Tips for Writers – Five Minute Energizers

We do a lot of writing here.  We’ve had days where we’ve collectively written 20k words, and managed to spell most of them correctly.  We’ve each also had days where it seems easier to crab walk through wet cement than it would be to fill another story slot in our calendar.

We’ve all got our own quirky lists of things we do to keep the words flowing, I thought I’d share some of my silly, fun, creativity enhancing motivators with you today.  The general theme of my writing motivators is to switch your focus away from what you have to write for a few minutes, which is usually all I need to get the writing gears turning again.

1. Silly Lists – Grab a sheet of notebook paper and write each letter of the alphabet in a column down one side.  Next to each letter, write a silly descriptive phrase with an adjective and a noun that each start with the letter in the row.   For example: Angry Aardvarks, Bulbous Beans, Crunchy Cookies, Devlish Dames, Eager Entendres, etc.

2. Copycat – Pick your favorite author, or at least one with a very identifiable style, and attempt to write something mundane in the style of that author.  For example, write a YouTube comment from William Shakespeare, a letter of resignation from Edgar Allen Poe, a Craigslist hookup email from Anais Nin or a series of tweets from Dorothy Parker.

3. Do an activity that takes a different kind of intelligence.  You’re engaging your verbal/linguistic intelligence when you write, switch it up and use a different part of your brain for a few minutes when you get stuck.  Work a Soduku puzzle, do a few jumping jacks, work a jigsaw puzzle or draw a picture.

4. If you’re a longhand writer, try typing for a few minutes or vice versa.   Sometimes something a simple as using a different set of muscles can be all I need to get my words working for me instead of against me again.

5. Think hard!  Give your brain a challenge it’s not used to, like saying the alphabet backwards or naming all the prime numbers (no cheating!) between 1-100 as fast as you can.

The next time you’re stuck between writer’s block and a looming deadline, try one of these and see if it helps.  Also, add your own re-energizing writing tips in the comments.

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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