Creation calls, and thoughts linger. Abstact thoughts accumulate form and emerge from misty depths. The form hones a figure, and Creativity takes its first step.
But first, you need to crank out five pieces on the healthy benefits of bird watching, a “State-of” industry piece, and three posts for your personal blog.
The figure begins losing form. It grasps at the air – it needs sustenance. It needs movement. Creativity needs writing exercises.
Have you ever cranked out dozens of original blogs for clients in a single day? Did all of the pieces start to run together? Did you feel your creativity being smothered under the wet blanket that is research? Did you feel the spark in you die just a little bit? Do you want help?
Here’s the point.
Client work is great, but creativity is important, too – especially in writing. Heck, creativity is important in disaster relief.
Content writers, like all writers, need a chance to flex their creativity. Research papers, popular as they are, can be a bit draining for the artistic types, and clients typically frown upon over ambitious usage of alliteration, rhyme schemes, meter, or allusion. Writers should take at least a 20 minute break from job-related writing to refill their creativity reserves. Writing exercises can help creators get back into the groove and even improve morale.
Content creators craft calibrated constructs. The construct is optimized, keyworded, has a catchy title, and it offers value to no-nonsense customers with too little time for frivolity.
So, with further ado, I present THE CHALLENGES!
Challenge #1: Alphabetically Tuned
This may feel a bit like middle school to some, but there are two ways to approach this game.
1st Approach: Write a sentence, poem, or sequence of words in which every word begins with the next letter of the alphabet. It’s ok if it makes no sense to anyone but the writer.
Artistic bears can’t dance elegantly. Forget galavanting – hairy idiots just kick lazily.
Maybe next opening, partners quit reasoning seasonally.
Today, unwittingly vehement, we xeroxed young zebras.
2nd Approach: Write a verse in which every line contains words that start with the same letter of the alphabet, and the next line is the next letter. Again, it’s ok if it doesn’t make much sense. Let it flow.
Already, angsty abiders
Bear bitter beings,
Crying cacophonously. Considering
Dull demonstrators demand
Egregious enhancements, elated
Grow gregarious, gaping,
Hideous howlers hide.
Instant improvements indict
Jilted justices. Juries
Knife knowingly, keeping
Masses moving, mauling
Nearby novelty Nativities.
Opining opportunists open
Previously protected parcels.
Quickly, quiet quests
Revived. Revelers regenerated
Stolen sentiments, soldiering
Through traps, tiptoeing
Under unkempt, undisturbed
Vines, verily veering
Wide. Weepers writhe.
Xanthic xenophobes’ xylographs (THIS IS THE HARDEST ONE)
Yet yell yearningly,
Zinging zoned zeal.
Whew. Glad that’s done.
Challenge #2: Metered Pace
This challenge is ages old – like, from good ol’ Billy Shakespeare himself. But it’s a great spark for creative minds. Write a piece in iambic pentameter. (If you need a refresher, check out the Wikipedia page)
Aim to make it at least 5 lines long. (Then it’s a 5×5 square. Look at me – writing and math.) I would suggest writing with pen and paper. It makes marking meter much easier.
It can be hard to fill the writing space,
To scribe in meter – natural set pace.
Well, Shakespeare seemed to pace his writing well
And surely I can feign ability
And force the words align in metered lines.
Ok. That was a bit rough, too. But now it’s complete! And I thought it was fun.
Challenge #3: Three Word Sentences.
Last, but not least, it a classic game (at least, I remember using it in high school). This game pushes creativity by severely limiting the writer. The goal is to tell a story – or write a paragraph – that makes sense using only 3-word sentences.
All sentences MUST BE grammatically correct for the paragraph to count.
It rained bullets. Water pelted flesh; droplets dive-bombed innocents. Windows shut rapidly. Umbrellas shot skyward. Bystanders sought cover. Animals scurried away. Road became rivulets; rivulets became streams. Streams became rivers. Rivers scoured streets. I was caught. My shoes submerged. No sanctuary appeared. My clothes soaked. The rain continued. I stopped running. Fate smiled wryly.
BONUS!: You earn bonus points if you can make the paragraph flow smoothly despite the three word limit (This example fails).
Take some time and enjoy these games. They offer a bright reprieve from dreary, repetitive research, and the break will allow writers to return to client work feeling refreshed and ready to go. Let Creativity find form and join you for the writing journey. (Ok, I promise to drop the ambulatory Creativity bit now).