Simple writing exercise – Rory’s Story Cubes

If there’s one thing in the writing process I seriously underestimated it would be the importance of warming up before you write. Before university if I was to write something, I would open my laptop, get up a word document and just write. The start of my writing was always a bit clunky; it didn’t flow very well. If anything needed the most editing in my work, I could guarantee you it would be the start. I now understand that was because I didn’t warm up before I wrote anything.

Since being at university I’ve come to realise the importance of being in the right mindset before I write. I’m not talking about making sure I’m relaxed or feeling very motivated, what I’m talking about is making sure the ideas are flowing and I’m warmed up. So far, I’ve been doing this by free writing. I will set a two-minute or five-minute timer on my phone, pick up a pen and write non-stop until the time was up. What this did was let me get most of my clunky writing out of my system before I was working on my manuscript or essay. You don’t have to do this with a pen and paper, it’s just I find it a little bit easier to be less perfect when I’m scribbling down ideas on paper and not typing them.

It’s all been very well and good but over time it’s got a bit boring so when I went back home at Christmas, I found my story cubes and decided to bring them back with me to university.

I’ve had these since I was about 13 and I think they’re so useful. They’re a fantastic way to just have fun thinking of stories and plots. Since I’ve been back at university, I’ve been using these cubes regularly as writing prompts and over time they became my warm up, replacing free writing. What I wanted to share with you all today is how I use these as a professional writer as a method of warming up my writing muscles. I understand they’re designed for children, but I really wouldn’t underestimate them or dismiss them because of the target audience. Continue reading “Simple writing exercise – Rory’s Story Cubes”

Dear Social Media, lets break up

Dear Social Media.

I’ve known you for a while and I can say that I can’t stand you. Hate feels like too strong of a word and anyway, if I truly hated you then why do I spend so much time with you?

I guess you’re something I love to hate.

I don’t know what it is about you, maybe it’s the way you keep me entertained, maybe it’s the way you show me adventures and beautiful places I would have never imagined existed. Maybe its the funny cat videos and the cute puppies that bring a smile to my face. Maybe it’s the dopamine rush I get from people liking a picture of mine.

No matter what it is, I can’t seem to put you down.

You make me feel connected, yet I’ve never been so lonely. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to some of the people on my news feed. I don’t send them a text, I won’t meet them for coffee, why should I? I only have to scroll and I know everything they’ve done for the past year. But hours of scrolling makes me seem dull, friends I once knew pose for a photo and my loneliness only grows. I have a fear of missing out because of you. Continue reading “Dear Social Media, lets break up”