10 Ten-Minute Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is a skill that anyone can get better at with some hard work, guidance, and practice. The trick is to figure out what you should do to get better at writing and what you should not do.
Writing exercises, which are guided writing activities that build specific writing skills, are one of the best ways for good writers to get better. The important thing is to choose daily writing tasks that help you reach your goals.
Writing is a skill made up of several smaller skills. Some of these rules apply to both writers of nonfiction and fiction, such as:
The best writing exercises help you get better at one or two specific things at a time. It’s kind of like how athletes go to the gym to work on certain groups of muscles. Targeted practice is the key to getting good results.
You get good at the big thing (like writing) by getting better at the small things over time (e.g., grammar, style, speed, etc.).
By writing often, we learn how to write well. Let’s jump right in
you can do to improve your Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind, along with clear instructions on how to get started and short explanations of how each one will help you.
Here is a list of 8 things for 10 Ten-Minute Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind;
1. Write down the words of someone else
When you read a great piece of Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind, you might want to become a great writer. It could be a letter, article, speech, or book.
When someone wants to write, they usually have two questions: How did they do that? How can I learn to do that too?
Transcribing the work of a good writer is one of the best ways to learn from them. You can do this exercise in two different ways.
Get a copy of the information you want to study (e.g., book, article, etc.).
Focus on a small part of the material, like a chapter or a few paragraphs.
Option 1: Write the text word-for-word in a notebook or on a piece of paper.
Option 2: Type their content word-for-word on a computer using a program like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or Notion.
By typing up their work, you can get a feel for how they write. You’ll get a good idea of their style, the words they use, and how they put things together.
The more you do this, the more you’ll take some of their styles and make it your own. But don’t worry that you’ll lose your own voice. This activity will show you the good and bad parts of other writers’ styles so you can pick and choose the parts that work for you.
2. Write down how you really feel
Skills: speed, idea generation
The hardest thing about Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is coming up with something to say. Many writers sit down at their desks, but all they can see is a blank page.
That’s because they don’t yet know that creativity is a system with inputs and outputs. If you don’t read, talk to people, or try new things, your input will be empty and your output will be bad.
But one way to get your creative juices flowing is to start a reaction.
Find a news story, popular video, or hit song that makes you feel something good or bad.
Set the timer for ten to twenty minutes.
On paper or a computer, start Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind on how you feel about the item. Try to write until the timer goes off without stopping.
When you write down your thoughts, feelings, and arguments, keep in mind that they don’t have to make a story. The goal is just to get your mind to open up again and start coming up with creative words again.
Most of the time, your reaction writing will give you ideas for unrelated projects that you can use in the future. Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind will help you feel unblocked and ready to move on to the next thing.
3. Describe a real-world place
Skills: being clear, having style
Whether you write nonfiction or fiction, being able to describe people, places, and things accurately will be helpful in Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind.
You will be asked to come up with your own settings and describe what you see in your mind’s eye. This can help a little, but it won’t help you get the real details that make things come alive for readers. To do that, you’ll need to meet people in person.
Go to a local coffee shop, museum, or another place with a lot going on.
Spend a few minutes looking at what’s around you. You don’t have to look for anything in particular. Just look around and see what you find some Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind.
Next, take a few minutes to write down the most important parts of the story in a bulleted list. Try to describe at least a few things that you can smell, hear, see, feel, and taste.
Use the notes you took earlier that day to write a paragraph describing the setting.
The point of this Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is to write a paragraph that makes you feel like you’re back there. A good description is rarely one that says everything. Instead, it picks and chooses the most important parts a reader needs to know.
Show your paragraphs to your friends and family to get more practice and ask them what they think. Did they feel like they were actually there? If not, how could it be better?
4. Use word-building prompts
Word choice, spelling, and grammar are all skills.
There are good and bad ways to use words you don’t know in your writing.
The not-so-great way to impress your readers is to string together a bunch of big, smart words. Most of the time, this just makes them more confused. A better way is to expand your vocabulary so that you can occasionally use interesting words that better describe the ideas you’re Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind.
The key is moderation. This way, your writing is easy to understand and gives the reader something to find along the way. So, how do you learn words that will help you?
You could sign up for a free service like Merriam-“Word Webster’s of the Day” or buy a book like this one.
Learn a new word every day.
Spend a few minutes Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind three to five practice sentences with the word. If you can, try to use the word in something else you write later that day.
In reality, you won’t remember every single word you learn. Instead, the goal is to help you become more familiar with uncommon words so that as your writing and editing skills improve, you’ll be more likely to use them.
5. Make it a habit to write for fun
Skills: being clear and quick
Most Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind takes a lot of thought. Research, planning, outlining, writing, and editing are all parts of the process. All of these things are important. But putting all of these things aside, even for a short time, can lead to unexpected results.
‘Stream of consciousness writing,’ also called ‘freewriting,’ is a type of writing where the author just lets their thoughts flow into a piece of writing. One common way of doing this is “morning pages,” in which a writer fills up three pages as soon as they wake up in the morning. This clears their mind of any mental clutter so they can focus on what’s most important.
First, here are the steps for a flexible free Writing Exercise to Sharpen Your Mind.
Open a notebook or find some paper and a pen. This exercise works best when done by hand instead of on a computer.
Choose one of two goals: to fill the whole page with words or to write until the alarm goes off (suggested time: 5-10 minutes).
Start writing down words, ideas, and sentences as quickly as you can. They don’t have to fit together or make sense. The goal is to write whatever comes to mind until the page is full.
Second, here is a video that shows you how to do morning pages in a more detailed way.
Free Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is a great way to clear your mind so you can concentrate on the task at hand. It also helps you get ideas out of your head and onto the page faster.
6. Come up with more than one title
Skills: idea generation
Just as Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is a skill that is made up of many smaller skills, each piece of writing is made up of many different parts.
There are beginnings, middle parts, and endings. Different kinds of sentences are used to get different things done. Small changes can make a big difference in the tone, voice, and point of any article, book, or another piece of writing.
One way to practice influencing each of these parts is to come up with different headlines. These can be titles of pieces I’ve written, pieces I’m planning to write, or titles I’ve found online Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind.
Start with a full title, either one you made or one you found.
Change the words and the way it’s put together until you have 20–30 different versions. The Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind will be more helpful if there are more differences between the two groups.
Look over your drafts and try to find patterns you can use in other parts of your writing.
Headlines are a great tool to use because they stand alone and can have a big effect on what is being said. As you get better at coming up with different headlines quickly, you’ll be able to use the same skills in other parts of your writing, like trying out different beginnings or endings.
7. Check the work of other people
Skills: style, grammar, punctuation
Lastly, one of the most common and helpful ways to improve your Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is to edit the writing of others.
Editing is a bit different from writing in that it requires creators to look at their work in a more analytical way. The goal is not to finish an article or chapter, but to make the writing better. Better could mean more clear, less wordy, or full.
Sometimes, good editing adds new information. In some cases, it takes away. It all depends on the project, paragraph, and sentence at hand, which is why this is a skill that every writer would do well to improve.
Find a piece of writing is Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind that isn’t done yet and fix it. Local meetups and online writers’ groups like Foster.co are great ways to do this.
Start by reading the whole thing to figure out what the author was trying to say.
Next, add notes that will help the writer reach their goal. It’s important to not just say how you would do it, but also to try to think like the other writer.
After that, read through the piece again and look for small things to fix, like grammar and punctuation mistakes.
Always say things in a good way. Writing Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind is hard, and a small act of kindness can help a lot.
Even though you don’t want to edit as you write because it will slow you down, getting good at it will help you make better first drafts without you even realizing it. You’ll also learn more about how an editor works, which will help you work well with them and use their notes better.