Take Ten

This creative writing exercise is from Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer

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Take Ten for Writers • No. 36 Creative Writing Exercise

I Wood If I Could

A walk in nature offers multiple benefits to your writing.

By Bonnie Neubauer | Updated September 9, 2018

Lost in the woods, your flashlight (thank goodness you thought to bring it) catches a glistening gold color in the hills far off to your left (you’d know it was north had you remembered your compass). You take two steps in the general direction of the hills. All of a sudden, a burst of freezing cold air (had you remembered your jacket, your teeth might have stopped chattering by now) smacks you in the face. The air feels almost tangible.

Write about what happens next. Start with: Under normal circumstances, I …

Pick a number between 1 and 10: ________.

Find your number below. This is the sentence you must use to end your story.

I Wood If I Could List

Find your number here. This is the sentence you must use to end your story.

  1. And that’s how I ended up inventing compass-glasses.

  2. Now you know why the smell of burning wood always evokes such mixed feelings in me.

  3. It’s a bit creepy to know that what sounds like fiction is really true.

  4. Thank goodness the realtor was a good sport.

  5. Next time, I will take the high road.

  6. I can’t believe I am admitting this, but the feng shui consultant was right on the money.

  7. The next time someone tells you there’s money in them there hills, listen.

  8. If given the chance, I would do it all over again.

  9. You never know what’s right around the corner … even if the corner isn’t actually visible.

  10. The North Star never lies.

Now TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE!

TAKE TEN Take-Away

A walk in nature (in the woods, on a beach, up a mountain, by a creek) can offer multiple benefits to your writing. First and foremost, physical exercise is a good balance for hours spent indoors hunched over a computer or notebook. Second, it helps clear your mind so it can wander and come up with new ideas and solutions to challenges. Third, what you see in nature (watching a bird feed its young, listening to a river flow, smelling freshly sprouted mushrooms) is great writing fodder. Pencil in an hour within the next week when you can be alone in nature. It's your choice whether you bring pen and paper with you or leave them at home to use later. Either way, you will still be writing, just in different stages of the process.

Next: LINGO-istics Writing Exercise

©2009 Bonnie Neubauer. All rights reserved.