Raymond Federman described finger exercises as the warmups we do for writing every day–and he stressed that they should be done every day. A finger exercise is a 1-2 page warmup, a freewrite with a purpose. Sometimes it will launch you into a new idea or it is a means of getting you out of what you “might” call writer’s block (but in reality is just laziness and lack of motivation). Here are some prompts to get you going:
- Describe eating your favorite meal at your favorite place. Suddenly, something in the vicinity distracts you, and while you keep eating, you can no longer focus on the food.
- You are walking along a street and come upon something being built or rebuilt. Describe.
- Someone hasn’t been able to change their clothes in 2 days. Now they’re uncomfortable in some way. Why couldn’t they change and why are the clothes now uncomfortable?
- Someone is embarrassed about something that happened years ago. Who wants this person to get over it? Why can’t this person get over it?