Friday, February 12, 2010

Writing Warm-ups

Once upon a time, a crazy-lady writer told me right to my face she didn't have time for FaceBook. She needed to use her time and writing energy for real writing, or at least for writing warm-ups.

That crazy-lady writer lives in my mirror. And since that comment, to her surprise she's discovered FB is a GREAT writing warm-up. In fact, it's one of the best she's ever used.

In case you're wondering -- writing warm-ups are as necessary for a writer as warm-ups are for a runner or bicycler or skier or even a motor. Semester after semester, I taught writing warm-ups to college students, and enjoyed the students' relief that "wow, they really do work."

What does it mean that warm-ups work? It means no writer's block! So in addition to reading and commenting on FB for a few minutes, here are several other suggestions to jump-start your writing motor and zoom past the writer's b---- word.

I suppose FB's smaller Internet sibling, Twitter, might be a warm-up. But I don't have time for Twitter. However, FB's long-winded, older cousin E-mail works well for me, although too many e-mails really are an energy drain. So beware. Use moderation.

Read or watch news is another suggestion, especially if the news makes you mad or concerned or excited. When you feel strongly, you write quickly and with power.

Now I know many writers disagree with this next suggestion, but many also agree with it. Edit or reread your previous day's writing. Not once have I had writer's block after using editing as a warm-up. In fact, since I started using warm-ups long, long ago, I've forgotten what writer's block feels like.

To conclude, here's a warm-up that will rev up your spirit along with your writing. And what Christian writer doesn't need that?! Read a devotional. This year, my daily online devotionals of choice are from the Crystal Cathedral. Even if I don't read all the words, the accompanying photo image is enough to make my writing motor hum.

Now please take a minute to share your favorite writing warm-up for the benefit of the rest of us. And just think, doing so will be your warm-up for today. I promise!

Writing blessings,
Millie Samuelson :-)


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. I recently started a new routine where I begin my writing session by reading this blog. Words of wisdom from other writers are a great motivator for me. Lovely post, Millie.

  3. THANKS, Lisa! A GREAT warm-up idea for all of us!

  4. Great ideas! I guess my warm ups include emails and blogging, and also writing prompts and lessons for my teen writing students.
    Happy weekend,

  5. My warm up to get started in also to edit the previous work I've done.

  6. If I'm sensing a block, I write longhand in my journal. One writer described this process as "turning your purse upside down." I sort through the mental and emotional junk, throw out the trash, and keep what I need. This frees me to write more.