Writing Gym Rules

Rule Number One – the purpose of the Writing Gym is to encourage you to play around, have fun and perhaps develop ideas. The most important part of that is to have fun. Have lots of fun. Write weird stuff and crazy stuff and stuff that you would never, ever consider outside of this. It’s a gym (of sorts) so use it to stretch.

Rule Number Two – keep it more or less, sort of, kind of, in general clean. This isn’t a good place for erotica or out-there sexy stuff. If you want to write saucy, spicy, red hot stories then I think you should go for it with gusto, but not here. I’d pitch it as the sort of level that you would admit to your mother, or possibly a straitlaced teacher even if you wouldn’t read it in front of them. Mind you, a little passion isn’t a bad thing.

Rule Number Three – ditch the hate and keep it kind. Would the nicest, kindest, loveliest person you know think less of you if they read that piece? Then don’t write it.

Rule Number Four – and not too much of the nasty stuff. Gratuitous gore, crazy violence and cruelty, especially to children and animals, aren’t welcome here. Go for a subtler scare instead.

Rule Number Five – encourage others. If you see other stuff posted that’s linked from here, please be kind. There is a human being on the other side of that screen who bared a little of their soul writing this, so be gentle with them. And if you could have a look and leave a positive comment, that would be an awesome thing to do.

Rule Number Six – this is the boring stuff. The story should be something that is sparked by the picture and/or the quotation but doesn’t need to be a literal reference. Look at the picture, read the quotation and let yourself drift a little into ideas. The story should be between 20 and 500 words, but I’m not going to check and I’m certainly not going to shame, especially if it’s the good stuff. Post your story on a blog (you can find places to blog for free) or perhaps Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or wherever you feel comfortable. Once you’ve done that, comment below the prompt with a link to your story. The prompt will be up on a Tuesday and really you should aim to have the story written by the following Monday. If you are late, that’s okay. I’m not going to check up or chase.

General Notes – This gym can be a gentle warm up for other stuff, a trove of information, or a place where you can practice without pressure. Please enjoy it in ways that work for you.

And if you have any questions or suggestions then let me know. I’d love to hear from you.