Thursday, September 15, 2005

Two requests

If you have a moment, you can do two things for me.

One
I've reached a stage where I can't make forward progress on the WIP with just a spare half hour, it needs Big Blocks of Time to grapple with it. Unfortunately the few Big Blocks of Time that are on the horizon are ear-marked for other tasks that are jumping the 'Important' queue. Like, Tax Return, Remortgaging, Remodelling the bathroom.... I can't see an opportunity to dive back into the WIP until about mid-October.

BUT I do want to use those odd half hours for writing. I just want it to be writing for writing's sake. Good practice, developing skills, without being part of a larger project.

I'm looking for writing exercises. Now, I've had a quick look around the web, and not come up with much, to be honest.

Have you come across any good writing exercises? What are your favourites? Or do you want to set me some tasks yourself?

Two
I can't (won't/shouldn't) begin to tell you how fraught and anxious work has been today (this week/month/season...). There have been other things, too, that have piled on the stress. I'm wound up way too tight and struggling to stay on top of things. Tomorrow I have a chapter meeting which will be great, and I do have things that need doing over the weekend, in some of those Big Blocks of Time.

But I'd really like to set aside a couple of hours this weekend for some Restore Me time. Something hedonistic, relaxing, guaranteed-to-restore-mental-health-and-wellbeing. And I need ideas.

What do you do to really relax and repair the damage of a rough week?

8 Comments:

At 3:45 pm, Blogger Dee said...

Oy ve, writing exercises? I wouldn't even know where to begin, so I couldn't quite advise on that topic. I write when I can and that's all the exercise I get.

But how do I relax? Hmmm, does sex count? LOL! Okay, aside from that, I like a really filling, decadent meal. Like Chicken Alfredo. Something that gets my tastebuds rolling in orgasmic bliss. (I'm setting a bad trend, unfortunately). Oh, and since it's conveniently getting cold again, how about hot chai, big fluffy blanket and a movie while you snuggle with the hubby. That always helps me.

Hope some of those work for you, too! Hugs on the stress, I know what you mean. :)
Dee

 
At 4:34 pm, Blogger Michelle Styles said...

I will try to find Writnig on the Wild side. Full of writing exercises to hone your skill. I was never any good at them though. It is somewhere in the basement. Gulp
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow

 
At 4:39 pm, Blogger Biddy said...

Hmmm... writing exercises... erm, not really doing any myself and I should. How about a little story about the people at Brougham Castle??

Relaxing... A long bath with a good book. Hiking up a hill! Watching girlie films.

 
At 4:53 pm, Blogger Julie said...

If I only have half an hour to write, I do brainstorms or mind maps about my characters. Start with a random fact about them, keep asking "Why?" or "So?" until I get more and more specific.

My mother gave me a book called The Pocket Muse, by Monica Wood. It has little tasks to do. Like:

Fill in the blank: Seven days ago, ...... Now, nobody will talk to me.

Write about a person whose reputation rests on the appearance of an inanimate object.

Write about a person who wins something that she does not want.


Any good?

 
At 4:54 pm, Blogger Julie said...

(Oh BTW you do those three individually, though I guess you could do them all at once if you wanted.)

 
At 5:26 pm, Anonymous Kaitlin said...

Wow...um, writing exercises. Well, when I'm desperate I sit down and write the stupidest situation I can possibly think of for the character. It can be anything from them shopping for dinner or whatever. Sometimes that really helps get the creative juices going. Or, if dialogue is your strong point, start writing a conversation between them. See if that'll get your writing juices flowing again.

As for relaxing? Well, next week I'm going to the place I find the most relaxing: the Oregon Coast. Two days specifically for me. No family, no friends, no responsibilities. I love the fact that I can just get away.

I hope you get writing again and that you're able to relax. Good Luck!! :)

 
At 5:41 pm, Anonymous Loreth Anne White said...

Yipes, Anna, I'm not into writing exercises. Reading -- seriously targetted reading -- works for me when I have small blocks of time. I take notes of intriguing turns of phrase, interesting use of POV, that kind of thing. Then input them into a special file that I peruse for stimulation when I'm in a rut. Just the inputting process helps implant what I've learned. And I LOVE reading books on the craft of writing -- and the writing life.

As for relaxing ... okay, apart from a glass of wine by the fire, or tea and chocolate in front of the telly, I generally go the other extreme. I run (will be doing my first marathon next month). Or kick box. Or ski .. or swim. Something really physical that uses up all that fight and flight stress adrenaline -- dangerous stuff for those of us who sit on butts all day. Have to really boot myself out of the door some days when I feel dead-dog tired and depressed, but I honestly feel damn good once its over. LOL, kinda like when you stop beating your head on a brick wall, huh? :)

 
At 6:15 pm, Anonymous Kate Hardy said...

Writing exercises... well, there were some in the Donald Maass book (but it scared me and I spent three weeks after that thinking I was crap and could never write another book). I reckon t'other Kate might have better advice here.

Relaxing... that's another matter! Walk with dog; spend morning at the beach making sandcastles and collecting shells and poking about in rock pools; mess about with Play-Doh (ok, so it's my 4-y-o's stuff, but making snails and ducks and then making up stories about them kind of puts the world at a comfortable distance to give me a breathing space); read a good book; glass of wine and small small box of choccies all to myself (greedy!!); curl up with DH on sofa and watch a good film...

My sis reckons that yoga is FABULOUS for destressing, says her class makes her feel good for 3 days (and she's usually a real stress puppy). Aromatherapy massage can be good too - bergamot, clary sage and neroli are good for stress (aromatherapist Chrissie Wildwood has a good book - interviewed her with my journo hat on and that's what she told me).

 

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