas compilation and, of course, I'd known about it for over a month. But being the queen of procrastination . . . well, what else would you expect.

It ended up being a good exercise for me in several ways. First of all, I had the main concept, but wasn't sure where I'd start the story. Still, I thought it would probably take just a few hours to get it down. After all, we're only talking 1500 words.

Yeah, right.

Try about eight hours. But here's what I learned:
  • I learned to choose the most succinct words possible
  • I learned to leave out the details that were not important
  • I learned to just get the story on paper, then go back and edit
  • Midway through I found myself getting bogged down and worrying about my word count. So I learned to write the main points I wanted to make and carried on
  • I learned that I can work on a deadline

Just like physical exercise is good for our bodies, writing exercises are good for our minds. And just like physical exercise, it's sometimes uncomfortable and frustrating. But is it worth it? Oh yeah.

Do you have writing exercises you do regualarly? If so, what are they, and how do they help you?


  1. Teaching about writing on my blog and through CCW has helped me. I have to sit down and write about writing and it helps me think through techniques and methods as I write my notes or my blog. These have been great exercises to jump start my motivation.

  2. I don't have any writing or other exercises I do regularly. I need them both.
    Writing a short story is very good for getting all the elements down in a very short time.

  3. There are a couple things I do. Cheryl Wyatt has a monthly Prompt contest on her blog. She gives you a few words and starter sentences and you have to use them all in under 500 words.

    Then, if you've ever tried FIRST LINE....they give you the first line of the story and you write something and submit to them for a contest to see if they'll publish it. I've only done it once, but it was really fun. I think I even have my next novel from it. LOL

    But you're write, have to exerice regularly!
    Thanks for the post.

  4. I blog. Nope, not kidding. Blogging gets me completely into the writing mode. I just write from where I am in my mind and heart at that moment. Last year, I blogged a lot about Montana. This year has been different. Not because I am bored with Montana-nope-but because my heart and mind are very busy dealing with family issues in our elderly members and in the newest arrivals. But I still blog. It seems to help me sort out one important and complete thought each time. I also blog a lot to offer something to my community and world. That's the kernel of truth in why I want to write so it's fitting that it comes out in my blogging.