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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

BECOMING A WRITER
Welcome!
Welcome to the handout that accompanies this course. It's in two parts the first contains the four principles I believe are essential for good writing. The second contains the writing exercises. Use the writing exercises to practice writing. To get into the swing when you're feeling unmotivated. To develop techniques that will improve your writing. Use them like a warm-up at the gym. And you'll discover that I don't want you to spend long on the exercises. Three minutes is enough. It really is meant to be the warm-up! If you're new to writing then the exercises will help you build confidence. The confidence to just get your words down. If you're a more experienced writer then some of the exercises have been designed to stimulate your creativity. To make you look at description and story-telling as essential components of your non-fiction writing. This is just a selection of what I talk about to help you get your book out into the world. You can find more resources on writing, publishing and marketing your books at http://thebigbookproject.com See you there!

Cathy Presland

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Contents
What Makes Good Non-Fiction Writing? ..............................................................................................3 Exercise One: Lists..............................................................................................................................12 Exercise Two: The Why Question Getting In Touch With Yourself ...............................................13 Exercise Three: The Random Connection Getting Your Writing Brain In Gear ............................14 Exercise Four: Finding the Good in People Connecting With Your Reader .................................15 Exercise Five: Processes Writing to Teach ....................................................................................17 Exercise Six: Principles Writing to Teach........................................................................................18 Exercise Seven: Starting to Tell Stories .............................................................................................20 Exercise Eight: A Single Sense ..........................................................................................................23 Exercise Nine: Giving Advice Writing To Teach .............................................................................24 Exercise Ten: Opposites The Other Side of the Argument ............................................................25 Exercise Eleven: Write Less; Keep It Simple .....................................................................................27 Exercise Twelve: Fall In Love with Your Writing ................................................................................29 Where To Find Out More... .................................................................................................................30

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

What Makes Good Non-Fiction Writing?


What makes good non-fiction is as varied as what makes good fiction but, for me, the most important four principles are these:

1. Connection With Your Reader


Understand Your Reader
The ability to understand your reader and express their point of view and what they are experiencing better than they can. You might be talking about weight loss and the feeling women get when their shirt buttons are just stretched a little too much to be comfortable. Good writing is not just about you there are two people in that relationship you and the reader. In the same way we wouldn't expect a good romantic or business relationship to be all about us, we can't expect a good reading relationship to be all about us. The more we know about the person we are writing for the better we will be able to create a connection with them. Do they want to be inspired, educated, challenged, nurtured, transformed? Maybe some combination of all of those but deep inside, most of us just want to be understood.

Imperfection And Vulnerability


There is a misconception that new writers sometimes have, that we need to be perfect. That we need to show an unbroken facade to others a shining example that someone can look up to. But to create

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a strong connection, it is also important to show flaws. To reveal an internal conflict. That this adds interest and reality to your writing and will help create a connection with a reader. Readers love to connect with someone who isn't perfect. Someone who has made mistakes and has setbacks on their journey. Especially if your story resonates with what they are currently experiencing (because we all have flaws!).

Perspective And Judgement


It's difficult to write about your experiences while you are going through them. Sometimes you need the perspective of time to make sense of them and to present them in a way that helps and inspires your reader. It's likely your reader wants to be given some help, some instruction, some advice or some motivation. As you create the connection, do not be afraid to talk about the highs and lows of your experience (or the experience of others) along that path. The reader will love you more and connect with you better if you are open and honest about your story. But also remember to show leadership in your writing. Ultimately, someone will continue to read your material, and to recommend you, because you are a leader in your field. You don't have to be far ahead of them, but far enough to show them how to move forward. It's likely you are writing for business. Maybe you have a blog, or you want to write a book to sell or to build your reputation as an expert in your field? Even though you are revealing your imperfections, you have emerged on the other side and have resolved your problems or your situation to have found a solution that you can now teach to others. If you write a story that your reader wants to read then your book will have more significance. It will be more relevant and right for the moment you are writing. I'm sure you've seen that the luck of timing? Is it luck or is it about staying connected or maybe a little of both?

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

2. Communication Skills To Explain Your Ideas


Once you have created empathy and understanding then you need to be able to communicate your ideas. There are lots of ways to do this but some basic principles apply to all types of writing.

Organisation
You need to be able to organise your ideas into themes or a logical progression and flow. You need a main idea. You need to be clear about what you are writing about. One of the biggest mistakes I see first-time authors make is that they try to get too much into that first book. Make your book about one big idea. One concept; one argument. Save the rest of your ideas for the next book! You also need to be able to get your knowledge over in a step-by-step process that does not read like a set of instructions for self-assembly furniture translated through at least three obscure foreign languages. You must be able to break your ideas down into the building blocks of a process. Keep it simple. And remember to express your point of view in more than just one single way to connect with more readers. One person may connect with facts and logic. Another may connect with emotion and feelings. You need to be able to create content that covers all the ways your readers learn and engage. Have you ever had the experience of being taught something and no matter how many times a teacher explains it, you just don't get it? And then they explain in another way, or another person chips in and suddenly it's completely obvious to you and you don't understand what you were missing? Well if you explain your concepts or communicate your ideas in different ways then more of your readers will "get" your point and your idea and you will be able to connect with more people.

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Engagement
You need to be able to engage with a read so that they feel part of your story. This can be by constructing analogy or metaphor to connect with their imagination. Or through story-telling. And remember the importance of language. Use plain language. There's often less need than we think to use highly technical and sophisticated language in our writing. Think about the level of knowledge of the person you are talking to with your writing. How can you humanise the connection? How can you make it fun as well as informative. We talk about eating our "greens", rather than eating our "brassicas". We talk about storytelling rather than creating a fictional narrative. These are small points but connect with the vocabulary your reader is using; rather than the one that might impress your peer group. Engagement comes from experience. Even though you are writing non-fiction, maybe how-to information, it isn't just about lists and tactics. People remember your stories. They tell your stories to other people. Your audience grows. Write about your failures, your successes and most of all your battles internal and external. Be honest, be open. It can be hard to craft the perfect, imperfect life story with the right amount of inspiration. You'll get better at it the more you write but don't be afraid to talk about your own experiences in your books. The third part of engagement is all about enjoyment. If you don't enjoy (and let me go as far as love!) what you're writing about it will show up. That doesn't mean you will love every moment you sit down and write far from it most of us have to force ourselves to sit down and write. But if you don't have some love for what you're writing about then find something else to do. Maybe writing isn't your thing? Do video. Or maybe writing IS your thing but you're a fiction writer not a journalist. Find the love. Find the fun. Be a better writer!

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Show Don't Tell


In fiction, writers talk about "show don't tell". You don't say that a character is a bully, you show it by his actions and his dialogue. We can borrow this technique in non-fiction. Sometimes when we I marketing copy I feel as I've been hit about the head with it. It can be too direct. Too in my face. We want to be clear and obvious but demonstrating something can be just as good as expressing it. For example I was listening to someone talking about meditation. She had a really relaxing voice and it was very pleasant to listen to her. Then she said "and some people tell me I have a relaxing voice, so you get to listen to my voice as well". For me it was too much. She had already demonstrated that to me. I didn't need to be reminded. So while we want to make sure the reader "gets" what we are teaching them sometimes it's better to use techniques that are a little more subtle. Learn to use techniques like metaphor, imagery, description.

Challenge And Convince


At some point in your writing you may need to challenge your reader. Maybe you want to challenge their ideas or their thinking by present an idea that is counter-intuitive. Make your reader stop and question what she thought she knew. Or you challenge the status quo. You want to go against the grain and make a stand as someone with a different philosophy. You spark interest and motivate your reader to want to turn the page and find out the answers to the questions you are posing. Of maybe you simply want to challenge your reader into action. What is it going to take to get someone to make those health changes in their life that YOU know are so necessary. You have the passion to inspire and the evidence and the story to show the worst that can happen if he or she

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continues on the road they are on now. Many non-fiction authors write because of a deep desire to help other people overcome or learn what they now know. But knowledge is not enough to create lasting change. You need to be able to motivate and convince. Learn to write persuasively, Maybe throw in some humour if that's appropriate. You want to be remembered. Like Oscar Wilde said "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

Brevity
For successful non-fiction writing, I think you need to be able to be concise. Maybe even pithy. But certainly succinct. If you have a single idea, a simple theme that repeats and develops through your book, or through your blog post, then you will write a better book than if you try and scatter too many poorly thought through seeds all across the pages. You need to be able to express your ideas briefly and in summary. Yes, you will want to develop them and to expand them and tell stories around them. But some readers will just skim maybe before they buy or maybe to get the meat of the book or blog before deciding to read it all. You need to organise and structure and have sections that are very easy grasped. Remember to keep it simple!

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

3. Creativity
Storytelling
Stories are like a magic thread that connects the content of a book whether it's a theme that is repeated, or a series of case studies to illustrate a point or a result. Or whether it's the story of the you , or your hero or heroine the person who's story you are telling through the book. There needs to be highs and lows, conflict and resolution, crossroads that are faced, maybe a few dragons slain. And ultimately a happy ending. You don't have to be a superb story-teller. You just need to understand that some element of personalisation will make your book better. I think Malcolm Gladwell is exceptional at story-telling and humanising his journalism. His writing isn't telling us anything original or new it's journalism, reporting on what others are saying but it is brilliantly told.

A Voice
Your book needs a voice whether that is your voice as the teacher and leader. Or whether you are writing a non-fiction memoir about someone else are you telling it from their perspective, the perspective of someone close to them, an interested observer? Think about a book like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil told from the perspective of the young journalist who comes to investigate a murder but becomes embroiled in the actual story itself. Is it journalism? Is it fiction? It certainly reads like a good thriller in parts. It's a book that crosses the genres but that has a very distinctive voice.

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Curiosity
And a good way to invoke creativity is to simple remain curious about what might happen. Many fiction writers say they love the writing best when the characters seem to take on a life of their own and take the story places they didn't plan for. The same can be true of non-fiction. While you want to be careful research doesn't take over from writing, it can still be fun to follow a strand and add material as you write. What would happen if you added a new chapter to amplify a point, or what could happen if you reader too your advice but implemented it differently. Allow a little "out of the box" exploration because it can make your book much more interesting. I love it when I give workshops or presentations because the participants always have much more creative questions than I could have come up with myself. And you'll see that some of the exercises rely on using questions to provoke your imagination and your writing and to perhaps end up with something you didn't exactly plan for. Be open to the unexpected.

4. Confidence
Ulitmately, any writer needs the confidence to put their work out there. Even if you don't feel your writing is as good as you want it to be who does?! Even if you have self-doubt, you need to be able to put your word out into the world. Most writers will struggle with self-criticism at some point or another the trick is to just be able to get on with your writing and be open to reflecting, learning and improving as you continue to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

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And your confidence and technique will grow the more you write and the more you read. Be a reader. Expand your horizons by reading outside your genre. Metaphors, story-telling, detail, sweeping description, pure poetry. Whatever it is you admire in others, take in as much or it as you can. And ironically, when you are in the flow, you probably notice it less than when it's tough to get the words down. If you've had a good day, or a good hour, or even a good fifteen minutes writing, then relax, take a breath and feel very, very proud of yourself. You're a writer!

This Course Will Help You


The exercise that follow are carefully designed to develop one or more aspects of good writing. s Whether it's just to write to build confidence. Whether it's to practice storytelling or to practice writing to teach, I have tried to pull all of the aspects of good writing into these twelve exercises. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful to build your confidence and play around with techniques to develop your communication, creativity and connection. Above all, have fun!

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Exercise One: Lists


Lists are great to get you thinking quickly. It's just about writing, nothing else. And anyone can make a list. So, let's get started. Set your timer and pick something in your environment or something that is on the news. Write a list of as many of that "thing" as you can so it could be chairs, countries, colours, politicians, birds, dog breeds, worst Christmas presents ever, places it never snows, it really doesn't matter what you pick the point of the exercise is to make connections and to train your brain to think about details details that really help when you are connecting with your reader. Make it harder by narrowing your topic so rather than just "colours" pick "the colour blue"... Blue, turquoise, azure, sky blue, navy blue, peacock blue, and so on... until your timer stops. How did you do?

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Exercise Two: The Why Question Getting In Touch With Yourself


Before we embark on our big writing project maybe for you it's a book, or a blog post, it help get us focused if we understand the answer to what I call "the why question" why it is that we want to write. Why we do what we do. Today's exercise will help you do this. Set your timer and answer this question as many times as you can: I want to write because... Why am I writing? Why do I want to write a book (or a blog or whatever you are writing)? Exploring this "why" question often helps us connect with our emotions and if you are a very logical person, this can be a good way to balance that thinking part of your motivation with some feelings. Remember it's still a timed exercise this is about the writing practice.

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Exercise Three: The Random Connection Getting Your Writing Brain In Gear
OK this one is about making connections starting to be creative and link words together that might not make sense initially. It's not about what you write think of it like warming up when you go to the gym. You aren't doing the heavy lifting yet just starting to flex your muscles so that you can react faster when you go and do your chosen sport. Pick a book off your shelf a fiction or non-fiction it really doesn't matter. Pick five words at random as you flick through the book and write them down. Now start your timer and make as many different sentences as you can with those same five words and any other connecting words you want between them. Do as many as you can in the time. Then go again with the same five words if you want! So, if I open a book and find the words: heat, mechanical, Peter, water, traffic, I might write: Peter sneered at the standing traffic. The heat was sweltering and the mechanical sound of the bus was driving him to distraction. Water dripped off his head... The bus rode over the water like a moth flickering to the heat of a lamp. And so on...

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Exercise Four: Finding the Good in People Connecting With Your Reader
We have to be able to see more than one side of a story or situation to be a successful writer. Your reader may have been in the situation where you have also been and that's great because you can connect through your own experience. But you may be offering advice or telling the story of someone else. And remember we all have flaws but those flaws don't define us they are just part of our story. So this exercise is about looking at something or someone you don't like and turning that around so that you make them more sympathetic. As a writer you must love all your characters they all have something to offer even if they fell off the wagon and didn't complete your programme. Be sympathetic towards them. This exercise can help you to do that. Pick a person you know or used to know or even an imaginary person. But someone you don't like. Whether this is a character from history, a character from fiction or legend, or a person you know, used to work with, went to school with... It works better if it's a person you don't like, or someone you believe to be inherently bad. Now we are going to find the good in that person. Set your timer and answer this question: The good in this person is that...

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For example, I might write about someone I used to work with, who I found to be rude and objectionable... The good in this person is that he works hard The good in this person is that he wants to do the right thing The good in this person is that he is generous The good in this person is that he is trying to make the best of a situation he doesn't really want to be in As you write, allow yourself to inhabit the other person's shoes. Allow their motivations to drive your writing. See things from their perspective. Try not to qualify your responses ("the good in this person is that he thinks he is doing the right thing" is subtly different from "the good in this person is that he is doing the right thing" as the first is actually from your perspective you are inferring that although he thinks he is doing the right thing, somehow he isn't. Don't do this try and actually see it from their side and be generous to their motivations. Go for it and enjoy!

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Exercise Five: Processes Writing to Teach


If you are teaching anything, then you have to be able to break it down into steps your reader can understand. You have to explain our point of view. And today's exercise starts to develop one of those building blocks of good "how to" writing writing in processes. Take a simple, everyday household or workplace task and create a five-step process. It isn't important that it's five steps; just that we want to put a boundary around it. Set your timer, decide your task and go ahead! First, fill the kettle with water. Make it only as full as you need for the number of people drinking tea. Turn it on. Take your teapot and fill it with hot water. As soon as the kettle boils, empty the hot water from the teapot and spoon in one, heaped teaspoon of tea per person. Fill the teapot to the level required and leave for five minutes to brew. Pour and enjoy... (and you see I am already at six steps!) This is an exercise that helps you see things in processes and lets you practice explaining them succinctly and accurately. Do the same task in a number of different ways, adding more descriptive language adjectives and adverbs and things that can make the process your own.

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Exercise Six: Principles Writing to Teach


This is an exercise in practicing pulling your ideas into principles and concepts so that you can explain and organise them when it comes to your writing. Readers like frameworks and systems. So many successful advice and how-to programmes have a set of steps or underlying principles. This exercise and the one above will help you tap into yours. Take an everyday object or an everyday process (let's stick with the tea-brewing idea for now). Set your timer and write down as quickly as you can three guiding principles for making the perfect cup of tea. Let's have a go... 1. You must always use the hottest water. 2. Your tea must be the best quality you can afford. 3. Timing is everything allow time for the tea to brew and make the time to enjoy it! How did you find that? It can be harder to write in principles than it is in processes. But it is an incredibly useful writing skill. This exercise is a fabulous way of practicing how to present ideas in frameworks. If you can do this, it makes your ideas more accessible and also more valuable. You will develop a philosophy around your ideas that goes beyond just the instructional. And this will build your reputation better than any other technique I know. You also learn how to think quickly and how to organise your ideas quickly. Useful skills wherever you are. Maybe you also speak? Or give workshops? Just imagine how well it helps support your point if

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you can say something like this "there are three things I want you to remember - ...." and then list them quickly. You might be making it up on the spot in response to a question but you will sound oh so professional! And it's the same in writing of course your principles will evolve and become stable as you teach. But that combination of processes and principles is priceless in organising your content.

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Exercise Seven: Starting to Tell Stories


Although you might imagine non-fiction to be less descriptive than fiction, how well you tell a story and how well you put the small details into it can make the difference between someone finishing and recommending your book and someone putting it down unfinished. So today's exercise is an exercise in story-telling. Take yourself out somewhere where there are people. On a bus, in a cafe, at the shops. Notice something about a person you meet there. The spot of mustard on the shirt of the young man who serves your coffee, the colour of the lipstick the older woman at the library is wearing. Since you are probably out and about, it may not be so easy to write so instead of writing complete sentences, note down bullets or phrases that describe that person's back-story. Imagine what could have happened to them before they came into view for you today.... Although he didn't notice, a small drip of brown sauce fell from his breakfast bacon bun down onto his tie. I watched it form a long brown tail, slowly escaping the bun, and then falling, that last spatter barely seen. ... and so on! (I have to admit that descriptive writing is not the thing I do best so if I can do it, you can. Have a go!) If you want to repeat this then add feeling, or emotion... The fury with which she applied the lipstick made a harsh line across her face. Too much pressure. The lipstick was cracking at the side of the tube.... and so on. This is an exercise in observation, and then thinking about the story behind them. There is no right and wrong, no good or bad writing. Just what you create in your imagination.

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And we can go further with this exercise. Take a picture from a magazine, or a fleeting glimpse of someone you see on a train and imagine their back-story. This can be a lot of fun to play with a friend (or even a child if you have children!). And the point of these easy (and fun!) exercises is to give you confidence to express what you are thinking and also to get you into the habit of working with your imagination. Take a photo of you, or a picture from a magazine. Or if you are out, then pick someone walking by. Set your timer and write out as many possible scenarios as you can that could explain or describe the picture. So a picture of a woman on the platform of a train station might go like this: She is waiting for her husband to return from war She is about to get on a train to go for a job interview Julie was desperate for her first coffee of the morning. She had left the house early that morning. Earlier than usual because... She's about to go shopping for a birthday present for her oldest son who is going to be thirteen next week. He wants a new bike but she can't afford that so she plans to get him some model planes and a new kite. I was the woman in the blue dress. It was a Monday and I could still feel the solitude of the weekend spent alone as I waited for the train onto the city... Make your writing as detailed or as brief as you like just go with what comes and then next time you do this exercise create a different scenario. You can write from any perspective hers, an observers, the detached third person narrative. Try different perspectives. Personally I think your writing will be

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better when you write from the "I" perspective in the first person. You will get inside your character more deeply. It's very unlikely you'll be writing your non-fiction book in the first person, but it's a more natural way to express ourselves and being inside the character means we allow that person to take us on his or her journey very important when we come to empathise with the person we are writing for in our real book. Play around and discover this for yourself. When it comes to writing up case studies for your book you can then translate them into the third person. Or you can let the person in your case study tell the story for themselves, through an interview perhaps. This is very powerful material to include in your book.

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Exercise Eight: A Single Sense


Imagine yourself in a situation a room in your house, or an experience your early morning walk, or bus journey, or collecting your children from school and write about it using only one of your senses sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. Pick your situation and pick your sense. Then just describe. Set your timer and write as much as you can in the time. The kitchen smelt of coffee slightly stale, left over from breakfast. And underneath that a very faint smell of warm dog. The dog had been out for a walk earlier and he smelled like wet teddy bear. Not unpleasant. A familiar smell that was reminiscent of childhood... etc etc Do this again (another day) with a different sense you can use the same situation this can be quite fun as you explore it through a different sense.

If you are also taking the Instant Author course http://cathypresland.com/instantauthor, you will know that we talk about connecting with your reader through a variety of methods that are not too different from this!

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Exercise Nine: Giving Advice Writing To Teach


Now we are going to put your writing out into the word but anonymously. Use your time today to write a single sentence that you would like to be able to say out loud to a stranger. Put this onto a post-it note and leave the note somewhere around your house, or out in public inside a library book, or on a bus, or stuck to a shelf in the local store. Write on whatever the mood takes you. It can be advice, motivation, humour, or just a string of nonsensical words. This exercise is to get used to putting your word out into the world. And please the only rule today is that you keep it polite! Have you hugged someone today? Look up at the sky and appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Eat seven portions of vegetables today. You are beautiful. Why did you wash the milk bottles in aspic? It's interesting when we give just one piece of advice or observation to someone, what we choose. What did you choose?

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Exercise Ten: Opposites The Other Side of the Argument


We already wrote from the perspective of someone else now we are going to invent both sides of a dialogue. And even though dialogue doesn't feature too much in non-fiction writing, it's part of creating characters who seem real to our reader. This exercise can also be a lot of fun so allow yourself to go to the extremes of misunderstanding or potential misunderstanding! If it helps then remember back to an argument you've been in with a family member, a rude shop assistant and create both sides from memory and from your imagination. Set your timer up and write the dialogue alternating from one side to the other. It can help if your characters are in a relationship with each other husband and wife, father and son, brother and sister, two friends. It can be a lot of fun to go for a situation that involves money or relationships (where the potential for misunderstanding is huge) the purchase of something large like a house, or something small, like a coffee, or a first date. Draw out the opposite parts of your characters pessimist and optimist, rich and poor, tall and short, old and young, pet lover and animal hater, and so on. For example how about a meat-loving, coffee-loving sister going into a coffee shop with her vegan, non-coffee-drinking brother. What might be the dialogue as they choose their drinks and snacks? Again, this is all about the rapid-fire conversation. With a timer, there's no pressure to write much or to write perfectly. It's all about getting into the habit of writing. Just go for it and have a play around. As you write, put yourself in their shoes, be angry, be hurt, be upset, be sad. But allow yourself to see

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and feel it from his or her perspective. Again, we are helping you re-frame to see the other side of the story. This exercise is also a good one to do with a friend, or another writer. Take it in turns to take opposing views and hone your debating talent until it is razor sharp!

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Exercise Eleven: Write Less; Keep It Simple


Most of us write too much. We use excessive language and more words than we need to get our point across. Today's exercise isn't about writing from scratch, but about editing down your writing so that you say the same thing, but in fewer words. Take a piece of your writing a paragraph or two or a blog post. Ideally print it out because with the short time available this might be quicker. And then, simply, cut the writing in half. Take out unnecessary words. Simplify how you express something. Keep the essence of your message the same but shorten the length of your piece. If you want to extend this exercise, then do the exact same exercise on the exact same piece of original writing and see how you can edit it differently. I really like writing for twitter because of the character limitation. Another variation on this exercise is to take one of your main messages let's say you are a nutritionist and you want people to eat more vegetables and express it in as many different ways as you can in less than 140 characters. Eat more vegetables Greens are good for you I love the texture that spinach adds to my green smoothies Eating more broccoli can reduce heart attacks Love your arteries, love your artichokes

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If you want to lose weight quickly and easily without hunger pangs, switch to mainly eating vegetables with small amounts of protein (133 characters, just squeezing in!) Cabbage is a natural anti-inflammatory eat more if you're feeling tired or you have an infection (I have no idea if these things are true btw!) You'll find many writing exercises and books about creativity and starting. And yes, starting is important, but editing and knowing how to cut down and to clean up our work, is, quite possibly, even more important. This exercise will stand you in good stead when you get the editing part of the process.

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Exercise Twelve: Fall In Love with Your Writing


It's hard to write fluently if you are reviewing yourself as you go. This is an exercise to help you love and appreciate your writing whatever your style and perceived level of writing ability. Take your timer and finish one of these sentences as many times as you can: "What I love about my writing is..." "I love my writing because..." "I am proud of my writing because..." So, for example, I might say: I love my writing because it's direct. I love my writing because I am able to explain complex concepts I love my writing because I can get information across quickly Appreciate your writing and enjoy the style that you have. You can practice different styles through these exercises but the more you write the more you will find "your voice". There is no right and wrong in writing and you are not striving for any kind of perfection. In non-fiction writing, you're simply trying to entertain or engage your reader and give them some educational, motivational, or thoughtprovoking content. Often in this kind of writing, simplicity can work best.

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Becoming A Writer: Writing Exercises To Build Confidence And Technique

Where To Find Out More...


Well I hope those twelve writing exercises are helping you build confidence and build technique for your non-fiction writing! If you want to move on to my other courses then you can see these here: http://cathypresland.com/instantauthor http://cathypresland.com/kindle If you'd like to subscribe to blog posts and free updates then check out http://thebigbookproject.com

Thank you and let me know how your writing goes!

Cathy Presland

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