red tulips

Red tulip writing exercise

Want to think creatively about your next article or blog post? Try the red tulip exercise that I discovered in Helen Sword’s Stylish Academic Writing.

Here’s an exercise that Sword suggests for “generating new ideas and perspectives” for academic writing, but you can apply it to other types of writing:

Ask a friend, relative, or small child to write down the name of a randomly chosen object—something specific enough that you can actually picture it: a fat dachshund, a red tulip. Freewrite for ten minutes about all the ways that object resembles your research project.

Freewriting means writing nonstop, without editing, for a predetermined period of time. After you finish, you look at what you’ve written to see what’s valuable in it.

red tulip writing exercise

My freewriting about a red tulip

I did a freewriting exercise about blog posts and a red tulip. You can read the results in “5 ways a blog post is like a tulip.” In case you don’t believe that I really did the freewriting exercise, here’s a picture of what I wrote.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy, “Photo + Mind Map = Blog Inspiration,” my wacky way to generate ideas for blog posts. That post was inspired by a photo of a Barbie on a beach.


Disclosure: If you click on the Amazon link in this post and then buy something, I will receive a small commission. I only link to books in which I find some value for my blog’s readers.