Are Writing Exercises Helpful?

I used to think that using writing prompts or exercises was like plagiarizing or cheating because you begin with someone else’s idea and just build on it.  But I have recently found that many writers use writing practice as warm-up or as a help to get ideas for a story flowing.  Recently, I have begun to read:

In this book, Josip Novakovich offers many writing exercises and he suggests that you connect them, to take your best shots and connect them in a collage or use them as seeds for fiction.  The exercises vary from very narrow to very broad and they build upon each other.  He explains that these exercises can be used to develop a story, to grow a story or to support a story in progress.  I am finding this book quite interesting and helpful.

Another great source for writing exercises is The Write Practice website.  Not only does this site offer writing practice prompts and ideas, but it also offers a wealth of writing advice.  You can also simply google “writing practice” or “writing prompts”, and their are other books that offer writing practice and prompts as well.

As I am still kind of stuck in a bit of a writing slump, trying to decide what genre to write and building a good story idea, I am finding the writing practices helpful because between them and this blog, at least I am writing.  I may post some of my writing practices here if I feel they are worth sharing.

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