Friday, April 22, 2011

Writing Warm-ups

I have such a hectic schedule that I usually end up writing on the go, scribbling out a couple of paragraphs when I’ve got a few quiet minutes.

I used to think that I was doing this writing without any kind of warm-up. I’m realizing now that that’s totally wrong—I’m warming up by my daily habit of blogging (and the fact that I write a little every day).

Warming up options:

Blogging—To me, blogging is one of the easiest ways to warm up for writing each day. Besides the great writing exercise, it’s a nice way to stay in the habit of writing, develop friendships, and build a platform.

Morning Pages—I’ve heard a lot about Morning Pages (a daily warm-up recommended by author Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way but haven’t actually tried it myself. She states that:

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages-- they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind-- and they are for your eyes only.

Short projects (poems, short stories, articles): Completing short projects can help you feel like you’re making some creative headway, especially if it looks like the end of your novel is light years away. They’re also nice if you’re getting restless or bored with what you’re currently working on.

Prompts: Prompts aren’t only good for getting your creative juices flowing, I’ve heard some writers say that they can also inspire new direction for stories they’re currently working on.

Recently, Anjie from Prompts for Writers asked me to be a guest poster and write some prompts. I do really like Anjie’s site because she always comes up with more than one prompt—she’ll have a journaling prompt, one for poetry, one for fiction, etc.—and I think her site would be a great resource for teachers as well as writers. My post is up there today: . (As a side note, I know that she’s also looking for writers to guest there and write prompts…might be a unique part of some folks blog tours.)

How do you warm up for writing? Or do you jump right in? Or, like me, do you warm up early and then jump right in at several later points during your day?