Looking to Write Your Way Out From Your Usual? A Writing Exercise!

Fanny Fanny, a sculpture in welded bronze by César Baldacinni

Fanny Fanny
by César Baldacinni

Feel like it’s time for a change in your writing? Looking for portals that might lead you to different kinds of stories or different styles of writing from your usual? Try this exercise!

The exercise has two parts. The first – how to write this exercise – comes courtesy of Montréal poet Blossom Thom*, the second – the prompt – is from me.

You will need plenty of paper (I’d suggest good sized paper, not an itsy-bitsy notebook), and a pen or pencil.

But first, a warm up to power up both sides of the brain!

Warm Up

Clasp your hands in front of you. Note which thumb is on top. Open your hands and clasp them again, this time with the other thumb on top. Clasp and re-clasp your hands, alternating thumbs on top, as fast as you can.

Now do the same hand clasping exercise behind your back! Faster!

Part 1: Get Ready…

Using pen or pencil, you will write with your non-dominant hand. For example, as a right-hander, I had to write left-handed.

Part 2: Go!

Write in response to this newspaper headline:

Sisters reunited after 18 years in checkout line at supermarket

(from “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge and More Flubs from the Nation’s Press”, ed. Gloria Cooper, 1987)

Thirty minutes!

* Blossom Thom‘s poetry has appeared in the Great Black North (2013), the Ampersand & La Perluète (2012), and elsewhere. She appreciates good music, good food, and great friends. Website: http://blossomthom.com. Twitter: @BlossomThom

Blossom’s invitation to me to join her writing group eleven years ago was the beginning of my love of writing fiction.

“…research […] shows that, regardless of which hand we favor, writing and drawing with the non-dominant hand gives greater access to the right hemispheric functions like feeling, intuition, creativity, and inner wisdom and spirituality.” (Lucia Capacchione cited in ‘Using Your Other Hand Benefits Your Brain‘ by Kim Ranegar)


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