{iPhone photo using my sunglasses as a filter.}

A few weekends ago, I headed out to my first ever writing retreat class. It was great to gab with writers and nosh on good eats while taking in the view of the breathtaking mountains on the Windward side of Oahu. Besides all of that, I got a lot of practical tips to get the writing flowing. I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned with you.

Inspiration from Music

The first one’s pretty fun. Just turn on something instrumental, grab a notebook and a writing utensil, close your eyes and let the music direct your pen. The point isn’t to draw something or have an intention. It’s just to really feel the music. Something about the process releases the fear of writing within you. Try it.

Fun Writing Prompt

Choose three random objects in your vision. Now try to incorporate a story based on what you picked. Our teacher chose toothpick, clouds and elephant. We had to free write on these three topics without pausing. Surprisingly, I came up with a story about a man chewing a toothpick, reflecting on the elephant shaped clouds about his deceased wife. Who knew right?

There is something about the process of writing with wild abandon that frees your mind. It stifles your inner critic long enough to let yourself go. Sometimes that’s all you need to get started; a little push, a little inspiration to get your writing flowing.

What writing exercises work for you?

  • I like these ideas :) I also look at photo collections and try to tell either the story of how the picture got to that point or how it’s going to go from here.

  • Brandi

    Nice Scott!

  • Brandi

    You know I was just thinking of doing that. I have a photo I took in Savannah of their famous fountain and there are random people in there. I was thinking of creating stories based on the people I see. What were they talking about? Where were they visiting from?

  • I have shared this writing prompt site often Creative Copy Challenge. They post 10 words or phrases on Mondays and Thursdays. You create a story, poem, or whatever from the words. The community is fabulous and it has done more for my writing than anything I’ve come across. And it’s darn fun, too! :-)

  • I guess your site doesn’t take html. It’s located at http://www.creativecopychallenge.com Thanks, Brandi!

  • LOL-it did take the html- boomer eyes here couldn’t see the link 😉

  • Brandi

    Thanks Cathy! And no worries. Only wish I joined in on the conversation earlier so I could have told you. Happy Friday! And in regards to your tweet, if you ever do visit, let me know. Would love to meet you in-person! =)

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