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Getting to Know Your "Writer" Side

Some things to think about as you write: What inspires you? Do you write best after being in a quiet location or after an afternoon out with friends? Where do you write best? What do you do when you feel like you are stuck in a writing project with no direction? How do you handle writer’s block?

These are important questions to ask yourself if you are working on a paper or project that is challenging for you. Get to know your “writer” side. What conditions help you write freely? I write best to George Winston piano music playing on my computer as I write. Other writers prefer total silence. You have to find your own conditions that help you finish a writing project.

If you feel blocked, are you trying some writing exercises to help get the words flowing again? At times, you may need to walk away from writing for a moment to refresh your mind and regain your writing momentum. After that, if you still feel haunted by writer’s block, try free writing on your topic for 30 minutes or try a writing exercise not related to your topic. Also, don’t forget that just going outside and daydreaming can be useful. Creativity does not always mean you are producing something. Daydreaming about what you will produce can be a key part of the creative process.

Try at least one of these writing challenges for the week:

Challenge 1:

Write about the following situation using no more than 300 words: Your character buys a wooden chest at a garage sale. He/she wants to use it as a prop for a school play. When he/she gets home and opens it, he/she finds four surprise objects. Describe what your character finds using complete sentences.

Challenge 2:

Write a poem or story or scene for a book (no more than 250 words) that uses all of the following words: orange, potato, rabbit, cornfield, west, river, fair, and computer.

Challenge 3:

In 250 words or less, write about one of your favorite holidays from the perspective a child between the ages of two and six. Rewrite the same scene from the perspective of a person older than 70 years old.

Challenge 4:

If you are working on a longer writing project, write a letter from a person that you imagine has just read your finished published work. Using 100 to 150 words, what would you like a reader to say about your work?

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