Thursday, May 21, 2015

Writing exercise -making it part of your daily life


Writing- you get better the more you practice.  We all know this but finding the time is hard.
I don't always have time to practice traditionally because I spend a lot of my time sitting at the ball park for my son's games and practices. I cannot whip out my laptop or notebook there but there are plenty of times when my son is on the bench and I get a little bored cheering for the other parents' kids.  Nothing against the kids I just do not like baseball. I know, very un-American of me.  During these times I love to practice my writing.  How do I do this when I can't use my laptop or a notebook?  I observe the people around us, the location, listen in on conversations and write them in my head.  Bear with me here and you will be doing this soon yourself.

As I sit and cheer mindlessly with the other parents I image how I would describe the scene; the cool breeze chilling the metal seats as it wicks the heat from my body, the sounds of the younger siblings playing around the bleachers, the grandmother knitting juxtaposed next to the grandmother who is pretending she is too young to be a grandmother.

I don't limit myself to "writing" only at the ball park. Today at lunch I watched an employee walk by the open door and instantly started "writing" how I would describe his gait if he was a character in my book.  Here is what I came up with: ...his feet shuffled resistently along the carpet as his bulky hands worked like paddles moving him laboriously towards his destination  Or worked like paddles as he lumbered towards his destination.

I love some of the things I have come up with during these sessions and have quickly jotted them down or secreted off and recorded them into the voice recorder app on my phone.

I have heard some interesting conversations, observed some interesting behaviors and people and paid more attention to my surroundings.

Writing in my head, creating scenes, using bits of dialogues as prompts, creating character back story, and describing what I am seeing have all helped me exercise my writing muscle and I am a better writer for it and my time in line, at the baseball park, on long drives, etc. all go by more quickly.

I hope you find this technique helpful too.  I can't wait to hear how it has worked for you.

Happy Writing!


  1. Hi Kat - sometimes we need that space to think through our thoughts and then we're better able to explore those ideas when we can put pen to paper, or fingers to the typing machine. Great idea to utilise your time as effectively as you can at the sports practices and matches ... and I bet you hear some incredible story ideas ...

    Writing is practise though .. cheers Hilary

    1. Welcome back Hilary. I love my lovely car ride home to hash out ideas. You are correct nothing replaces actual writing but these little exercises spur me on and I have gotten some great ideas.

  2. That's a great way to practice writing! I need to try that.

    And don't worry...I don't like baseball either. ;)

    1. I hope it works for you. Thank you for sharing that you are not a fan of America's national past time either. As a mom though it is one of the better sports for him to play injury wise. I was scared to death when he played football and hockey. He is a definite feather weight compared to his peers.

  3. Thanks for this post. I used to do something similar years ago when I was writing fiction. The more I paid attention to my world, the more I was inspired to write. Something I ought to try as I've been sitting on the side of the bank just dipping my toes into fiction writing again.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  4. One thing I love about writing is that I can do it almost everywhere. If not fluid prose, then notes and sketches for scene ideas. Being in a different place while practicing is also very inspiring.

  5. This is a great idea! I used to carry a notebook around with me everywhere and I'd write when inspiration struck. Those were the days before smartphones and social media, though...perhaps life was better back in the pen and notebook days!

  6. I do this too!

    (Stopping by from the Muse Party Blogfest to say hi. :-))

  7. I do this as well, like Misha and you! It is a great way to pass the time, dr. offices, waiting in line, anywhere people are is fodder for my writing brain! Me too coming by from the #musefest! Lisa @

  8. I try to imagine scenes in front of me in words.

    I once got busted writing the end of a story on my iPhone notepad during an awards ceremony. My son had already been called, I didn't think I needed to pay attention to the rest. And that may sound bad, but hey- we need every bit of time we can get!