Ten Exercises To Start your Writing Day 

Keeping the Police out of the Study

  1. List all the things you need to do today and then write at the bottom – I will get ‘A Round Tuit’ when I have written 600 good words.  (This has the effect of making those tasks wait for you and not dictate to you.)
  2. Write about the policeman or woman who sits on your shoulder.  Tell him or her they must leave the room today and come back when you are ready to police, judge and edit your work, but they are not allowed in today.
  3. Write about being chained (metaphorically please!) to your desk.
  4. Whatever concerns you this morning: write it away.  Tell the page your personal problem.
  5. Make sure that when you finish writing today you leave your words mid-sentence so that tomorrow morning you have to finish that sentence.  (Once the writing has begun it tends to go on …)
  6. A pen is fast becoming an object of the past for writing.  List forty other things you can do with a pen other than writing.
  7. Have a special document on your files for the positive comments people have emailed or said to you about your writing. Read them.
  8. List the six most positive turning points in your life.
  9. Switch off Facebook, Twitter, your emails etc etc. Now. Write. And enjoy.
  10. If no words spring to mind then try Raymond Chandler’s ‘The Nothing Alternative’ and do nothing for seven minutes. Or on the same theme try what I call ‘The Cinderella Syndrome’: go sweep the kitchen floor.  It’s a therapeutic and active sweeping away of the dust and cobwebs. When you return, the Muse will have returned from her package trip to Benidorm and The Printers’ Ink will flow.  It works for me.

Of course you may end up with these ‘firecrackers’ metamorphosing into your best seller.  So always keep them filed and logged.   I wouldn’t be asking for a cut in the royalties as you can’t patent ideas.  So get these ideas into words and happy writing.


www.janmoranneil.co.uk  and www.janmoranneil.co.uk/blog


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