The writer’s ABC exercise, with Pamela Wight

Pam WightPamela Wight, of Rough Wighting, introduced this writing-off-the-cuff exercise at the recent Word Sharks’ Conference in Newark, DE.

And what a great exercise it is! Start with a prompt – Pamela gave us the opening, “A little while ago…” – and just keep writing. Each new sentence must start with the next letter of the alphabet.

From Pamela’s notes handed out at the conference: keep your hand moving, lose control, don’t think, don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, or grammar, and be free to write the worst junk in America.

If you have about ten minutes, I encourage you to try it.

Here are my results from this exercise (I have edited a teensy bit, just to aid in the ease of reading).

*   *   *

A little while ago, I realized that I wanted to sponsor my own writing conference. Because I need attention, or because I wanted to get together with long-time internet friends? Crap, I don’t know. Don’t we all have self-doubts? Especially if we exist online only and never have to stand – in person – before these people. Friends – true friends – would never say, “Boy, was this a mistake.”

Good friends come together. IMG_1773

Have face-to-face conversation.

Imagine together.

Jump in.

Kangaroos jump in!

Laughing all the way to publication.

Maybe this is the start of something special for this small handful of friends. Never before has this happened, and never again will this first Word Sharks Conference repeat itself.

Oh, we might gather again – in six months or a year – but the original “yay, finally, we are here” will never again be the first time.

Perhaps subsequent emails and handwritten notes can help us reconnect and share and promote.

Quietly, quickly, we become our own little writers’ group.

Realistically, we may never gather in the same room again.

Satisfaction comes from this one conference, this one gathering. Tomorrow might never come, and glorious today, we sit in the small group sharing our feelings, insights, and ideas.

Until tomorrow, friends.

Very sincerely,

Word Shark


Your friend…

*   *   *

This is where I finally got hung up – on the Z.

Can you finish the exercise with a good “Z” word?



Filed under Personal Articles, Special Events

23 responses to “The writer’s ABC exercise, with Pamela Wight

  1. “Zeppole and coffee, any one?”

    What fun! Excellent way to get the ceative juices flowing!

  2. A great way to show the excitement of your first ever Wordshark Writing Conference, Karen. Boy, did I have a fantastic time. Can’t stop thinking about all the wonderful writing tips and techniques we all shared. Doubt not, creative writers out there. Even if your writing mind is blocked, when you allow yourself to let loose your pen will fly free. Frankly, I could go on and on here, but I’ll stop at G. Go forth and write!

    • karenrsanderson

      Love your reply, Wight. A, B, C, D… It was a great exercise. I think using a pen on paper is sometimes more freeing than using the keyboard.

  3. Jessica

    Zipadee doo da let’s do it again. (horrible I know)

    • karenrsanderson

      Not horrible at all! Zipadee doo da is an awesome finish to an awesome exercise during an awesome weekend.

  4. Zeppelins are flammable.

    Wait, maybe that Z word doesn’t work.

  5. Ah, how I wish I could have been there. Being on the west coast instead of the east made attendance impossible. Carpooling with Elizabeth would have been fun. Delightful, actually. Elizabeth and I would not have run out of things to talk about all the way there. For what it’s worth, I will be in VA later this summer. Getting caught up with friends there in person instead of just online will be wonderful. Ha…can’t believe I made it this far! I know I can get through “I” but “J” is going to be the dead end.

    • karenrsanderson

      Another reply worthy of this exercise, Esther. Well done. I wish you could have been here, too. Maybe next year….. ?

  6. A fun exercise. Boy, am I going to try it. Clap-clap. 😮 😀

    • karenrsanderson

      You have a little more work to do! 🙂 The K sort of hung me up, and the only word I could think of quickly was Kangaroo. The rest of the exercise just flowed, rather easily actually.

  7. Zero regrets. I love this exercise. How wonderful you all got together. I would have loved to have been there.

    • karenrsanderson

      It would have been wonderful to have you here, Darlene. It was the best conference ever. All friends, all weekend.

  8. Zephyr over my left shoulder whispers, “we’re going to be doing this again.”

  9. I love this idea. Writing each sentence according to abc etc. in the form of prose. Definitely going to try it. While I was thinking about this idea, having a passion, also, about writing poetry, I thought I would see if this would work in the poetic form as well. We’ll see. Thanks for the great idea. Shawn shared it with me and gave me your link today Saturday. Going to get right on it. jk

    • karenrsanderson

      You have just given me a great idea! …use this in a poetic form! Fabulous idea.

      • I hope you don’t mind but I decided to set up the Writing Prompt Challenge on my blog ‘the secret keeper’. I do a Haiku Challenge every Monday. So I am going to post the first A through Z Challenge on Monday, also. I want to see if it will work as a regular happening every week. If it works I plan on Reposting One of the Challenger’s Posts on ‘the secret keeper’ the following week. Sounds exciting. Definitely gave you and your blog credit for getting me started on this idea. Thank you. It will be something that will give me a great focus and challenge for myself, also. I thank Shawn for turning me onto your post to begin with. Fantastic! Will see what happens. jk

  10. Reblogged this on MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest and commented:
    Great way to untap the creative juices!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s