A Sonnet a Day: Writing Forms Beyond Novels

I’ve had nasty writer’s block.

My blog readers are probably confused because I’ve been posting a lot. So I will clarify.

Writer’s block for me doesn’t eliminate all forms of writing usually. I can often still blog, or journal, or write a poem or something like that. But I can’t become productive on novels because I simply can’t quite get the idea of what to write or none of my previously formed ideas seem good enough.

So, I’ve been stuck in other forms waiting for a brilliant novel idea to hit me (and yes that was a pun). In the meantime, I’ve found myself on a sonnet phase after reading a bunch in my Shakespeare class. It’s actually quite a freeing form if you’re having any sort of issue with love…or anything else for that matter, but particularly affairs of the heart.

What I wanted to post about today though, was keeping regular writing going even if you can’t figure out where your major project might be going. Practice is essential. And so, here a few recommended forms to keep you writing.


1. Poetry

As with the title of this blog, I wanted to make sure I hit poems as a top one. You don’t even need to feel constrained by the parameters of a sonnet, but could do free verse instead. There are tons of poem forms out there. Just do a haiku if you’re really stumped! You’ll figure it out.


2. Journaling

Put your day, your thoughts, your current confusions down on paper. Reflect and let go. Great way to both destress and practice this literary art.


3. Word dumping

This is like journaling but more free. Put everything that comes into your head on paper, no matter what it is. Just word vomit essentially, let it run free. Sometimes this is actually a nice thing to do before you write anything serious, because it clears your head.


4. Writing prompts

I’ve been actively seeking some out lately. It’s been nice to have someone else come up with the basic idea that I then just have to fill out.


5. Ask friends for ideas

My writing friend recently sent out a form for close friends to fill out commissioning short stories. They give you a setting, a basic protagonist description, a bit of conflict and you do the rest.


6. Letters

These can be real letters to be friends. They can be fake. They can be something you’d like to send but can’t. I keep various collections of letters. Some to friends. Some to my self. Some to God. Whatever strikes your fancy.


7. Freewrites

Find basic ideas that inspire you and go from there. No need to think too much about it. Just look up some beautiful photography, or listen to a song, or go take a walk. Find something you like and go from there.


8. Writing challenges

I used to do this a lot. I’d make up little mini challenges for myself. Like describing a common object in a new and creative way. Or creating an instantaneous character just from a few minute characteristics or personality traits. I’m almost certain you could find some out there on your own, but creativity is the key.


9. Blogging! Get those ideas out there. Don’t be shy, think of something you’d like to share and go for it. Pretty obvious if you’re on this site I suppose.

You’ve got this! Just get out there and put your pen to use.

Anyone have any forms they’d like to add? What things do you like to do to keep in practice? What other forms really appeal to you?



Filed under Writing

2 responses to “A Sonnet a Day: Writing Forms Beyond Novels

  1. Great ideas to get the words flowing! I’ll have to put some of these into practice. Thanks for sharing!

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