Take Ten for Writers

Take Ten for Writers is the follow-up book to Write-Brain Workbook. It gives you over 1,000 inspiring exercises to generate ideas and stimulate your writing in only 10 minutes a day.

The premise behind Take Ten is that if you keep up your writing momentum, you won't get stuck. Stuck is a polite word for that dreaded of all writing dreads, writer's block. Click here for more specifics on momentum and keeping writer's block at bay.

The title of the book comes from the fact that it takes only ten minutes to do each exercise, and, also that that each exercise comes with ten different options/variables (many times more than ten) so you can do it ten different times and come up with ten different results.

Writer's Digest/F+W Media, the publisher of Take Ten for Writers, did a phenomenal job with the design. Here are some photos I took as I flipped through the pages, so you can see what I mean:

At the beginning of Take Ten for Writers I include a set of rules to help you have fun and success with creative writing exercises. There's also a short introduction about why momentum is a writer's best friend. Both are included on this website and accessed by clicking on the links.

If you'd like to try before you buy, here's an exercise from Take Ten for Writers. Remember: It's really ten exercises because you get ten different variables from which to choose while doing the exercise and this makes for ten different exercises.

A Forkful of Spoonerisms

W.A. Spooner was an English clergyman noted for accidentally transposing sounds within words and phrases. An example of a Spoonerism is when you say crooks and nannies when you intended to say nooks and crannies. Your challenge in this exercise is to use a pair of Spoonerisms as bookends for a timed writing by starting your writing with the first one, and then ending it with the other. In the above example, you would start with The nooks and crannies … and then write to fill the time, concluding your piece with the words … the crooks and nannies.

Pick a number between 1 and 10 and write it here: _______.

Now look below to find your number. Next to it is your pair of Spoonerism bookends.

  1. The master plan... ...the plaster man.
  2. When you blow your nose... ...when you know your blows.
  3. Go and take a shower... ...go and shake a tower.
  4. I must send the mail... ...I must mend the sail.
  5. A crushing blow... ...a blushing crow.
  6. The cozy little nook... ...the nosey little crook.
  7. I was lighting a fire... ...I was fighting a liar.
  8. Because of a pack of lies... ...because of a lack of pies.
  9. It's pouring with rain... ...it's roaring with pain.
  10. Save the whales... ...wave the sails.

Starting with the first part of your Spoonerism, TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE! Don't forget to end your writing with the second half of your Spoonerism.  

At the end of all of the main exercises in Take Ten for Writers, there is a bonus exercise called TAKE TEN Take-Away. These give you tips, suggestions, questions, or ideas to help keep up your momentum as well as move you forward in your writing practice and process. Here's your Take-Away for A Forkful of Spoonerisms:  

If you were to mix four spoonfuls, forkfuls, orother measurable ingredients together to create a recipe for creaetive juices, what would yours include? Here's mine: a forkful of inspiration; a pinch of perspiration; a dollop of laughter; a heaping teaspoon of royalties. Make sure you take a sip or a gulp of your creative juices every day to keep your momentum going.

That was fun, wasn't it?

If you'd like to do more exercises like this one (over 999 more), I hope you will buy Take Ten for Writers from your favorite bookseller or click here to buy an autographed copy.


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