3 Descriptive Writing Exercises To Get Creative

Great writers are great observers. Don’t believe me? Stephen King’s novels are almost always situated somewhere along Maine, and the associated imagery is often related to the landscape of evergreen trees and snow banks. Hemingway, too, based much of his writing off of his experience in World War 1, with his sparse but effective realism undercutting the futility of warfare.

In essence, many authors write what they’re comfortable about. Many writers also tend to observe the small details that we’d normally miss while scrolling through our social media feeds.

I’ve found this mindset to be enormously helpful when building inspiration to write for a major project. So how can you use this mindset in your own life?

Start Watching

Start observing the world around you more. Absorb the sensory details. Think about the most precise words you can use to describe your daily context.

Do the Canvas Exercise

When you sit down to write, imagine you’re just painting one tiny corner of the canvas. Just a square inch. How would you paint that? Think narrowly and write along those lines. This will help you get over writers block. Better yet, you’ll stop your fear of big projects dead in its tracks.

Search for Meaningful Objects

Still searching for inspiration? Take one little object in your life that you care about. Maybe it’s a pair of shoes or a picture frame. Just free-write about that. Be as densely descriptive as possible and search for meaning. What does it look like? What is its purpose? Why do you care about it? Why do you enjoy using it? What does it mean to you? Describing something you’re familiar with can often help loosen up inner tensions and give you the freedom to write in a more care-free manner.