Daily writing practice.
November 4, 2013 10:50 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to begin a daily writing practice, to be hosted on a semi-public blog (that is, it's public but not promoted, and not for anyone but myself).

I just want something to do on my lunch break, about 20 minutes every day. It's public because I've found a nice public free blog hosting service that I find pleasing and simple to use; it could just as easily be private.

What sort of daily writing practice might be rewarding in this situation? Just looking for some ideas. I'm imagining that the blog will have a central conceit to it, like:

Find a new image each day and make up a five paragraph story about the (noun)s in it.

Find a two-minute clip of a film on YouTube each day and deconstruct it.

Construct a persona (time traveller from the 1800s in Modern Day America) and write a different short story every day about their reaction to some modern device/event/whatever.
posted by jsturgill to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Pick a product at random on Amazon every day, and write a fictional piece about how it was invented/created/written/whatever. (This has an added benefit in that you can easily make affiliate links to the products, and if your blog ever takes off, PROFIT.)
posted by jbickers at 10:55 AM on November 4, 2013

Write a ten-minute (10 page) play each day.
posted by xingcat at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sometimes finding topics for the conceit can take more than 20 minutes...

What about using the Wikipedia "random article" link as inspiration for your writing product that day, OR write about an event from your life. Just two choices. Decide between those two, then write!
posted by samthemander at 11:02 AM on November 4, 2013

You could go down the rabbit hole and choose a random writing prompt from one of the blogs/lists dedicated to them. (1, 2, 3)
posted by jessamyn at 11:24 AM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Find "this day in history" & obscure holidays sites that fit the bill & check them each morning. At lunch, write a story about the holiday, a history-as-you-know-it, a made-up history, a story of one person's experience of it, a vignette that only obliquely references it, a dinner-party menu for celebrating it, etc.
posted by headnsouth at 11:52 AM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pick a human relations AskMeFi post at random every day and write a short story based on the predicament.
posted by Wordwoman at 11:56 AM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

If you like sci-fi, io9 has concept art writing prompts.
posted by Tom-B at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Vocabulary.com Dictionary has a Featured Word and a Random Word function, which you can use to enlarge your own vocabulary (if needed) and to give you a starting point for a story or essay. It also provides synonyms so it acts as a thesaurus as well.
posted by KMB at 12:20 PM on November 4, 2013

Plenty of ideas in this post.

Natalie Goldberg is great source of more general advice on writing inspiration.
posted by duffell at 1:29 PM on November 4, 2013

Since it is November, check out National Novel Writing Month where you can join write-ins and an hour or two contributing to your novel every day. It's a great way to break past all your perfectionist barriers and warm up your writing skills in a supportive community.
posted by dinosaurprincess at 3:13 PM on November 4, 2013

I got a book from Amazon called The Writers Workout. It gives you a daily "workout" for writing by offering simple prompts as well as techniques and tricks.
posted by manderin at 6:08 PM on November 4, 2013

Any chance you'll be in a public place while doing this? A favorite lunch spot, cafeteria or coffee shop? If so, describe a scene in the moment. Maybe it's just in-depth description of an intriguing person. Maybe it an imagining of what that couple, heads together in intense discussion, is talking about. The possibilities are endless if you have strangers around you in a changing environment.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 11:59 PM on November 4, 2013

In addition to Jessamyn's list, I'd add Write One Leaf for a writing prompt site.
posted by BlooPen at 6:18 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

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