Warm Up Exercise

This is one of my favorite exercises for getting the creative mojo running. Long long long ago in the days of these weird things called typewriters aspiring writers would press keys randomly just for the sound it made. There was something about the clacking of the keys and end of the line ding that got the mind ready to write.   This exercise is similar in that it negates our inner critic.

Typebars in a 1920s typewriter

Typebars in a 1920s typewriter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is what you do.

Step one: Get out a piece of paper and tear it into ten, twenty, or thirty pieces.

Step two: Write a different word on each piece of paper and fold the pieces up.

Step three: Put the pieces of paper in a container and shake it up.

Step four: Get out a notebook, or paper and pen. (make sure you have an extra on standby just in case.)

Step five: Get ready to write. Ok so these are the rules. Once you start writing you don’t get to scratch out anything or stop writing. You don’t get to read as you go and most importantly none of the writing has to make sense. This is pure free flow writing with the only intent being to get your hand moving and the words flowing.

Now start by pulling out a piece of paper and reading the word. Write everything and anything no matter how dumb or small or great down and keep going until you have that moment when you pause. The second you pause to think or stop grab another piece of paper and go again. Remember the point is not to make sense, but to just write.

Step six: Do this until the words are all used up. When the last word is done you stop and move on to writing other things. Don’t read what you wrote. Don’t think about what you just wrote, it doesn’t matter. The point was to warm up. You can always go back in a few days and see if you wrote anything that was something you could use.

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