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Writing Activities – Boost Your Creativity

grassy Galway lane - illustrating an article about writing activitiesWHAT IS OBSERVATIONAL WALKING?

Writing activities aren’t just things you do indoors in front of your computer.

There are other ways to improve your creativity and productivity and not all of them involve sitting down.

In fact, if you spend a lot of time sitting then you will probably feel a lot better in many ways if you get outside.

This is where walking comes in. But I don’t just mean walking and thinking.

I’m talking about the opposite – giving your mind a rest.

Our minds are full of thoughts and problems and letting go of these is a great way to relax and allow our creative thoughts to surface.

WRITING ACTIVITIES

It can be hard to be creative when our minds are brimming and one of the best ways I know to clear the mind is observational walking.

Have you ever tried not thinking?

I know it’s difficult isn’t it… however there is a solution.

You simply walk at a comfortable pace, listen out carefully for sounds and observe your surroundings.

Today as I walked from my Galway home to the pier down the road I listened carefully and was treated to a variety of bird noises: the cry of the curlew, the gentle sounds of swallows, and finches.

The more I listened the more I heard and the more I heard the more I forgot about problems.

SLOW DOWN

two little birds chatting on a fence illustrating an article about creative writing activitiesYou may find you need to walk at a slower pace than usual. But that’s okay.

You don’t have to walk like this for long and you can always pick up the pace on your way home.

If you do a daily exercise walk like me, you can do some observational walking as a warm-up at the beginning of your walk or as a slow down at the end. stage of your walk.

The key is being aware; listening and observing.

Observing your surroundings clears a space in your mind for creative writing ideas.

It also means you remember a great deal more.

The most trivial observation can grow into something much, much bigger and you will find your mind is now generating so many new creative writing ideas that you won’t know which one to choose.

Below is an example of how to notice an everyday occurrence and develop it into a story:

A CRACK IN THE PAVEMENT

For example, you see a woman stepping on a crack in the pavement. If you to develop this further it might go as follows:

Mary walked quickly. She mustn’t have been superstitious or else she didn’t notice a crack in the pavement. She didn’t slow down, and she didn’t step around it.

Jack noticed it. Jack also noticed the small metal square embedded in the dirt. He snatched it up and dropped it into his briefcase before Mary had even walked the short distance to the edge of the footpath.

Ask yourself what happened next?

Always ask yourself what if?

That simple question can turn the simplest observation into a story.

 

There is a whole world of great ideas out there – all you need to do is stop for a moment and take a look.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world – Albert Einstein

Best of luck with trying out these writing activities. I honestly love to hear from other writers so do let me know how you get on.

Best wishes

Grace

P.S. Don’t forget all the information here is free because I love helping writers – so it would help pay the running costs of the site if you liked, commented or shared this post.


My book, Practical Creative Writing Exercises has helped many writers with writer’s block and got them started on great stories.

It is packed full of information and exercises.

For a short time the book is priced at less than the price of a cup of coffee – so now is the best time to get yours.

Book cover - Practical Creative Writing Exercises by Grace Jolliffe illustrating an article about Writing Activities - Boost Your Creativity

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