My friends have a beautiful, rustic cabin in central PA. There’s no electricity, except for brief generator sessions, and no running water, except for the well. Essentially, it’s quiet, peaceful bliss. When it’s my turn to fill the bucket to flush the toilet, I have to prime the pump before the water flows out of the spigot. The woods fill with the squeaksqueaksqueak of the handle as the water makes its way through the pipes and flows into the bucket in cold spurts.
Writing exercises are like priming the pump for my mind. I remember doing an exercise where I had to change a story into a poem, which helped me with word precision and theme. My novel, HOPE YOU GUESS MY NAME, was inspired by a prompt that read, “Wanted: Dad.” These small exercises flex my writing muscles, and, although they don’t usually turn into a processed piece, they help me get ideas and hone skills. They pump the ideas through my brain, onto the paper or laptop screen.
In the spirit of getting our own writing wells flowing, I’m going to start a weekly feature called “Priming The Pump.” I will share exercises I have tried on my own or will have tried with my students. What’s more is that I need your help! If you’re a professional writer, aspiring writer and/or a teacher of writing, send me your best writing exercises aimed at ANY writer (not just students) and I’ll post those that seem the most interesting or useful.
- SHORT description of no more than 200 words – and add hyperlinks when possible
- Include a photo of yourself and a 50 word bio
- Add an image of the writing exercise after it’s been written, if you can
- If this writing exercise is taken from a book or website, please cite the source.
Please contact me to submit. And take the poll below, please!
Let’s get writing together!