Another way to stimulate and grow your writing is to experiment. You can do that by searching the internet for writing prompts and exercises. Go to your favorite internet search engine and use the key words, writing exercise and pick one of the pages that comes up. When I did that, I saw one that mentioned it had exercises that actually work, which is a nonsensical claim. They all work, just for different writers. If the one you pick doesn’t work, pick another one. The writing exercise is designed to spark ideas and get you writing.
A good writing exercise is to the mind what a good physical workout is the body. Once you find one to your liking, run with it. Pick at it. Examine it from as many different view points as you can. Write down your thoughts about it. Some exercises are as simple as a writing prompt that tells you to write about what you ate at your last meal. That never worked for me, but it might for you. Some exercises are more elaborate. Write a story using sentences starting with words that start with a particular letter of the alphabet or start with a different letter of the alphabet, using all twenty-six letters. Write a letter to your younger self, or mix it up and write to your older self. Choose a picture and write a story about it.
One of my favorites is to create a random character and do a character sketch for that character. Once you finish the character sketch, give the character something to do and you are off. Start with a name and an age and go from there. Pick a word from the dictionary and use it in a sentence or make up your own definition for it. Toasted cheese has a number of writing prompts specified for each day in the month. Another good exercise is to pick a memory and write about it. Why is it important to you? Why isn’t it important to you? Make it into a story. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. This is an exercise. Pick an exercise and do it.
Alternatively, try to think of an exercise of your own and do it. I did that with an exercise to write a scene and answer the questions, who, what, when, where, and how. I’ll write more on that exercise and what I got from it in another blog. For now, just think of an exercise and write it down. Let it simmer for a day or so and then do it.
Writing isn’t a hard thing to do. All it is, is words on a screen or piece of paper. Close your eyes, imagine a place and describe it. You never know where an exercise might take you. Sit back and enjoy the ride. You are only limited by your own imagination. Set it free and watch it go. Or better yet, go with it. See where it carries you. You might just surprise yourself.