Updated: Mar 9
When you exercise regularly, your body becomes stronger and the exercises easier. Writing is no different. Developing a habit of writing every day is the most common piece of advice for writers, and for good reason. And yet, this piece of advice is the hardest for writers to follow.
Not everyone feels they can write every day, and it can be incredibly demotivating when they fail. If you find yourself in this position, be kinder to yourself. We all have our off days, weeks, and months. Stressing yourself out further isn't going to help you write. Treat yourself to something nice. If you're that stressed, you need it.
Now, if you've got that warm mug of coffee, tea, or other beverage of choice that brings you comfort, think about hunting down writing warm-ups.
Yes, writing warm-ups. You know, those dorky things you were probably forced to do in middle school and high school by your English teacher. Writing warm-ups are no stakes, no strings attached. Whatever you write in them can be completely random—it doesn't have to be perfect or exactly fitting to whatever writing project you currently have tormenting you in a dusty word document you’ve left open and untouched for a month. Writing warm-ups are simply a little exercise to help you achieve at least a sentence written each day—because if you’re serious about writing, you’ll write every day.
Great examples of writing warm-ups are:
A word generator. Generate five words (objects, places, things, colors, etc.) and create a sentence or short story out of them.
Story starters. Story starters are first sentences already written; this kind of exercise helps you skip blank-page panic and get straight into it. These are an easy Google search away.
Short story prompts. Be it Tumblr, Twitter, or Pinterest, there’s always an account posting story prompts. Google some up and pick the most interesting or weirdest one you find.
Random object POV exercise. Pick an object and personify it. If your couch went through an interview, what would it say? What kinds of things might a penny witness from beneath your car seat?
Describe your current setting in detail. Look out your window or peek into your closet and describe what you see, hear, and smell. Spruce it up by thinking of what would be shocking to find in either location.
So, what are you waiting for? Get writing!