Writing Exercises: Writer, Know Thyself
Most writing exercises are designed to give you new writing ideas or hone your writing skills. This one asks you to look in the mirror and ask yourself a critical question:
Why Do I Write?
Every now and then, I review all my projects and goals and spend some time determining which ones should be set aside and which are worthy of further pursuit. Inevitably, this always leads me to ask: What do I want to write? Am I a poet or a novelist? A copywriter or an essayist? A blogger or a journalist?
Why do I write anyway?
I recently mentioned that one of my goals is to write for change. Imagine reaching out and having a real impact on the world! Comics write jokes and then give the gift of laughter. Poets use words to captivate our imaginations, tickle our senses, and trigger emotions. Writing has the power to change thoughts, feelings, and the world.
The Force That Drives
There are many forces that drive writers to the page. Some do it for love, for creative expression, or because writing is simply something they must do, a compulsion. Others do it for money, fame, or simply to make a living.
On top of self-discipline, writers are competing in a field that’s saturated with dreamers and overrun with talent. Creativity is fleeting, gigs are scarce, and far too many novels end up half-finished and buried in the bottom drawer.
Intent to Succeed
For those of us who intend to succeed, to finish that novel, get that poem published, or earn a living wage as a freelancer, it’s imperative that we stay focused. Writing is also one of those endeavors that lends itself exceptionally well to distraction.
One trick for staying focused is to keep your eye on the ball.
Always know where you are in relation to your goals, but more importantly, always remember why you are on the field. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves what our real goals are. Other times, we have to remember why we set those goals in the first place.
Today’s writing exercises ask you to contemplate your goals as a writer and to explore why you are a writer. The exercises are simple: just answer the questions.
- Why do you write?
- What have you written in the past year?
- What are you top three goals as a writer?
- Why are each of these three goals important to you?
- What are your writing goals for the next five to ten years?
- What can you do over the next year to move closer to your top three goals and your five-year goals?
- What can you do today?
- What do you plan on writing tomorrow?
Good luck with these writing exercises. Keep writing!
If you have any writing exercises to share, feel free to post them in the comments.
Are you looking for more writing exercises? Pick up a copy of 101 Creative Writing Exercises, available in paperback and ebook.