Maintaining a blog full-time can be a bit stressful, and this stress can sometimes have a restricting effect on your writing. There’s the pressure to produce top content every time you write; there’s the pressure of appealing to your audience; there’s the pressure of always having an opinion or keeping up with industry news.
So, what better way to build up your ability to continue writing every day than to do writing exercises every day! Here are a few ideas for exercises; some of them might not directly relate to what you blog about, but you’d be surprised how simply engaging in the act of writing about anything can be enough to help you write about something later on. If you have more ideas, please feel free to add them in the comments section below.
One exercise you can follow daily is to keep a dream journal. As soon as you awaken in the morning, spend a few minutes writing about whatever dreams you had last night. Do not try ot make sense of them; simply try to describe them or narrate them as best you can. This writing act will be helpful for clearing your head in the morning, especially if you have to get some serious writing done later in the day. Who knows? Maybe one of those entries could turn into a longer essay in a few weeks when you reread the journal.
Google Image Prompt
Another thing you can try is to keyword search in Google the most popular phrase of the day, or a phrase or word that you cannot get out of your head. Then click on the ‘images’ tab and look at the first image that comes up. You have to write a short story under 1,000 words about or inspired by that image!
Five Minute Blind Write
I like this exercise a lot because it allows me to be messy. Open up your word processor, set your cooking timer to five minutes, and turn off your computer screen. If you have a laptop, cover up the monitor with a thick piece of paper. You have five minutes to write nonstop about whatever. Your fingers must not stop moving, no matter what, even if you’re typing one word over and over again. The idea of this exercise is to dump ever single idea from your brain into a document. Think of it as a way to both clean out your brain and also gather a bunch of ideas for later use.
Comment Box Essay
This exercise is a bit more focused than the others in that it requires you to go to one of your favorite blogs, read the feature article, and write a comment in the comment thread. But, you’re not allowed to post the comment. Instead, you must copy and paste it into your own blog and turn it into a feature length post in response to the original post at the other blog. The idea here is that by changing the context of your writing from the limited field of a comment box, you can find new ways of approaching an issue. Be sure to link back to the original post in order to further enhance the discussion.
Sticky Note Memory
This could be a very fun exercise because it forces you to write an entire story on a tiny sticky note. In fact, it’s sort of the same thing as Esquire‘s Napkin Project. Sticky notes are supposed to be used as reminders, as notes to ourselves that we have something to take care of. But what if you used it to tell a story about a cherish memory? Your own sticky note project could be a daily exercise that requires you to catalogue one memory from your past each day. This self-reflection could help you both become a better, more self-aware person while also giving you ideas for personal essays to write in the future.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.