Archive for the 'Writing Exercises' Category

Dive Into a Spring Word Pool

Take a leap into this word pool celebrating spring!

Use some (or all) of these words to create a poem, jot a paragraph, capture a memory…

Write something serious, absurd, fun, reflective…go wherever your muse takes you. And, as always, I love it when you share your creations in the comments.

blueberries, breeze, sunshine, daffodil, dawn

rainshower, ripples, robin, meadow, rainbow, dance

abundance, linger, blossom, green, run, smile, warm

Here’s mine, a haiku today:

Daffodils ripple
Rainbow dances on meadows
Sun smiles at spring’s dawn

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Blast Through Writers Block: Create a Sensory Collage


Here’s a good exercise to try if you’re stuck, blocked or ready to start a new piece but don’t know what to write:

Take a walk, and bring a notebook. Jot down things you see, hear, smell, feel, touch and experience. Use all your senses.

Include everything:

  • bits of conversation—not just the words but also the tone of the language and the postures of the speakers
  • neighborhood signs—their messages and their visual style
  • changing cloud formations and the things they bring to mind for you
  • the exact color of the sky
  • a crying or laughing baby—how it sounds and how it makes you feel
  • the scent, texture and color of blooming flowers
  • dogs checking each other out or chasing squirrels
  • traffic—the sound, smell and look of it
  • the sights, sounds and smells of trees you encounter
  • the color and texture of the hair of anyone you pass
  • the items people are holding or carrying

These are just a few ideas—be sure to include everything that catches your attention. And pay attention to everything around you as you walk.

Then find a place to sit such as a park bench, cafe, picnic table, the ground, your car … whatever works for you.

Now combine several of the sensory images you’ve gathered and use them to create a story, essay, poem or any other piece of writing. Play around with the images and try different things, just as you would if you were making a collage. If one combination doesn’t work, try something else. Write something silly or dark or absurd or uncharacteristic of you. Have fun as you fit the puzzle pieces together in different ways.

I like this exercise because it combines the physical activity of walking with the mental and emotional experience of collecting bits of what you experience. It gets you away from staring at a blank piece of paper. And combining things in new ways always engages the muse.

Let me know how you like this exercise, or share your creations!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE! (To learn more, click here)

Who Is Your Muse?

I love this exercise, which I’ve posted here in the past. I like to go back to it occasionally and keep answering the question in my journal. And I’d love to hear from you: Who is your muse?

Here’s the challenge:

Write “My muse is…” and quickly finish the thought with the first thing that comes to your mind. Continue writing “My muse is…” and completing the sentence at least 15 or 20 times. Keep your pen moving. Don’t pause; don’t think too much about it; don’t censor yourself! Allow yourself to write things that are silly, stupid, profound, nonsensical … just keep going and see what you come up with. Most of all, have fun with this!

Then post your favorites in the comments below — I love it when you share your creativity!

Here are some of mine:

My muse is an anteater sniffing around to find the perfect anthill full of crunchy little creative ideas.

My muse is a banana peel waiting for someone to slip on it.

My muse is a ballerina with three legs, creating new dances that only she can dance.

My muse is a little girl with tights that won’t stay up and a pencil box full of stars.

My muse is a guitar made out of cardboard and rubber bands.

My muse is a crumpled piece of paper with the formula for happiness written on it in hieroglyphics.

My muse is a conversation between two people who don’t yet know their hearts have begun to intertwine.

My muse is a moonbeam grinning down at me from the dark night sky.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Visual Inspiration

Rerunning this post from 2009, because I love these images! I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

Since I’m still on Thanksgiving vacation, I’m going to leave you with some images to engage your muse. If you’d like a writing exercise, use one of these as a prompt for a paragraph, a short story, a poem, a memory, a journal entry … or wherever your muse takes you.

SUNRISE ON THE WINDOW:

SADNESS:

ROAD TO NOWHERE:

PERSPECTIVE:

FIELD OF BARLEY:

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Fun Writing Exercise: Mix Up Your Prompts

I’m reposting an old favorite today:

For this writing prompt, I’ve combined two common exercises—to use an image or a random line from a book as a prompt:

Open any book and let your finger fall on a sentence. Then open a magazine and note the first picture you see. Combine the two and write a scene, a character description, some dialogue, a poem, a freewrite, a memory or whatever else arises.

If you like, post your creations in the Go Wild! section of the Readers’ Sandbox or below in the comments. (I love it when people share!)

Here’s mine (from a sentence in The Lovely Bones and a photo in National Geographic):

Ruth would get an image and it would burn into her memory. She didn’t forget things like Jasper, who struggled to recall anything beyond the basic facts of his life 30 years ago. If he sat quietly for a while, he could conjure up vague reminiscences. But almost as soon as they arrived, the impressions floated slowly away from his mind, like glaciers drifting off the edge of a faraway alien country.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Keep Your Writing Flowing

I’m on vacation until the end of the year. If you’re looking for a little creative fuel, check out these writing exercises I’ve created for this blog in the past. Most of them can be done in 15 minutes—or take longer if you’re inspired!

Use a word pile to create something tasty

Combine a random image and a line of text to create a new writing prompt

Turn your life into a movie, a bubblegum card, a fortune cookie…

Use a clincher detail to create a vivid character in just one sentence

Gather words you find sprinkled throughout your day and turn them into something new

Try one of these five exercises to shake up your muse

Get creative with lists

Turn something old into a new piece of writing

Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life

Craft compelling first and last sentences

Create a sensory collage

Try one of these 10 ideas to get your muse out of neutral

Dream up some metaphors

Use this prompt as a launching pad into creativity

Compile a thesaurus of the senses

Create a thesaurus of memories

Turn found words and phrases into something new

Embrace your bad writing

Transform a creative block into a character (with another example here)

Write a haiku about creativity

Create a faux-history for a random item

Dive into this word pool to write about a physical, emotional or creative journey

For bloggers—create a poem using search engine terms

You’ll also find photo prompts here, and some 5-minute creative quickies here.

And, if you want to work on something larger, write the story of your life with a series of 6-word memoirs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Blast Through Writers Block: Create a Sensory Collage


Here’s a good exercise to try if you’re stuck, blocked or ready to start a new piece but don’t know what to write:

Take a walk, and bring a notebook. Jot down things you see, hear, smell, feel, touch and experience. Use all your senses.

Include everything:

  • bits of conversation—not just the words but also the tone of the language and the postures of the speakers
  • neighborhood signs—their messages and their visual style
  • changing cloud formations and the things they bring to mind for you
  • the exact color of the sky
  • a crying or laughing baby—how it sounds and how it makes you feel
  • the scent, texture and color of blooming flowers
  • dogs checking each other out or chasing squirrels
  • traffic—the sound, smell and look of it
  • the sights, sounds and smells of trees you encounter
  • the color and texture of the hair of anyone you pass
  • the items people are holding or carrying

These are just a few ideas—be sure to include everything that catches your attention. And pay attention to everything around you as you walk.

Then find a place to sit such as a park bench, cafe, picnic table, the ground, your car … whatever works for you.

Now combine several of the sensory images you’ve gathered and use them to create a story, essay, poem or any other piece of writing. Play around with the images and try different things, just as you would if you were making a collage. If one combination doesn’t work, try something else. Write something silly or dark or absurd or uncharacteristic of you. Have fun as you fit the puzzle pieces together in different ways.

I like this exercise because it combines the physical activity of walking with the mental and emotional experience of collecting bits of what you experience. It gets you away from staring at a blank piece of paper. And combining things in new ways always engages the muse.

Let me know how you like this exercise, or share your creations!

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Some Fuel for Your Creativity Tank

creativity

Once again, I’ve compiled some of the writing exercises I’ve created for this blog in the past. If you’re looking for a little creative fuel, check them out. Most of them can be done in 15 minutes—or take longer if you’re inspired!

Use a word pile to create something tasty

Combine a random image and a line of text to create a new writing prompt

Turn your life into a movie, a bubblegum card, a fortune cookie…

Use a clincher detail to create a vivid character in just one sentence

Gather words you find sprinkled throughout your day and turn them into something new

Try one of these five exercises to shake up your muse

Get creative with lists

Turn something old into a new piece of writing

Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life

Craft compelling first and last sentences

Create a sensory collage

Try one of these 10 ideas to get your muse out of neutral

Dream up some metaphors

Use this prompt as a launching pad into creativity

Compile a thesaurus of the senses

Create a thesaurus of memories

Turn found words and phrases into something new

Embrace your bad writing

Transform a creative block into a character (with another example here)

Write a haiku about creativity

Create a faux-history for a random item

Dive into this word pool to write about a physical, emotional or creative journey

For bloggers—create a poem using search engine terms

You’ll also find photo prompts here, and some 5-minute creative quickies here.

And, if you want to work on something larger, write the story of your life with a series of 6-word memoirs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Only Have Five Minutes for Creativity? Try This Metaphor Exercise

January can be a tough month: recovering from holiday overwhelm; dealing with sniffles, flu, and cold weather; trying to get back into the swing of things. Sometimes it feels impossible to be creative. So it seems like the perfect time to rerun this post about one of my favorite quick creative exercises. Even when you’re not feeling well and have no time, you CAN nourish your creative soul with this five-minute play break.

If you’d like to try your hand at the metaphor exercise, check out the starter items in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox—or come up with your own. And, as always, I love it when you share your creative endeavors here!

Sandbox Challenge #1: A Camel is a Walking Sand Dune:

I’ve been engaged in several rounds of  a grueling match with the Human Head Pounder, the Vicious Throat Scratcher, the Phlegmy Cough Monster and a few of their other unpleasant pals. Now that I’ve gotten them halfway back into their caves, I’ve started thinking about how to stay creative when I’m sick. When deadlines start moaning because it looks like I may not meet them. When unpaid bills and undone chores begin growing horns and making increasingly scary noises. When the words in my brain stick together like swollen, overcooked pasta.

Then I remembered that a camel is a walking sand dune.

camel shadow

It’s a metaphor exercise I developed for myself during a period of intense busy-ness that had me nearly crying with my inability to find time for creativity. In order to calm myself down, I decided I could take FIVE MINUTES before bed every night for creativity.

Here’s what I did: I carried a small notebook with me, and during the day, I would jot down a few items, like “music blasting from a passing car,” “ocean waves,” “a black cat,” “a waterfall.”

Then, in those five minutes before bed, I would create metaphors for some of the things I’d written:

Music blasting from a passing car is a 30-second parade.

Waves are arpeggios on the ocean.black cat in garden

A black cat is a soft shadow.

A waterfall is long hair falling down a woman’s back.

I find this a wonderful exercise, because it sparks my creative imagination even when I have only a couple of tired minutes. And some of the metaphors I’ve created in these stolen moments have found their way into my stories and essays. I still keep a small notebook with starter items always ready to be turned into metaphors.

I’m going to begin issuing small writing challenges here. These will be geared toward the concept of this blog—that creativity can take place in tiny found moments—so none of them should take very long.

For this first challenge, write a metaphor/metaphors like the ones I’ve discussed here.  Post your answers in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox.  I’ve left some starter items there, or you can come up with your own.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Keep Your Writing Flowing

I’m on vacation until January 1. If you’re looking for a little creative fuel, check out these writing exercises I’ve created for this blog in the past. Most of them can be done in 15 minutes—or take longer if you’re inspired!

Use a word pile to create something tasty

Combine a random image and a line of text to create a new writing prompt

Turn your life into a movie, a bubblegum card, a fortune cookie…

Use a clincher detail to create a vivid character in just one sentence

Gather words you find sprinkled throughout your day and turn them into something new

Try one of these five exercises to shake up your muse

Get creative with lists

Turn something old into a new piece of writing

Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life

Craft compelling first and last sentences

Create a sensory collage

Try one of these 10 ideas to get your muse out of neutral

Dream up some metaphors

Use this prompt as a launching pad into creativity

Compile a thesaurus of the senses

Create a thesaurus of memories

Turn found words and phrases into something new

Embrace your bad writing

Transform a creative block into a character (with another example here)

Write a haiku about creativity

Create a faux-history for a random item

Dive into this word pool to write about a physical, emotional or creative journey

For bloggers—create a poem using search engine terms

You’ll also find photo prompts here, and some 5-minute creative quickies here.

And, if you want to work on something larger, write the story of your life with a series of 6-word memoirs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Fun Writing Exercise: Mix Up Your Prompts

I’m reposting an old favorite today:

For this writing prompt, I’ve combined two common exercises—to use an image or a random line from a book as a prompt:

Open any book and let your finger fall on a sentence. Then open a magazine and note the first picture you see. Combine the two and write a scene, a character description, some dialogue, a poem, a freewrite, a memory or whatever else arises.

If you like, post your creations in the Go Wild! section of the Readers’ Sandbox or below in the comments. (I love it when people share!)

Here’s mine (from a sentence in The Lovely Bones and a photo in National Geographic):

Ruth would get an image and it would burn into her memory. She didn’t forget things like Jasper, who struggled to recall anything beyond the basic facts of his life 30 years ago. If he sat quietly for a while, he could conjure up vague reminiscences. But almost as soon as they arrived, the impressions floated slowly away from his mind, like glaciers drifting off the edge of a faraway alien country.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Keep Your Writing Flowing

I’m on vacation until September 25. If you’re looking for a little creative fuel, check out these writing exercises I’ve created for this blog in the past. Most of them can be done in 15 minutes—or take longer if you’re inspired!

Use a word pile to create something tasty

Combine a random image and a line of text to create a new writing prompt

Turn your life into a movie, a bubblegum card, a fortune cookie…

Use a clincher detail to create a vivid character in just one sentence

Gather words you find sprinkled throughout your day and turn them into something new

Try one of these five exercises to shake up your muse

Get creative with lists

Turn something old into a new piece of writing

Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life

Craft compelling first and last sentences

Create a sensory collage

Try one of these 10 ideas to get your muse out of neutral

Dream up some metaphors

Use this prompt as a launching pad into creativity

Compile a thesaurus of the senses

Create a thesaurus of memories

Turn found words and phrases into something new

Embrace your bad writing

Transform a creative block into a character (with another example here)

Write a haiku about creativity

Create a faux-history for a random item

Dive into this word pool to write about a physical, emotional or creative journey

For bloggers—create a poem using search engine terms

You’ll also find photo prompts here, and some 5-minute creative quickies here.

And, if you want to work on something larger, write the story of your life with a series of 6-word memoirs.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

What Happens When Creativity Kidnaps You?

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Creativity kidnaps you. Where does it take you? What ransom is it demanding?

Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

5 Easy Ways to Be Creative Today

  1. Write a haiku about what you’re wearing right now.
  2. Take a walk. Notice everything you see that’s blue. You can just walk around your home or workplace if you’d like, noticing blue. Then write a paragraph about blueness: the blue things you’ve seen, blue feelings, the Blues, blue moons…anything blue that comes up for you.
  3. Write something about the picture above.
  4. Draw a picture that reflects how you’re feeling right now. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece — a simple doodle is fine.
  5. Daydream elaborately for 15 minutes. Some ideas: Imagine you live in a different time period, and create a day of that life in your mind. Put yourself inside your favorite book, movie or cartoon and see what happens. Imagine you’re five years old and discovering something new for the first time — really feel the discovery with all your senses.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

What Did Your Dog Text To You Today?

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Your dog, cat or other pet has just sent you a text. What does it say? How do you respond? Write about this situation.

Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Sandbox Challenge #36: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

Does a word sometimes slither like a serpent?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

What Wisdom Can Your Feet Impart to You?

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Have a conversation with your feet. How are they feeling about where they’ve been taking you lately? Do they like how you’re dressing them? What request do they have for you? Express this in whatever way feels best: a dialogue, a freewrite, a cartoon…


Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Armed and Dangerous

This is one of my favorite exercises, so I’m posting it again: Choose something that blocks you from creating and visualize it as a character. Then write something about him or her. It can be a description of the character, a poem, a metaphor, an action scene, a dialogue, a haiku, a 1-sentence memoir or anything else. Get creative!

Here’s one of mine:

The minute she walked into my office I knew she was trouble. She had a pair of To Do lists that just wouldn’t quit. Longfemme fatale and persuasive like I like them. She leaned against the wall and pulled a tapered black pen out of her clutch.

I acted surprised, but she could tell I was expecting her. Ms. Always-Too-Busy was no stranger to me. She had obstruction written all over her, written as clearly as the words she was adding to the bottom of the second list: “Groceries. Vacuum. Pay bills. Work!”

I knew I should walk away, but there was something about this dame that always made me stay. I’d stay until she seduced me into crossing every item off her lists. I’d stay until my Muse stormed away, pouting. I’d stay until she left me spent and lying in a pool of my own neglected words.

Like I said, the dame was trouble. Trouble with a never-ending To Do List.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Sandbox Challenge #35: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

Why does the hat of night fly so full of holes?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Dive Into a Spring Word Pool

Take a leap into this word pool celebrating spring!

Use some (or all) of these words to create a poem, jot a paragraph, capture a memory…

Write something serious, absurd, fun, reflective…go wherever your muse takes you. And, as always, I love it when you share your creations in the comments.

blueberries, breeze, sunshine, daffodil, dawn

rainshower, ripples, robin, meadow, rainbow, dance

abundance, linger, blossom, green, run, smile, warm

Here’s mine, a haiku today:

Daffodils ripple
Rainbow dances on meadows
Sun smiles at spring’s dawn


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Who Will Fill Your Family Tree of Creative Influences?

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Make a whimsical family tree for yourself. Maybe your parents are a muse and a shadow. Perhaps you have ancestors that are lyrical paragraphs, spirals of color, songs, places in nature, animals or mythical creatures with qualities they passed down to you. Allow your imagination to run wild with this! 

Think about your life influences and your creative influences as you fill in your tree. You may just want to fill in two or three “ancestors” right now and continue to add more later. You may also find that your dreams or accomplishments become your children on this tree. But fill in the tree in whatever way inspires you.


Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

What Will You Exhibit In The Museum of Your Passions?

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

Create a museum of your passions. What’s the name of your museum? Draw five items that will be exhibited here. Write a brief description under each item.


Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!

Only Have Five Minutes for Creativity? Try This Metaphor Exercise

I’ve been under the weather and trying not to be overwhelmed by life. Having one of those weeks when it seems impossible to be creative. So it feels like a perfect time to rerun this post about one of my favorite quick creative exercises. Even when you’re not feeling well and have no time, you CAN nourish your creative soul with this five-minute play break.

Okay, I’m going to go drink some hot tea and write a couple of metaphors before I get back to work…if you’d like to try your hand at the metaphor exercise, check out the starter items in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox—or come up with your own. And, as always, I love it when you share your creative endeavors here!

Sandbox Challenge #1: A Camel is a Walking Sand Dune:

I’ve been engaged in several rounds of  a grueling match with the Human Head Pounder, the Vicious Throat Scratcher, the Phlegmy Cough Monster and a few of their other unpleasant pals. Now that I’ve gotten them halfway back into their caves, I’ve started thinking about how to stay creative when I’m sick. When deadlines start moaning because it looks like I may not meet them. When unpaid bills and undone chores begin growing horns and making increasingly scary noises. When the words in my brain stick together like swollen, overcooked pasta.

Then I remembered that a camel is a walking sand dune.

camel shadow

It’s a metaphor exercise I developed for myself during a period of intense busy-ness that had me nearly crying with my inability to find time for creativity. In order to calm myself down, I decided I could take FIVE MINUTES before bed every night for creativity.

Here’s what I did: I carried a small notebook with me, and during the day, I would jot down a few items, like “music blasting from a passing car,” “ocean waves,” “a black cat,” “a waterfall.”

Then, in those five minutes before bed, I would create metaphors for some of the things I’d written:

Music blasting from a passing car is a 30-second parade.

Waves are arpeggios on the ocean.black cat in garden

A black cat is a soft shadow.

A waterfall is long hair falling down a woman’s back.

I find this a wonderful exercise, because it sparks my creative imagination even when I have only a couple of tired minutes. And some of the metaphors I’ve created in these stolen moments have found their way into my stories and essays. I still keep a small notebook with starter items always ready to be turned into metaphors.

I’m going to begin issuing small writing challenges here. These will be geared toward the concept of this blog—that creativity can take place in tiny found moments—so none of them should take very long.

For this first challenge, write a metaphor/metaphors like the ones I’ve discussed here.  Post your answers in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox.  I’ve left some starter items there, or you can come up with your own.


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CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Imagination Island, Catching Fireflies, Paris — Where Have You Been?

I’m re-running this fun little 3-part creative exercise* I posted here a year ago because I love it so much! Do one, two, or all three parts depending on your time and inclination:

ONE:

Write the alphabet down the left side of your page. Then list “places” you’ve been in your life (real, literal, metaphorical and imaginative) for each letter. Here are some of mine:

  • B:  Burning the midnight creative fuel
  • C:  Catching fireflies
  • I:  Imagination Island
  • P:  Paris
  • V:  Virginia
  • W:  Wild West Dodge City
  • X:  X-Raying my heart

TWO:

Choose one of your places and write a haiku about it. Here’s mine:

I dream myself to
Imagination Island
Here I am at peace

THREE:

Illustrate your haiku in any way that pleases you. (I’ve included my illustration above.)

I’d love to hear some of your places or haikus in the comments!

*Exercise courtesy of Jill Badonsky.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Where Do Your Feet Take You When You Don’t Pay Attention?

The exercise below is one of my recent Creative Bursts. The Creative Bursts are fun, 15-minute play breaks designed to help get your creativity flowing. They encompass writing, drawing, doodling, dancing, wordplay, singing and more. And they’re free! If you’re not receiving them yet, click here to sign up!

What do your fingers like to do while you’re not watching? Where do your feet take you when you don’t pay attention?

Don’t spend too much time thinking about these questions, just quickly write or draw whatever comes to you.


Here’s what people are saying about the Creative Bursts:

“Your Creative Bursts Rock! Love the creativity exercises. They are fantastic.”  ~Andrew, Brisbane, Australia

“Love these prompts!”  ~Sarah, California, USA

“Thank you for the Bursts, they are hopefully going to restore some sanity!”  ~Hannah, United Kingdom

“I LOVE your Creative Bursts! They really spark my imagination.”  ~Christopher, Maryland, USA

Click here to download your free Creative Bursts workbook and sign up for more Bursts in your inbox twice a week!


Download a Free E-Book! Click on the Cover Below for your Creative Bursts Workbook

And get fun 15-minute creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week

About Sandy Ackers

Sandy

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

To learn more about Sandy, click here: About Sandy

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Click here to read the post discussing my relationship with my somewhat pesky male muse.

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Copyright © 2009-2017 Sandy Ackers. All rights reserved, with the following exceptions:

Writers retain all rights to any comments, stories or other original work posted on this blog in the comments sections or the Readers' Sandbox.

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