Writer's Block

Translate Your Memories

This exercise is particularly helpful for those who write for children and youth. Study an old photo of yourself or your family from your childhood. It’s probably easy to remember the who, the where, the what. But for this exercise we want to go deeper.

Close your eyes and remember the details of the event. Then remember how you felt at the event in that photo. How did you feel when anticipating the event? How did you feel if it was a surprise? How did you feel if it didn’t turn out as you anticipate? How did others at the event treat you? How did you react/respond to them?

Now, translate those FEELINGS into an event, place, child that would take place today.


Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar creative writing exercises.

Writer's Block

Clue Hunt

The best way to learn is by reading, so pick up a book that had a plot twist that surprised you and yet felt right. Look for subtle foreshadowing in it. Start at the beginning …

Writer's Block

Do The Unexpected

Humans are highly resistant to change — for a character to believably undergo a personal journey that substantially alters them, something HUGE and specific must happen to them. This event doesn't have to happen in …

Writer's Block

Presidential Speech

Write a presidential speech about why your country needs more ice cream.

Writer's Block

The Name Game

Here is your challenge: for the next week, collect fun names. I’ve collected them for years in a little notebook — from obituaries, news stories, random lists, and spam. Spam is great for funny names. Then …

Writer's Block

First Meetings

When you meet new people, how do you react? Tell a story to illustrate this.

Writer's Block

The Outsider

If you're working on a novel or short story, write a pivotal scene from an outside observer's perspective who has no role in the story.