Free Writing Exercises

By Aarushi Shetty


As writers, many of us rely on inspiration to create prose and poems. However, due to the lock-down it may be a little difficult to feel inspired to write. A lot of us may also be feeling like we haven’t been as productive as we’d like to be. If you’re in need of some motivation to write, here are some free writing exercises that you can try. You never know, it might help you create your next collection of short-stories or poems, maybe a novel or a memoir. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun when you try some of these!


#1  Pick a primary colour (Red, Blue or Green)

Photo credit: Oliver Henze


Now make a mind map of words that you associate with the chosen colour. For instance, red reminds me of blood, rose, apple and so on.  After you run out of ideas for the mind map, pick three to five words from the mind map at random. Now try writing at least a page; that is, one side in a notepad/book (could be prose or poem, doesn’t matter). Of course you can keep writing until you get tired or bored. Once it’s all done, read it out loud to yourself and enjoy the fact that you’ve been productive!


#2 Create a Villain

Photo credit: Aarushi Shetty


Choose a stereotypical villain: for instance, a vampire, serial killer or mad scientist. Now try describing them without directly naming the character you have chosen. Make it as long or as short as you like. Read it to someone or send the text to someone and see if they can guess what stereotypical villain you’re creating.


#3 Describe your pet

Photo credit: Visual Hunt website


Write about a day in the life of your pet! It could be their morning routine or something that they enjoy eating. Observe what they get up to throughout the day. You could even just describe their favourite spot in the house. Try writing a page or two about them. 

If you don’t have a pet, maybe write about an animal that you’d like to have. What draws you to them? What would you name them? How would you like to spend your time with them? Maybe try writing this like a personal essay. 

Did you have a pet in the past? Just write some of your best memories with them – things that made you smile or laugh out loud!

If you’re feeling confident about this one, maybe post it on your blog or any medium where people could engage with these stories and react.


#4 Rewrite the story of your favourite character from a film/series/book

Photo credit: Piotr Szczepankiewicz


If you’re especially disturbed by the death of your favourite character, or the creator has ruined them by bringing a sudden change in them, this is your chance to rewrite their story. Try writing a flash fiction or short story piece with this character in mind. You could even write a ranting letter or non-fiction piece on them! This is your moment to get rid of that pent up anger.


#5 Tarot Cards

Photo credit: Visual Hunt website

Pick a Tarot card. If you don’t have a deck, there are various websites online where you could choose one. Read more about this card and then try writing what you feel about it. You could simply use the card image for an ekphrastic poem (a poem that reacts to a photograph or artwork). 

I’ve tried writing one of these and really enjoyed it. Tarot cards are particularly an amazing tool for writing poems. You could even write a story featuring tarot cards as part of a vital plot element.


Go ahead, give these a go, and let us know if any of the exercises were helpful on our social media!

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