Warming Up for Writing

Some writers (specifically, college students) don’t have time to write every day. Whether you have five papers to write, a VBS skit and three new songs to memorize in the next four hours, a house to clean before your sister’s birthday party (because no one cleans for their own birthday party… or so they say…), or working dawn to dusk, some days are made for collapsing in exhaustion instead of forcing yourself to stay up an extra half hour and write.

The above will be disputed by some writers with more steel in their adenosine receptors and less kittens than I have. They are entitled to their methods. I accept that I am lazy and overly fond of sleeping on couches and in my sister’s sleeping bag. I am also fond of air conditioning.

To return to the yet-to-be-manifested point, some of us write in waves. In between waves of words, we may fall out of touch with our characters’ voices, our narrative style, or our story in general.

Just like warming up your violin or vocal cords, sometimes you need to warm up your writing.

Lots of writers do little exercises or warm-ups to get them into their writing for the day… I just can’t remember any names. Here are a few different exercises to try.

1) Write a poem around a visual or emotional theme from your story.

2) Write a diary entry about a previous event in your story from the perspective of a minor character.

3) Write a descriptive paragraph using only adjectives that start with B.

You get the picture. In my case, I write little poems or maxims to get me in the right groove (thinking of records, here). I have a gorgeous little diary with gold sakura blossoms stamped on it, and I use it for my poems and sayings. I love journals… I use different journals for everything, and I always ask for “cute journals” for Christmas and my birthday.

How do you get in the groove for writing? Do you read through the previous scene or two? Do an exercise or warm-up? Listen to specific music? How do you find your story zone?

Cheers!