Creative Writing Exercises

ook cover - Practical Creative Writing Exercises by Grace Jolliffe illustrating an article about Choosing a book cover creatorExercises to make you write.

Free Your Imagination

Sharpen your focus.

Accelerate your writing career.

If want to write but are struggling with the idea of where how to begin, then creative writing exercises are a great way to get started.

Whether you are a beginner, or are a more experienced writer, doing these exercises will stimulate your mind and get your ideas flowing.


I’ll be honest and say that very few people start writing and straight away produce great results.

We’ve all heard the stories about writers who find immediate success.

The reason they make headlines however, is that they are rare.

In reality, it takes practice and a great deal of thought to become a good writer.

That’s why you should stop procrastinating and start now.


Think of creativity as a muscle.

Like any muscle, creativity requires exercise if it is to become strong.

We all know we should exercise our bodies to maintain our health, so why not our minds?

I truly believe that writing exercises are a powerful way to increase your skills and that’s why I wrote my book Practical Creative Writing Exercises.

This is a book for people who genuinely want to develop their writing skills.


ook cover - Practical Creative Writing Exercises by Grace Jolliffe illustrating an article about Choosing a book cover creatorI have used these experiments with writing students of all ages and backgrounds and they always work.

Writing exercises are the fastest way to tap into your creativity and imagination.

The more often you do the exercises the greater success you will have.

If you seriously want to write then start by making some half hour appointments to write in your diary – and keep them.


Claim this time for yourself and sit down and write. Don’t miss an appointment, and tell anyone around not to interrupt you.

This is your life and your time. Keep it precious.

View each exercise as an experiment, a very personal experiment. You are trying to discover which exercise triggers the ideas you most want to develop.

There are no right or wrong answers – just your answers.

If you develop one idea and find yourself less than enthusiastic, or stuck, then just try another one.

beautiful red Galway sunset illustrating an article about creative writing exercisesIt is only by trying different exercises that you will find your story.

It may take a little time but remind yourself that all good writing takes time.

There are no rules either and it is important when you try the exercises to feel free.

Fool your fear and doubt, by telling yourself that nobody will ever read what you write.


Telling yourself this frees you from your mental editor, or inner critic.

You will be amazed with what a great difference this freedom makes to your writing.

You will feel more confident, your writing will flow and you will become more creative.

Soon you will find ideas occurring even when you are not thinking about writing and some of these are the best.

I wish you all the best of luck with your writing. Let me know if you have any problems and I will do my best to help.

Keep writing,


Many readers have told me that my book, Practical Creative Writing Exercises has helped them to finally get started writing.


It also helps to beat the infamous writers block.







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27 Responses to Creative Writing Exercises

  1. Grace March 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Thanks Stephanie, glad you liked them. Let me know how you get on!

  2. Anthony April 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I have spent most of this afternoon allowing my mind to wander and creating some really interesting characters/ situations….Thank you for this webpage it was exactly what I needed to motivate and inspire me. From this day forth my mindless scribblings will have a more structured purpose to them, and I am sure, as a result my stories will far better because of it. Merci beaucoup!!!!!

    • Grace April 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      Hi Anthony – it was great to get your comment and I am so glad you found motivation and inspiration from the exercises. Come back soon and tell me how your writing developed – I’d love to know.

  3. Dana Rockwell May 13, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Amazing read. I’m looking to start a small web series or a writing website to expand on my writing ideas and to practice creative writing.

    • Grace May 13, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Thanks Dana, best of luck with your writing. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes for you.
      All the best, Grace

  4. Maggie Bears September 8, 2014 at 3:50 am #

    I was trying to look up good exercises for my Creative Writing Club group and after finding this website I realize that I have found some great ones! I can’t wait to use some of these and to get them on this website and writing. Thank you so much for compiling this and sharing it with us. Absolutely amazing!

    • Grace September 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi Maggie, thanks for your comments. I am very glad you found the exercises helpful and hope your group find them helpful also. I am soon going to be bringing out a book of exercises and I think you will find it very useful.
      Best wishes

  5. Jeremy September 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    As someone who wants to make videogames and always loves new ways to strengthen my imagination, I am really thankful that you have put together all of these exercises. I hope through them I can become a more creative writer and bring deep stories to my games. So far I like the abstract and dramatic exercises the best.

    • Grace September 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      Hi Jeremy, thanks for your comments. Keep in touch I would be very interested to hear how you get on with your video games.
      Best wishes,

  6. Daniel September 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Thanks alot, I found it very useful, because im a student that has an essay tomorrow and my English isnt very good. I just have to tell my friends about this page.
    Thanks A MILLION

    • Grace September 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      I am glad it helped.
      Best of luck with your work.

  7. Subhadra November 4, 2014 at 1:53 am #

    What do you call it when a story just refuses to be picked up from a point? Its like, I get inspired and start writing and if I stop, that’s the end of it! I don’t feel inspired same way and the story feels offended if i resume it half-assed. It is so frustrating. Do you have any help for hopeless people like me?

    • Grace November 4, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Subhadra,
      This is a problem for a lot of writers also. It is always easier to stay fresh and inspired at the start of a story. The problems start when that flush of enthusiasm fades a little.
      There are two things you can try. First always end your writing session at a point where you are sure you know where you going and still feel good. If you know what is going to happen next just make a quick note about it.
      Then when you begin your next writing session you are starting at a high point – not a low.

      The other suggestion I have is to plan your story first – even just few notes. If you have a fairly good idea of where you are going you will find it much easier to keep writing. Remind yourself that a lot of writers get frustrated and that the more you write the easier it will get.
      Best of luck with it and don’t forget to come back and tell me how you get on.

  8. Emm Jay Sopori December 3, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Thanks a lot…….
    I am always thinking to write but I hesitate to do so. now on finding your website, I got much enthusiastic about writing, I will definitely love to be in touch with you.

    • Grace December 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi Emm Jay,
      Great to hear you are feeling enthusiastic – keep going!
      Best wishes

  9. Karen June 19, 2015 at 2:02 am #

    Hi Grace, we used one of your exercises for our writing group and enjoyed the creativity that it inspired.
    Thank you!

    • Grace June 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Karen,
      I am so glad it worked and that you and your group enjoyed it.
      Thanks for letting me know – good luck with your writing.

  10. Craig June 19, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    You have an excellent site Grace. Thanks so much for the writing exercises. They really do provide a jump-start for lagging creative energy.

    Kind regards,

    • Grace June 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Hi Craig,
      Thanks a million for that – warms my heart to hear it. Best of luck with your writing.

  11. Kris Whitestone September 24, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Another cute lil start out technique:

    Ape the sure hand of the sure master. Step into the shoes of F Scott Fitzgerald, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Hemmingway, Faulkner, Shakespeare (yes, you can!) and spend a few moments imitating their style/s.

    Try on their ways if capturing a scene and emotion:

    Driving through the “green echoes” of Nabokov

    Wear the “Wet hair like a blue daub of paint” of Fitzgerald

    Imagine “A cat of great size that rides the tram by himself” by Bulgakov

    Ask “What may this mean, that thou, dead corpse…?” (Shakespeare).

    Catch the tail of the wind… Let your pictures narrow down into a telling single feature (one or two features, maybe).

    you go to a store. Afterwards, how do you know you have been there? Because you remember every item on every shelf? No, no. And who wants to read that? We all have been to stores. Let’s go to your store. Mine is a foot-aching place with a hospital-white floor of dubiously high polish… etc etc… Whatever becomes important – hone in on that. There is more to be said by saying less.

    “A fire of red roses” (my own).

    “I blathered on and on, as one drunk to another does, telling my tale of a short prude, a tall miser and a well-developed adolescent sylph and her dog of mixed eye color…” (my own again).

    Catch it – and let the reader catch it. That’s all that is necessary. The hard work, when you are beginning to frame a scene is to give the telling feature. Too much is always too much. Words bloat.

    Avoid adjectiving the black, white, fat, short, tall, happy, sad reader who drives a red car with a red steering wheel to their slow death. Drive, plot, mastermind, dear god do it- and keep your readers in suspense.

    Write for yourself, but write like the world is listening. Hook into what they know. Assume they have as much life experience as you.

    And so it ends. Wa laum.

    • Grace September 30, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Thanks for this Kris – beautiful quotes and suggestions.
      All the best


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