What are your favorite writing exercises?

Before Jul 31st I didn’t know very much about Gore Vidal, but after his death this week the internet was inundated with his quippy quotes, extreme judgements, and general sass. For the most part this discovery has been delightful. Anyone who can come up with so many funny and interesting insults is a-okay in my book, but upon reading 10 of his quotes on writer posted on Writer’s Digest the quote below put me in a bit of a tailspin:

“That famous writer’s block is a myth as far as I’m concerned. I think bad writers must have a great difficulty writing. They don’t want to do it. They have become writers out of reasons of ambition. It must be a great strain to them to make marks on a page when they really have nothing much to say, and don’t enjoy doing it.”

I’ve written before about having trouble finding the inspiration to write this summer. I’ve put a lot of work into the project I’m working on right now, but this quote seemed to verbalize my fear that my desire comes from ambition not talent. Giving up is obviously not a reasonable reaction, so since I am having trouble working on the novel I think some writing exercises are in order to get me through my lack of inspiration. I know some good ones for when you are first developing a project, but I can’t think of any to reinvigorate a piece midstream.

Here is one exercise I’ve found on Huffington Post that looks intriguing. Does anyone else have any that they would like to share with me? Also what do you think about the quote…is Vidal correct or just arrogant?

6 thoughts on “What are your favorite writing exercises?

  1. I think that quote is a bit dismissive. Yes, perhaps there are those out there writing just from ambition, but I don’t think there are many writers who have never had a spell of difficulty. I think it’s pretty common to both love and hate the act of writing. If Vidal never felt that, then good on him, but it doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be writing.

    • Thanks for commenting. You are obviously feeling more secure in your craft then I was when I first read this post. I do think you are right, though. There is nothing worth doing that isn’t hard, right?

      • Absolutely! You should steer clear of quotes like that when you’re in a vulnerable mood. I hope the writing exercises helped get you back on track. xx

  2. correct and arrogant – but you do not need to worry – you are just trying to find your footing part way through and that is not true writer’s block – everyone, even Vidal, needs to be refreshed (although wherever he is now, that probably does not apply)

  3. I think that ‘blank page syndrome’ is the great debilitator for many aspirant writers. That’s why I’m fond of 750words.com, because it teaches you to overcome that hurdle. Editing is always an option afterwards.

    I think Vidal’s quote would be easily dismissible if he weren’t renowned as an author. That makes me feel that its truth isn’t universal. And how can you really know so much about the experiences of others in writing, such a personal experience?

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