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Writing Doesn’t Have To Make You Sweat

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Writing Doesn’t Have To Make You Sweat

By Debbie Harbeson


I thought it sounded like fun too.

I’m not sure why but I get many of my writing ideas while sweating profusely. Apparently sweat glands are important to my creativity. Since my favorite form of exercise is bicycle riding, I’ve learned to slide a note card and pencil inside the leg of my bicycle shorts so I can jot down ideas as they come to me. Unfortunately I haven’t learned to do this while riding, but I guess that would be a Luddite version of texting while driving anyway, wouldn’t it?

I don’t know what plays a role in the creative process for Sarah Wassinger, but after she read The Write Way to Have Fun, she thought of an idea of her own that she plans to try with her kids.

Sarah’s Big Writing Idea

Does Sarah sweat? I don’t know. But she does come up with great ideas. Here’s what she wrote to me:

“I really liked the idea of a coffee table story and I’m going to try that one first. Another idea is mad libs. I don’t think it would be difficult to create your own story and add the spots for noun, adjective, verb. This occurred to me as I thought about the coffee table story. My kids have enjoyed doing prefab mad libs online but how much funnier they could be if they wrote the outline of the story!”

I thought it sounded like fun too. So while sweating on my bike the other day, I decided I would try it out for myself, using the sample coffee table story I included in the free e-book. I picked out one sentence from the story and then asked my family to think of a noun, verb, and adjective.

I texted Melissa and Keith and they both answered immediately, no questions asked. I guess they’re used to strange requests from their mother. They probably thought, “Oh, she’s been sweating again.”

Family Writing

This is the sentence I pulled from the sample story:
The poor little mouse went flying again, bounced off the kettle drum and slid down the front of Whitney Houston’s sequined gown.

And these are the results I received from John, my husband, and our kids:

  • The poor little mouse went swimming again, bounced off the football and slid down the front of Whitney Houston’s terrific gown.
  • The poor little mouse went running again, bounced off the dart and slid down the front of Whitney Houston’s furry gown.
  • The poor little mouse went burning again, bounced off the sandal and slid down the front of Whitney Houston’s smelly gown.

I’ll let you figure out who came up with each sentence. It might be pretty easy anyway, but if you have read the free book Okay Kids, Time For Bedlam, I’m sure you can figure it out.

I’d like to thank Sarah for sharing this idea with me because she was right; it is fun. I predict she’ll come up with plenty more ideas to experiment with her family as they discover “the write way to have fun.”

And she probably won’t even break a sweat.

See also “Why Homeschoolers Should Avoid Housekeeping” by Debbie, too!
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