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A 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises

Categories: Brian Klems' The Writer's Dig, What's New Tags: Brian Klems, online editor blog.

It’s the perfect time to restart your engine and get back into writing. Here, I offer up a 12-day plan of simple writing exercises to help you keep your creative juices flowing without eating up too much of your time. Follow this plan and in less than half a month, you’ll not only be impressed with what you’ve accomplished, but you may also have something worth publishing.

The 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises

Day 1:
Write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write.

Day 2:
Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for.

Day 3:
Write a setting based on the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.

Day 4:
Write a letter to an agent telling her how wonderful you are.

Day 5:
Write a 20-line poem about a memorable moment in your life.

Day 6:
Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other chapter and write a short story (no more than 1000 words) using those as bookends to your story.

Day 7:
Write a letter to yourself telling you what you need to improve in the coming 6 months.

Day 8:
Rewrite a fairy tale from the bad guy’s point of view.

Keep your writing organized and on-track with the help of The Writer’s Digest Weekly Planner.

Day 9:
Turn on your TV. Write down the first line that you hear and write a story based on it.

Day 10:
Go sit in a public place and eavesdrop on a conversation. Turn what you hear into a short love story (no matter how much you have to twist what they say).

Day 11:
Write the acknowledgments page that will be placed in your first (next?) published book, thanking all the people who have helped you along the way.

Day 12:
Gather everything you’ve written over the previous 11 days. Pick your favorite. Edit it, polish it and either try to get it published or post it on the Web to share with the world. Be proud of yourself and your work.

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.


Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter


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13 Responses to A 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises

  1. Dom says:

    Have gotten some great responses to my above posts, which originally started as a response to writer’s block, and thanks to a couple of Brian’s articles have led to a full blown personal blog. Recently suffered another bout, so I delved deep and came up with the below blog, which tackles writer’s block, performance anxiety, and offers possible solutions.

    Check it out, leave comments, and if I’ve missed any solutions, let me know.


  2. Dom says:

    Hey there, so it’s been two or so weeks since I started the exercises and at long last I have finished. Check out the summary blog, and see what you think! And have a glance at the articles on each exercise!


    Comments and criticism are most welcome!


  3. Dom says:

    Hey Brian, really interesting set of exercises which I’m setting out to partake in all this week and next. As a further exercise I’m keeping a tongue in cheek blog about it, which I thought you might be interested in :


    That’s the first one above, taking in my day of torture trying to come up with ten titles! I think I might be doing something wrong.

    I’ve mentioned your article in the blog, and would be interested to see what you think!



  4. josh.townley says:

    These are really good ones. I think for once I’m actually going to give them a go. Thanks!

  5. ngb says:

    So excited about this! I am constantly stressing myself out about not spending enough time writing while editing my book. This will help me remind me to take time each day. Thanks!

  6. ngb says:

    I am so excited to do this! I am constantly stressing myself out about not spending enough time writing while editing my book. This is a great way to remind me to take time each day. Thanks!

  7. EkrivenWriting says:

    Thank you! Love the 12 Day plan..only regret is that I did not come across it in Dec!

  8. grundy1o1 says:

    oOo these sound so much fun, thank you :).

  9. Angelia says:

    I like the idea of writing a fairytale from a bad guy’s point of view. Oh and then listening to a conversation and twisting the words into a love story, now that’s cool!

    Thanks for the ideas – all of them!!

  10. cinmar says:

    I love this idea. It’s easy to see how it can produce results. Thanks for the great motivation!

  11. Egg says:

    Nice. I especially like: “Be proud of yourself and your work.”

  12. Cloud Strife says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to each one. Perfect for bringing in the new year! Thanks a bunch!

  13. txvjk says:

    Great 12 day plan. I like all 12 exercises & look forward to each one. Thanks for sharing.

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