So, for most of us, the fast-approaching winter break means an end to productivity. It’s the holidays, right? Who wants to practice their writing when there is nog to be egged and presents to be greedily amassed? Just because you’re not in class, however, doesn’t mean you can’t keep your skills sharp. Here are some quick exercises for practicing your writing from the Internet’s endless collection of resources:
1. The dictionary method A classic from standardized tests – choose ten words at random from a dictionary and write a short story that uses all of them. A more diverse selection of words may make for a wilder story, but try choosing a relatively tame list and challenging yourself to avoid cliches and pitfalls.
2. The picture method Find a picture that inspires you and write some lines about what’s going on around that captured moment (a song works too).
3. The freewriting method A favorite at the UCWbL – just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about whether it sounds good or not; just concentrate on finding a flow to your own thoughts.
4. The group method If you have other writing-inclined friends, set up your own writing group and encourage each other to keep working at it.
5. The challenge method Each writer knows best what their own weaknesses are, so practice writing what you find difficult – whether it’s dialogue, description, or something else.
6. The imitative method Let someone else do the heavy lifting! If you’ve just read a book and you love the characters or the plot, try rewriting a section of it in a different genre. Fanfiction is another easy way to practice your writing.
7. The anywhere method With ten minutes, anyone can do some writing – or so this article says.
Did I miss any great strategies? How do you get started with your writing, UCWbLers?