Guided Pen Exercise…

This morning I woke up early and did my guided pen exercise. I sat with a cup of coffee at the dining room table with a notebook and pen and closed my eyes; I listened to the silence and waited for thoughts to flow into my mind. Remember when you do this to let the words develop organically, don’t force anything and don’t edit. There are no good or bad thoughts-just ideas that may potentially create an idea for your next best seller.

Here’s my list:

  • happiness
  • bliss
  • follow your bliss
  • birds, nature, spring, cheer
  • yellow, renewal, rebirth
  • breathing, focus, meditation
  • enlightenment, emptying, purging
  • just be, stop trying so hard
  • health, vibrancy, flowers, gardens
  • butterflies, cocoon, guidance, sail boat
  • love, loyalty, look inside for strength, happiness doesn’t depend on others
  • fulfilment, stop trying to achieve happiness and go with the flow
  • follow the omens
  • stop trying to make things happen and let them develop as they should
  • listen to your inner voice

So as you can see I have a lot of information here but how can I turn it into a potential story?

A few examples could be; A woman is transformed like a beautiful butterfly when she emerges from the cocoon of dependency, she left her husband and started on a journey to find herself. Or a story about a young person who followed the omens to find their bliss in another part of the world. A story about how someone’s life changed because they got rid of everything that made them unhappy, they sold their home and belongings and went on a quest for enlightenment and found everything they ever wanted which was just to be happy.

You get the point, there is so much that we can do with the guided pen exercise and it’s all how you interpret the meanings of the words you’ve written. I encourage you to do the guided pen exercise once a week or whenever you’re stuck for ideas.
Happy Writing!

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True or False?..

Does writer’s block really exist or is it just a writer’s way of being lazy, unmotivated or distracted? My personal opinion is that it’s the latter. We’ve all been there at one point or another in our writing careers and we know that some days are harder to write than others. I find the only time I get writer’s block is when I’m distracted; pick up any paper, or scroll through any news feed and there are hundreds of headlines that prick at your imagination and problem solved! You can and should write about anything because it keeps you in a routine and allows you to further develop your craft. Here are a few examples of  actual headlines that I’ve seen that might spark a thought or two…

  • Woman switched at birth reunites with her mother who is her co-worker
  • Man survives lightning strike only to be hit again
  • Lotto winner loses fortune
  • Bird stops roller-coaster leaves riders hanging upside down for 20 minutes
  • Car stolen with three month baby inside
  • Computer algorithm detects drunk Tweeting
  • 91 year old finally earns PHD 30 years after starting
  • Pet stolen from front garden finds way back home 1 year after disappearance
  • Conference interrupted by protesters
  • Cat Burglar (an actual cat and a true story!) obsessed with men’s underwear steals 61 socks and pants in two month span
  • Man builds the world’s fastest shed

It’s hard to believe that the above examples are true but I assure you they are! The point is that there is no such thing as writer’s block-go to the mall and watch people, listen to a conversation happening beside you in the doctor’s office, listen to the news and headlines, read the paper, surf the web and talk to neighbours…you’ll have more than enough ideas to work with! Try it and get the wheels turning again.Feel free to use the headlines as an excellent writing exercise. Happy Writing!

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