Here are 5 things you can write by hand to shake up your writing:

1. Write a Letter: When was the last time you got a good, old fashioned letter … written by hand … in your mailbox? And when was the last time you sent one? Letter writing may seem like a lost art, but you can find it. Write a letter to an old friend—or a new one. Trust me, you’ll most likely make his or her day!

2. Make a List: A to do list, a grocery list, a list of ideas. You can also make a list of everyone you’ve ever met. Making a list of people you’ve met, places you’ve been, and things you’ve done is a great way to get unstuck and to open your mind to ideas and possibilities.

3. Go Outside and Write: Again, write on paper with a pen or pencil. Open up your sense, and write what you see, hear, smell. It will make you more aware of your surroundings, and is great practice for any kind of writing.

4. People Watching: Take notes on the people you see: how they look, speak, and behave. Kernels of traits that you pick up from observing can lead to full-fledged characters, plots, and themes.

5. Mindmap: Who says everything you write needs to be linear? Who says it needs to make sense to anyone but you? Or including you? Do the equivalent of babbling on paper: doodle, sketch, let one idea lead to the next. You never know what you will come up—it may lead to an award-winning screenplay or New York Times Bestseller!

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  1. Diane 8 years ago

    I hand wrote about 20 thank-you notes to the producers I met in L.A. in March.

  2. Stephanie Olivieri 8 years ago

    I do all these things. Great advice Deb!

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