|Photo credit: kakisky from morguefile.com|
MoveFor some, the warm ups should be physical. If you suffer from maladies of the hand or wrist joints--carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or arthritis, gently warming up using doctor/PT-approved exercises will delay or even prevent typing from becoming painful.
Taking a fifteen minute walk to clear your head can be the perfect precursor to sitting down to write. In this post, I mention research that found creative benefits coming immediately after a walk.
Some basic stretches can improve blood flow and energy levels, always helpful for transitioning to any new activity.
Wordlessly createTo access your creativity, it can be helpful to do things that put you in a relaxed state. Here are a few worldless warm ups to try
- Color. There are loads of cool coloring books for adults on the market now.
- Doodle. See this post for story-related doodling warm ups.
- Sculpt with Play-doh or clay
- Play an instrument or sing
FreewriteFreewriting is the most obvious transitional tool to get you into a writing groove. Choose one of the following prompts, set a timer for 10 minutes, and scribble, on paper with a pen or pencil, whatever comes to mind. No wordsmithing, just let the ideas flow fast and sloppy.
Freewrite about your own life and feelings
- What I remember about holidays, siblings, gifts, favorite plaything, best teacher, worst teacher, favorite class, best accomplishment, scary moment, weird neighbor, unapproachable cool kid, first crush, awesome friend, grandparents, family trips, collecting things, birthday parties
- What I wish for: accomplishments, relationships, dream trips, belongings, people I'd love to meet, superpowers and how I'd use them, future inventions
- How I feel: what makes me angry, sad, impatient, frustrated, lonely, excited, content
Freewrite about elements of your story
- How you characters feel about story events from the most recent scenes
- What your character what is worried about
- Your characters' hopes or plans
- What your characters wish others knew about them
- Unspoken "rules" of your character's family, school, other institutions
- Scenes that are almost ready, and how you might polish them
- Problem scenes and how you might repair or replace them
- Your hopes about this manuscript
- Your concerns about this manuscript
- What I want to work on today
Do you typically warm up before you write? Which of these ideas do you want to try?