Chasing Inspiration

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Writing Excercise

Barbara Samuel, a wonderful author who I had the pleasure of taking an online class with last year, posted the following exercise on an email loop.:
You can begin to uncover and discover what you want by doing a simple, timed writing exercise. Set your timer for 15 minutes and write without stopping, starting every sentence with the words “I want.” Writing without stopping for a set period of time enables your inner voice to override your inner censor and helps to unearth buried dreams. It also creates a feeling of relief in the mind, heart, and body.

Sometimes the simple act of expressing a want actually releases it, while other yearnings retain their energy, asking us to pay attention. When we pay attention to what we want, we are that much closer to getting it.

I did this exercise for myself and the resulting few paragraphs were very insightful. I discovered that I want to be absolved of making renovation decisions but have my vision for this house in tact. I want a Dairy Queen blizzard. Yum! I want to let go of fear. I want to let go of self recriminations. I want my poor dog to live forever. There are so many things I want.

I'm not going to get all my wants. That's life. But there is something about saying what you want and letting your fingers go that centers you and helps you to cut through the crap and get to the heart of what matters.

I encourage you to set your kitchen timer, sit at the computer or pick up a pen and paper and write for 15 minutes about what you want. Just keep writing. Don't stop to read, edit or evaluate. When the timer goes off, listen to that still soft voice inside you as you read through the list again. It may take some time, but you'll get to the heart of what you really want. Trust me. I'm slowly getting there myself.


  1. What a cool exercise! If you get the chance, check out the book, "The 3a.m. Epiphany." It's a great collection of writers' exercises.

    And no, I don't work for the publisher. LOL. Just liked your post and wanted to share. Best of luck!

  2. Hi Michael, Glad to see your comment and I will check out the 3 a.m. Epiphany. I love writing exercises. :)