Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For the love of writing

Today's post is from Ashley of LA Bird's Nest

I joined The Red Dress Club because I love writing. It’s as simple as that. But sometimes it feels as if love isn’t enough. It takes work and dedication as well as passion. Being passionate about writing means constantly working out those creative muscles by doing the very thing you love – writing.

Even when blogging burnout is scratching at your back or writer’s block is leaving you in agony over a blank page, I believe in writing. Writing doesn’t have to be all blog and no fun. It is times like these when we should write for the love of it. And a great way of writing for fun is through playing games.

Last semester I enrolled in a creative writing class through my local community college and one of the main things we did throughout the semester was play writing games. Each week we’d have a selection of games to choose from. We’d perform the game and then write about our experience in doing so. We weren’t obligated to turn in our writing or even create something from them. They were simply exercises to just get writing. And I found once I performed a writing game that I had more I wanted to write about. That’s what writing games are for – to generate ideas and keep the flow of writing.

Examples of writing games:

This writing game is based off one I performed in class out of the book The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing by David Morely: Pick up a book that you haven’t read. Close your eyes flip through the pages and point to a word at random. Write down the sentence the word is in and use that sentence to free write for five minutes.

Have a song stuck in your head? Write it down and keep going. What do you think the song is about or how does it make you feel? Just write whatever comes to mind.

Words! One of my favorite games is to write down as many words I know that begin with a certain letter. I write them until I get stumped and then I try to make sentences out of them. An example of a sentence I created with the letter I is - Illusions intersect intelligent ideas.

The Red Dress Club’s prompts each week also help in giving us new, exciting, and surprising ideas but it’s not always easy to come up with one. I hope the next time you’re struggling with what to write about you’ll try a writing game to help get you started. I guarantee you’ll have easier time writing once you let loose and write for the love of it. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s try it then.

Today I’d like you to perform a writing game and see if it helps when writing the prompt this week.

It’s summer time. What words do you connect with summer? Write down a list of words without hesitating. Once you’ve gotten out all the words you can think of start free writing for five minutes about this topic.

Read over your free writing and you may spot a new idea or something different about your voice. You may find a new story or blog post in there. But the best part about it is it doesn’t have to be anything other than a stepping stone to another idea floating toward you.

Happy Writing!

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