Becoming a talented writer takes practice, so flex your creative muscles with these 21 writing exercises for beginners.
1. Start Writing a Journal
You do not need to spend a lot of time on this exercise. Pick one thing that happened during your day and write a few paragraphs.
2. Spend at Least 30 Minutes Writing Each Day
Besides the time that you spend writing in your journal, you should spend at least a half an hour writing each day.
A couple of prominent authors recommend that you write between 750 and 1000 words per day. The truth is that focusing on reaching an arbitrary word count can be discouraging. Instead of aiming for a specific word count, try to write for at least 30 minutes each day to keep your mind sharp.
A few minutes here and there is not enough time to get into the right mindset. You need to shut yourself off from distractions and just focus on writing.
When you have 30 minutes to spare, choose one of the exercises below and start writing.
3. Practice Stream-Of-Consciousness Writing
Practising stream-of-consciousness writing is one of the most commonly used writing exercises for beginners. With this type of free writing, you write the first thing that comes into your head, even if it makes no sense.
The words that you type or write may be complete gibberish. However, some writers find that stream-of-consciousness writing allows them to express themselves in ways that they did not expect.
4. Let Wikipedia Choose a Random Topic
Allow Wikipedia to select a topic for a short creative writing exercise by using the random article feature. When you click the random article link, Wikipedia will take you to a random article from the millions of pages hosted on the site.
Whatever page shows up, use it as your topic to write a short story or anecdote. It is an interesting way to get a topic idea as you may end up writing about an animal, a famous person, a country, or a random piece of machinery.
5. Write a Letter to Yourself at a Different Age
Writing a letter to your younger self is a common writing exercise, but you do not always need to address your thoughts to yourself as a child.
You can also choose to write to your older self. Send a message to yourself years from now.
Write about your plans and what you hope to achieve in the next ten years. It may be interesting, or disheartening, to reread these thoughts when you are older.
6. Write a Short Tutorial on a Topic You Know
Writing is typically easier when you write from experience. Choose something that you have experience with or a topic that you are knowledgeable about and write a few tips or a short tutorial.
Learning how to write a tutorial is not hard, especially when you know what you are talking about. Imagine that you are explaining how to perform a specific task to someone who has no experience.
For example, if you are an avid cyclist, you may write about how to choose the best bike or what types of tires are best for different conditions.
7. Write Reviews of the Products You Buy
After buying something new and testing it out, consider writing your own review. It can be a short review of just a few hundred words or an in-depth look at the product.
Start with an overview of the product. Discuss its main features and any technical details.
You should also include the pros and cons of the product. Write about the features that you liked and any problems that you found. You could even start submitting your reviews on Amazon.
8. Summarize or Review a Movie, TV Show, or Book
Spend 10 to 30 minutes summarising or reviewing. Reviews are preferred as they allow you to get more creative compared to a summary.
It does not need to be a positive review if you did not enjoy the program or book. Simply write your honest opinion as no one else needs to see it.
However, if you are not feeling creative, writing a straightforward summary is still a good way to get your practice in.
9. Rewrite a News Article or Blog Post
If you are similar to most people, you spend at least a few minutes per day reading random news articles, clickbait articles, and blog posts. When you find an article that you like or find one that is horribly written, rewrite it.
Just keep in mind that these rewritten articles should not be posted online. Use them for your personal writing exercises.
When rewriting the article, try to spin the content in a unique way. You could even get creative and give the article a different ending or embellish some of the facts to make the story more interesting.
10. Search Online for an Inspiring Image
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to start writing. Go online and search for a picture that sparks your interest.
If you cannot find any inspiration, collect four to six random images and try to connect them in a creative story. It should have a beginning, middle, and an end.
The images do not need to be related. In fact, this exercise works better if the images are completely unrelated. Imagine having an image of a celebrity, an animal, a meal, and a location. The potential stories that you could create are endless.
11. Write an Anecdotal Story About Your Childhood
Take a moment to think back to your childhood. Use the first childhood memory that pops into your head as the topic for your next writing exercise.
Use the anecdote to write a short story. It can be a single page or twenty pages, depending on how much time you want to spend writing. Imagine that you are telling this story to a friend.
Feel free to change some of the details. You could even add fantastical elements. Turn your favorite childhood birthday party in a fantasy or science fiction story.
12. Recount a Tale That Someone Told You
If you cannot come up with a fun anecdote to write about, recount a story told to you by someone else.
You may have a story that your grandpa told you years ago that you do not want to forget. Or you may remember a funny story that a friend told you about yesterday.
Similar to your personal anecdotes, these stories do not need to be truthful. You can embellish the facts or completely change the story.
13. Create an Original Name for a Character
When you hear certain names, you immediately visualize the people and may even begin thinking about what their lives are like. As a fun writing exercise, create an original-sounding name for a character and then write about this person.
Think about how this person is and what he or she does for a living. Try to create a problem or struggle that this person must overcome and then write a short story.
If you do not have the time to write a story, you can simply write a few sentences from the perspective of the character.
14. Use Writing Prompts to Find a Writing Topic
One of the most common writing prompts is food. Write about the last meal that you ate. Describe it in detail, including the steps that you took to prepare it or purchase it and how it tasted.
Besides food, here are a few common prompts used in writing exercises for beginners:
You can also find additional writing prompts in a dictionary. Flip open the dictionary. The first word that your eyes land on is your writing prompt.
You can use the writing prompt to write any type of story or anecdote. You may even simply write facts about the topic.
For example, you may flip open the dictionary and land on the word “asparagus”. If you are not feeling creative, you can write about how asparagus is grown or the health benefits of eating asparagus.
15. Use Social Media Sites to Find a Writing Topic
Social media site are also useful sources for writing prompts and unique topics.
Visit Twitter and look at the “Worldwide Trends” column. Choose the first topic that you see and write something about it.
Another option is to visit your Facebook page and scroll through your feed. The first post that catches your attention is your topic.
You can write your opinion on the topic, provide facts on the topic, or come up with an original story related to the topic. This same method can also be applied to Pinterest, filled with thousands of inspiring images, there are endless topics to write about.
16. Write from a Completely Different Perspective
Do you have something that you are passionate about? As a creative writing exercise, try writing about the topic from the opposite side of the aisle.
Take on the role of the devil’s advocate and write from the perspective of someone with the opposite viewpoint. This is a challenging way to look at an issue from a different perspective.
You may end up reinforcing some of your own stereotypes about how the opposing side feels about the issue. Or you may end up altering the way that you feel about the subject.
17. Create Your Own Mad Libs
You may remember Mad Libs from your childhood. While they are fun to fill out and read, creating your own Mad Libs is a fun writing exercise.
You can use almost any story, blog post, or a book excerpt but this works best with something short. If possible, choose something that you can copy and paste into your word processor.
Go through each sentence and remove one or two nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Make sure that you leave a space mentioning whether the removed word was a noun, verb, or adjective.
After removing the words, create a list of nouns, a list of verbs, and a list of adjectives. Insert the first noun in the first blank space for a noun. Repeat this process until you have filled out your DIY Mad Lib and then laugh as you read it aloud.
18. Write About Your Surroundings
If you are struggling to come up with a topic for your creative writing, simply write about your surroundings. You may be sitting at a desk. Write about the desk and the objects on it.
You can write about the room that you are in, what you see through the window or the mess that you need to clean up. This is a short, simple exercise that should take no more than a few minutes.
19. Alphabet Writing Exercise
This exciting writing exercise can help you become an excellent writer. For this exercise, you need to begin each sentence with a different letter in the alphabet. Therefore, you must compose at least 26 sentences for this writing exercise.
20. Finish the Story
The writing exercises for beginners should help get your creative juices flowing. One way to do this is to finish a story based on a single sentence.
Open any work of fiction to a random page and read the first sentence that your eyes land on. Use this sentence as the first sentence of your story and close the book.
Use the sentence as a springboard to come up with an original idea. You can simply write a paragraph or two or come up with a complete short story.
21. Edit Your Own Writing
As a final writing exercise suggestion, start editing your own writing. You should never toss out your writing. If you use a computer to write, store all your creative writing exercises in a folder where you can easily find them.
Writing is a creative process that requires you to review your work from a different perspective. Painters can stand back from their paintings to see them in a different light. For writers, you need to distance yourself from the writing for a day or two and then come back to it.
When you review your writing with a fresh set of eyes, you are more likely to notice mistakes or style issues that you did not notice while writing. As you edit your work, you may uncover some of these issues.
Revisiting certain pieces over time, you will be surprised how you can improve them with editing since your experience is heightened with age and this is when you will truly realise how far you have come.
To develop your writing skills, learn from the mistakes that you catch and continue to write each day. Moreover, you should always practice these writing exercises for beginners if you want to become an excellent writer.