Perhaps one of the easiest writing exercises to get started with, as it suits all ability levels from the seasoned novelist to the writing novice. Journaling is a great one because you can write about literally anything you want to; your day, your dreams, achievements, quotes that inspire you, reading lists, the series you want to watch on Netflix, your to-do list… we could go on forever. Journaling can be super beneficial for helping you to chill out and clear your thoughts, all by writing about whatever comes into your head. Just grab a pen and a notepad and get started.
You can split these out into professional or personal goals, or you can even go one step further and start a list for each area of your life: family, work, health & fitness, community – or whatever those might be for you. At the risk of sounding like your manager, make sure your goals are SMART – that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based – for those of you who have forgotten. Basically, just make sure that they’re realistic goals you can actually achieve. Also, don’t forget to look back on your list of goals to make sure you’re keeping track of progress or see if they need updating.
We’re not necessarily talking about writing a Shakespearean sonnet or a limerick about a man from Cork – although you can totally do that if you want. Poetry can be about anything you want, and written in any way you want. You just need to make sure you’re writing about something that’s meaningful for you which, hopefully, shouldn’t be too hard. Poetry can help improve your other writing as you’re usually forced to choose your words carefully to fit into the rhythm and pace of the poem. And, if we’re getting real deep, it can also assist you to get in touch with your emotions and even help get you through a difficult time.
You’d be lying if you said it had never crossed your mind. But maybe you thought you’ve missed the boat? Despite what most people think, blogging is most certainly not dead, and now is the perfect time to start. Whilst there are thousands of blogs out there, you can always bring something new to the table. Perhaps you have a crazy cool job you could write about, or are really into your vegan, gluten-free, baking and want to document and share your greatest recipes. Write about what you love and you can never go wrong.
One of my personal favourites and one that we’d encourage everyone to have a go at now more than ever is the gratitude list. So simple, yet so powerful. The gratitude list has the ability to instantly lift you up out of a bad mood. Start with the simple things (WiFi counts) and you’ll quickly see there are so many things to be grateful for. Incorporate this practice into your daily routine or whenever you’re feeling a bit down and see how quickly it can change your perspective. There are literally no excuses to not try this one – there’s always something to be grateful for!
You might not have had a J.K. Rowling moment – where the idea of a best-selling fantasy series comes fully formed to you while waiting for a train – yet, but we’re sure you’ve had at least some idea of an interesting story in the past. Now’s the time to write it. Research your idea, develop your plot, set a daily word count target and just get going. Or if you’re struggling for ideas, there are hundreds of sites where you can get writing prompts to start your next big blockbuster. Here’s an idea to get you started: put your favourite Spotify playlist on shuffle, take whatever song comes on first and use the title or first lyric as your starting point.