Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Worthwhile Writing Exercise

I was going through some stacks of this and that in my home office yesterday. Doing that every now and then yields some hidden treasures on occasion. A writing exercise I'd done five years ago reached out to me and I'd like to share it with you today.

It came originally from my writer/blogger friend, Annette Gendler. Annette is a writer but also teaches memoir writing classes in Chicago. Perhaps this is one she uses in her classes. When I found my results of the exercise, I read through each section and realized that I had the bones of a personal essay or memoir piece in what I'd written. How and why it got buried is a mystery but I'm pleased that I unearthed it and can share with you, Not my answers but the prompts for your own responses.

My thanks to Annette who shared this exercise with me and other writers. I felt quite amazed at what I'd written for each of the following prompts. I think I must have started to answer and then let the words flow. I would be able to use this guide to write 7 personal essays. Now, isn't that worth taking time to do this exercise yourself?

Writing Exercise

What is the travel or life experience in which you...

1.  ... were the most frightened

2,  ... were the most frustrated

3.  ... experienced an outcome that surprised you

4.   ...felt the most exhilarated from afterward

5.  ... waited the longest to achieve/experience

6.   ...learned the most from

7.   ...didn't really want to do but were glad you did afterward


  1. This is awesome tha ks for sharing

    1. I think you'll be pleased if you do the exercise. Just let the words flow as they come to you. You can revise/edit later. Good writing to you!