7 Fun and Easy Warm Ups to Start Your Writing Day

7 Fun and Easy Warm Ups to Start Your Writing Day

Reader Comments (32)

  1. I personally am never stuck and don’t need this, but for most other people I know, these ideas are pure gold. I have taught them in my corporate training seminars on technical writing with good results reported by the students.

    • Thank you, Bob.

      I tend to go straight into free writing mode if I’m feeling stuck. (Just need to remember to delete that “I really don’t feel like writing today” first line).

  2. Pamela–

    Great ideas. I call sitting in front of the computer not knowing what to write, “Blank Screen Syndrome”.

    Like vitamins, developing your writing habit and collecting ideas help avoid it.

    I also love your “Dear John” letter approach. The Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan calls it “Who don’t you want as a customer?” (BTW, it’s one of the strongest converting posts on his site!)

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi Cohen

    • Very cool, Heidi. I haven’t seen that post yet and will have to go look for it on Marcus’s site.

      That “who don’t I want to serve” question is tough for people to answer, so I stuck it in here as a no-pressure prompt to help people think about it.

  3. Pamela,

    This list is brilliant! I find a lot of writing prompts to be rather ‘blah’ but I appreciate the relevance to blogger. The ‘Dear John’ letter has to be my favorite here. There is no doubt that I will use this. Thank you.

    JIM

  4. Great tips, Pamela. Seems likely that doing these exercises over time will increasingly lead to clicking “publish” – as posts, sales copy, or even book chapters, eh?

    ;-D

  5. I knew there must have been such a thing as a cursed cursor! That explains a lot.

    Love the idea of writing to your 6 year old self. However, I think I would literally frighten the poor (but cute and loveable) lad to death.

    Would love to read some other peoples letters to their little six year old versions.

  6. Great post!

    Personally, I found that writing answers about writing on Quora worked wonders for me. Teaching others what I know and sharing insights on writing rekindle my spark and usually open that blockage after answering only one or two questions.

    Try it if you’re ever feeling really, really stuck – it may just help you too!

    • Interesting, Selena. I haven’t done anything at all on Quora but it sounds like a fascinating way to get your writing brain in gear. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  7. Such great ideas! As any writer, freelance or otherwise will tell you, getting in front of the computer is the toughest part of writing. It’s only when we get in front of the screen and just let the fingers fly that we can see great results. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Dear Pamela:
    Wonderful topic and suggestions. I especially like your allusion to what I call a “Judgment Free Zone” where you can write what you want to without worrying about likes, shares, and metrics.

    For 3 years, my Judgment Free Zone has been a friend’s weekly newsletter where I’m introducing the basics of content marketing to a shrinking niche where few have adopted it. (Yes, it *is* a niche!) The benefits are I enjoy the ritual and the freedom to choose and express the topics. But, more important, I’m increasingly using these posts as the first drafts of longer posts I submit elsewhere!

    Hint: I number the posts as a series, and now have over 144 ready to be adapted, reformatted, and reused!

    A final idea that often works for me and my clients: I just pick up the phone and call a friend and say: “This is what I’m trying to do, but I can’t find the words. Can I take 10 minutes of your time to try to describe my project?” At the end of that time, the yoke of frustration has been broken–whether or not I recorded the call.

    Again, thank you for a great topic!

    • Love that “phone a friend” idea, Roger.

      Once in a while I say to my ever-patient husband, “Would you mind if I just talk about something for a few minutes?” It’s strange how simply verbalizing a problem helps unlock ideas (and words to describe them) in a way that plain thinking doesn’t.

  9. This was just what I wanted to warm up my writing gear. The last time I updated my blog was 7 days ago. I’ve really been BUSY doing……NOTHING.

    I really need to get writing now.

    thanks Pamela, for the helpful tips…

  10. Pamela,

    Great ideas! I used to write very fast and precise in my native language (Spanish) but now that I started writing in English I became slow and now I spend hours in front of the screen thinking what to write.

    Definitely, I will use some of this ideas.

    Thanks,
    Bianca

  11. Wow…this is amazing. Warm up’s for writing. The elaborate explanation makes the deal for me. True…when our fingers jump to typing, ideas flow more freely and then we end up writing without stopping at the blinking cursor.

    Writing a letter to six year old self is similar to giving advice to younger self trend.

    This could be even an entire blog post altogether.

    Apart from the warm up one would also get to evaluate self with writing to self. It would open up the inner human, decrease doubt and we will understand ourselves much better.

    Explaining about the business in writing will do much more than warm up for writing.
    It will make ourselves clearer in our mind about our business. What we think our business model is, are we working towards it and are we making change happen.

    Yes…the categories of our blog do help in brainstorming content ideas. We can look up to our competitor’s blog too for different categories and blog post ideas.

    I loved how you emphasized on writing content ideas. It would help us to expand on it later. For now, we can jot down weeks or maybe months of blog post.

    Ha..ha..ha…comments.

    Comments are the source of warm ups like you explained. It is also the source of content which would go viral. Analyzing comments, we can find ideas and contents which readers want more of it.

    Then we can go ahead and answer their queries, delivering value and connecting too.

    The best warm up and breaking the writer’s block is to write something totally out of your niche. Since we haven’t exhausted on the niche, we can easily write up on anything ranging from fashion to relationships to story telling.

    Sometimes we can incorporate trends in our niche.

    I read in “The Secret Book?, feeling success by imagining it helps our mind to accelerate our hard work. And as a side kick, it is fun and reality check too writing about success which we are chasing.

    The best free writing is to race against the timer. Whenever I tried free writing without any timer, I failed to write even 100 words.

    When I set up timer, (20 minutes anyone), I found I was able to write more and it was fun. Sometimes I churn out epic contents like that.

    Yes…yes..I have my warm ups technique.

    I comment on other blog’s. When ever I feel like I unable to get past few words, I hop to other amazing blogs and comment.

    When I do that and come back, I end up creating articles meaningful and thought provoking.

    Beautiful post. Stay awesome!!!

  12. Pamela:

    I’m an odd one I think because I have a million ideas and write a lot of starter phrases and outlines and a couple of paragraphs for “brilliant” content, but then I never get around to completing them with a full out writing exploration. Maybe I’m lost in research too much because I’m often working on more than one article or project at a time and, of course, with everything absorbed–read, webinars, etc. that I attend, and all the information (overload)–just gives me more and more ideas. It’s almost like I need to lock myself away and devote myself to doing a writing project (and only that) for as long as it takes to complete. For me, a good piece of work takes many forms, edits, and time to do well, but ideas flow like a fountain. What is wrong with me? I’m opposite from the norm it seems! Thanks for more useful Pamela insights. Sue-Ann

    • Nothing “wrong” at all, Sue-Ann!

      It sounds to me like you know exactly what you need to do … buried in your comment is your solution. Maybe once you get used to that awesome feeling you get when you complete something, you’ll want to repeat it. 🙂

  13. Great ideas here, Pamela. I especially like the letter to 6 year old me. And Dear John to a crappy client. ?

    These prompts should help me avoid some of the pain of an empty brain mocked by a blinking cursor.

  14. I’ve found the ‘old school’ pen to paper helps get the creative juices flowing. Just the kinesthetics of fluid motion prior to fully formed ideas jump starts the creative process for me. And I’m always pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

    Great advice, Pamela! I like number 1 especially.

  15. Very good tips, Pamela. I have used #2 quite a bit with good effect. For me, it is one of the easiest ways to find inspiration on days when nothing is coming to mind.

  16. Hi Pamela,
    Great, practical advice. Thanks for this post. A technique I like to use is to consider an activity or an object that initially seems completely unrelated to my blog and try to find something about that activity or that object which I can use as an analogy in a post or group of post.

    For instance, you think about how you could fit an object, like a box of facial tissues, into an article on content marketing or content creation.

  17. Hi Pamela,

    Thanks for sharing this awesome tips. Already I try to follow some of the tips in my routine life, but sometime how hard you try you can’t help it cause its all about creativeness and passion that you need for your writing.

  18. Very great tips i have jotted down the main points. i always fumbling for tips and ideas which can cultivate my mind for next great Post . Thank you Pamela, i really enjoyed it.

  19. I love your writing prompts. Any suggestions where I can look online for additional prompts that are similar to the ones you included in the blog? Something short that can be written in 10 minutes?

    Thanks!

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