Writing

Writing Exercise: What’s in a Word?

I’m preparing to rewrite my second novel (again) so thought I’d limber up with some writing exercises, get the old fiction juices flowing. I’ll share the instructions for each exercise and the results, and you can ‘write along’ with me, if you like. Note: I’m doing these exercises longhand and then typing them up –… Continue reading Writing Exercise: What’s in a Word?

Writing

Writing Exercise: Five Favourite Words

Another writing exercise to get the juices flowing! This time we’ll explore five of our favourite words – these could be any word you like or whatever is rattling around inside your head at the moment. Try to choose words that are concrete rather than abstract, words that point to something real, not an idea.… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Five Favourite Words

The Shining Ones · Writing

How a bad writing exercise seeded The Shining Ones

Ideas for novels often spring from unexpected places. The seed that became the sprout that grew into my latest novel arrived in the form of a disappointingly bad writing exercise. The exercise itself wasn’t the problem. You just had to take the opening line of a novel and then continue to write for half an… Continue reading How a bad writing exercise seeded The Shining Ones

Writing

Write Like a Beginner: A Silly Tale of Derring-Do

A little while ago I went to a Writing for Wellbeing workshop and one of the exercises was called ‘Writing Like a Beginner’. The idea was to stop worrying about getting it right and just write any old stuff – like you did when you were a child. It frees you up and gets you… Continue reading Write Like a Beginner: A Silly Tale of Derring-Do

Free Your Pen

Buddhist Writing Prompt: First, Remember the Basics

First, remember the basics is about the intention behind starting something new. Your intentions lay the foundation for everything you do, so your reasons for doing something are important and will determine how things turn out. The original lojong slogan is: First, train in the preliminaries. This refers to the four basic facts of life… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: First, Remember the Basics

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Buddhist Writing Prompt: See Everything as a Dream

See everything as a dream is about letting go and not trying to control reality. After facing up to the facts of life and death in Slogan 1, you can see how everything is always changing and impermanent, so the best thing to do is to go with the flow. The original lojong slogan is:… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: See Everything as a Dream

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Buddhist Writing Prompt: Examine the Nature of Awareness

Examine the nature of awareness asks you to turn your attention inwards and notice who is aware of your experience. If you want to train your mind you first need to understand how it works and who is doing all this thinking. The original lojong slogan is: Examine the nature of unborn awareness. When you… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Examine the Nature of Awareness

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Buddhist Writing Prompt: Don’t Hold on to Your Stories

Don’t hold on to your stories reminds you to let go of your ideas about reality and yourself. It’s also about not taking these slogans too seriously. They’re just ideas or thoughts in your mind. They may be useful tools, but it’s important not to get too attached to them. The original lojong slogan is:… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Don’t Hold on to Your Stories

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Buddhist Writing Prompt: Rest in Beginner’s Mind

Rest in beginner’s mind encourages you to meditate and rest in the awareness you discovered in slogan 3. So if you don’t already have a regular meditation practice, now would be a good time to begin. The original lojong slogan is: Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence. Alaya is the essence of consciousness,… Continue reading Buddhist Writing Prompt: Rest in Beginner’s Mind