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Last year, I took a poetry workshop called “Hypnopoeia” with the poet Kristen Prevallet. In the workshop, we took a…

Last year, I took a poetry workshop called “Hypnopoeia” with the poet Kristen Prevallet. In the workshop, we took a look at different states of mind when writing poetry, ranging from the ways in which rhythm and sound affect the reading of a poem to writing while in a deep meditation or hypnosis. Our sessions were interesting and exciting — there was always the potential of having some really interesting idea or breakthrough while being exposed to ideas that were very far outside of the box.

While hypnosis may not be your thing (and I can say, with experience, that it’s not really mine), there’s something to be said for writing outside of your comfort zone. Using different exercises and practicing different writing styles is an excellent way to bring a new perspective to your usual blogging practice.

Something I’ve done is set up a private “practice” blog where I can post anything I want. (You can sign up for as many WordPress.com blogs as you’d like here and mark them as private by changing your privacy settings.) On my practice blog, it doesn’t matter if what I write is good or not. In fact, I expect the things that I’m writing with experimentation in mind to be bad. Without expectations, I’m free to try anything — there is no self-censorship involved.

One way that I like to challenge myself is by writing in a style that’s completely different from my usual style. As someone who tends to be overly verbose, limiting the amount of words I can use — either to a certain set of words or a certain number of words — can be extremely challenging. Likewise, if you’re a food blogger or write a personal blog, picking a news story to cover may be a fun challenge for yourself.

In addition to writing exercises like the prompts here at the Daily Post, brainstorm some challenges that put you outside of your comfort zone. Like to write politically-minded posts? How about writing from the opposite perspective. Think you don’t have what it takes to be a photo blogger? Try answering one of the Daily Post questions with a picture.

What kind of writing exercises have you tried? Which helped and which were a total flop? Post some of your ideas in the comments — and your examples!

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  1. I have to say I think I must be one of the most versatile bloggers, posts on my blog range from songs to photos, personal to business, political to recipe’s, opinions to mental health and anything and everything inbetween! I love trying new things and often throw in something I think I haven’t touched before just to see how it goes! :)
    Sharon

    http://showard76.wordpress.com

  2. A private blog is a great idea. There a lot of things I’d like to try without them being on my regular blog. Answering the prompts with pictures is great too. This is definitely getting the wheels turning for blog ideas. Thank-you!

  3. I should probably do this. I need something to jump start my brain. I am not great with any kind of niche. I am all over the place.

  4. Creative writing online is the practice of sharing ideas. Improving my ability to communicate my message is important, and something that needs alot of work. Thanks for your endeavor to bring us together WordPress.com, and with a little effort we can all improve our knowledge of where to deliver creative writing while improving our creative writing skills.

  5. I like the idea of trying different things to challenge your creativity, but wonder if once you’ve established an audience, if its a good idea to stray too far from the writing style that drew them to you in the first place. Interesting post. Thanks!

  6. BORROWED TIME.*

    Life deletes each day we live.
    It vanishes through a life long sieve.
    We spend it; waste it, as it flies
    Days pass us, months and years go by.

    We spend it quickly, without a thought
    Our life goes fast it can’t be bought.
    It sheds no worries as it flows
    Another year is all we know.

    That mountain peak, that paradise cove,
    We wanted to seek some time ago.
    Our friends start dropping as they die
    What did we do, as life goes by?

    We worried, argued, worked and played
    We laughed and cried along the way.
    Those dreams we keep inside our head
    They still are there they are not dead.

    What keeps us bumming down a beach
    What keeps us climbing that highest peak?
    Fear which youth have not yet learnt
    No fears no worries no bridges burnt.

    Now golden years are on their way
    I’ll take up flying or should I stay
    I’ll find an isle, the sea so bright
    Maybe a tsunami will come that night.

    Forget it all it gives me a pain
    Just to think my life away.
    I’ll feed the cat, the dog will play
    I’ll think of life another day.

    Susan Oliver owner of A Fun Gift Shop

  7. Creating a blog is becoming very easy nowadays , it is lovely to write your own ideas but the most important is to let others share your opinions , that is not easy ,

  8. I use a private blog for my editor to review my book manuscript. It works very well.
    I write mystery stories. When I need to refocus to get jump started on something, my favorite tool is “The Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves. Daily prompts plus helpful articles on the craft of writing.

    1. That’s very neat – I haven’t heard of anyone else using their blog for their editor.

      I’m definitely going to take a look into that book, now :)

  9. Creativity wouldnt come when shut inside a box…i think a private blog defeats the purpose of conversing and debating.. I might be wrong, do correct me if it seems a wrong thought!

    1. When I was young I had a friend who could hypnotise and there was a group of us and I was the only one she could not hypnotiseweird or what? I often wonder if it was because I was dyslexic and that part of the brain just did not click.A Fun Gift Shop

      1. that’s very interesting…now I am gonna dig up some scholarly articles in the Communication-Disorders discipline. I have been reading about the concept of mind control via the mass media, and if what you say proves to be true, then there may be ways for us to ‘break free’ from the ‘propaganda machine,’ if we aren’t already too late…

  10. i wish i could break free from my obsession with being semantically and syntactically correct…although it is fairly easy for me to be politically incorrect!!!

  11. I felt the same rush in my heart and soul in every inch of free cell in my body, as I was first fed by my mother when I came to this hollow space, when they told me you’re coming towards me

    My wait has been never ending to feel the same rush again

    These days the winds which are walking ahead of you, talk to me and feed me with the affirmation of your arrival.

    Please don’t delay my love….

    promises are made by the mother of weathers to calm down as calm as; your footstep which would touch the layers of quite waters and still they would stay calm without forming any tiny ripples of waves

    The trees, plants and flowers are going to dance from the time they get the message from the perfumer’s garden, where the flowers survived drinking perfume for years, and when u walk on them

    The birds would talk and sing to you even at my absence

    I’m waiting for you my love

    Stones are baring the sun more then ever to shine for you, to sparkle your beauty with ruby and jewels when you walk the narrow path through my gate, where the trees died and gathered like a emperors doorway, only waiting for you to push it open

    Horses and animals would stay guard to you, and listen only to your voice which might flow like the falls which has infinite soft curves

    Its taken a life time for me waiting for you, now I want to be wealthy only for a purpose

    Please be my purpose my love

    By-Me

  12. I took the postaday2011 challenge and then decided to get out of my comfort zone and offer a challenge to others to get out of their comfort zone and to do something different and then blog about it. Not only will it keep the brain cells popping, it will allow us a good reason to drive the long way home, taste new food, visit a new locale, interact outside our social circle and on and on. And then post about it weekly. Care to try?

    1. HATE.

      Hate and misery make bitter friends
      They lie in your heart until life ends.
      Blackening the soul, no cry for help
      Anger and hate are your best friends.

      Your daily life lives on with hate
      Piled high upon your dinner plate
      It creeps inside your marvelous brain
      While inside your body takes the strain.

      You may not see the outside husk
      Death in time vanishes hate to dust
      Year after year what have you gained?
      Misery solitude loneliness and pain.

      Family fuels that bitter pill
      Why did you have to change the will?
      While father’s stroke kept him so ill.
      An answer keeping water’s still.

      Anger will not changed your mind
      Hoping while we just bide out time.
      The olive branch was shown but burnt
      Life is too precious, a lesson not learnt

      We do not care how cruel we are
      Nor wicked net rants stick like tar
      Just like your father, goes the rhyme
      You spend time ranting wasting time

      You have a family please make this stop
      Heads still roll on your chopping block
      The blade is dull with all the blows
      Ten years or more that’s how it goes.

      Living far away over the sea
      How foolish wasting time can be
      Those moments all that waste of time
      Life cannot be bought that is the crime.

      When hate appears there seems no end
      Hope is the word we all depend
      What ever myths or lies you knew
      It’s best to ask guessing is not true. Written by Susan Oliver.