This time of year always gives me a jolt. In a good way. There’s so much happening that, when I stop to think about it, humbles me. Flowers are blooming, young animals are exploring my neighborhood, and most important, the sun stays out a little longer each day. This all adds up to the aforementioned jolt.
This extra burst of inspiration manifests in a several different ways, including the excited buzz of my muse. Sometimes, my muse is quiet, leaving me alone and questioning if I’ll ever write another word. Other times, my muse riots and demands attention.
A question that has plagued authors since the beginning of authoring, is how to avoid/work through writer’s block. So, in honor of my creative jolt and riotous muse, I decided to share my go to exercise for beating back the inspirational doldrums.
For my brain, repetition seems to be key. If I remind it how much it enjoys telling stories, eventually, the things sputters to life. And off I go to work on another novel. There are about a million writing prompts available out there in the wild world of the internet, so if this doesn’t work for you, I promise there is something out there for you.
3 Words and 15 Minutes
Yes, it really is as simple as that. I pick 3 words at random (or let someone else pick them for me), and then I write for 15 minutes. The only rule is I need to include all 3 words and I must stop writing at 15 minutes. Check below for today’s results and, if you are so inclined, join in and post yours in the comments.
Persist, blue, and sparkles
The faded yellow line that split the highway, one side going east, the other west, was barely visible. Randi focused hard on the dashes. It was dark, so dark that her headlights barely made a dent, or whatever a light makes in the dark. Without the constant glow of the city to clear the way, the chill of the night was oppressive, crowding in on her like the crush of people pushing into the Walmart on Black Friday.
She should pull over. And she would, just as soon as she found…anything. She’d been watching for the blue sign her cousin had told her about, the one that pointed the way toward the desert retreat. Instead, all she’d found was miles and miles and miles of sand, a few cactus, and a spectacular view of a plateau. Of course, the sand, cactus, and plateau had faded along with the light of day.
Still, she persisted. The sign had to be just up ahead, around the next bend. Not that there had been any bends in this unforgiving, desolate straight road. All there had been was a seemingly never ending stretch of blacktop that grew more cracked and broken the farther east she drove.
Then, just like that, the sign appeared and she made the turn onto an even darker, much harder to see dirt road. No, not road. More like a goat trail. Not that she had any idea what a goat trail was, exactly, but if this seemed like a safe bet.
Slowly, the black in front of her shifted to a muted gray, until finally the sparkle of a porch light came into view. Even though there wasn’t a sign to announce that she’d arrived, this had to be the place. The road ended just ahead, and as further confirmation, her cousin ran out of
Notice how I stopped writing in the middle of a sentence? The timer went off and that was that. The result isn’t clean. I repeat the same words too many times. My punctuation is wack-a-doodle. And, really, who spends that much time thinking about driving in the dark?
That, my friends, is the whole point of this type of exercise. The goal isn’t to produce perfection. The point is to produce something.
Once again, y’all are invited to play along using the same 3 words and 15 minutes that I used. Share your results if you’re so inclined. Don’t edit first, though. Be brave. Share your first draft.
If y’all enjoy this, let me know. I’ll totally do this again if there’s interest!