June 22, 2009

Journal exercises for writers

Choose three of the exercises below and write for ten minutes on each. Date and number each entry.

  1. Make an "authority" list of activities, subjects, ideas, places, people, or events you already know something about. List as many topics as you can. If your reaction is, "I'm not really anauthority on anything," then imagine you've met someone from another school, state, country, or historical period. Relative to that audience, what are you an "authority" on?
  2. Choose one activity, sport, or hobby that you do well and that others might admire you for. In the form of a letter to a friend, describe the steps or stages of the process through which you acquired that skill or ability.
  3. In two or three sentences, answer the following question: "I have trouble writing because..."
  4. In a few sentences, answer the following question: "In my previous classes and from my own writing experience, I've learned that the three most important rules about writing are..."
  5. Describe your own writing rituals. When, where, and how do you write best?
  6. Write an open journal entry. Describe events from your day, images, impressions, bits of conversation — anything that catches your interest. Read the following essay by Roy Hoffman for possible ideas for open journal entries.