Handy Work

This is an exercise that I’ve used to start new writing groups and gatherings. It’s an easy way to introduce folks to each other (when necessary), but its primary intent is to induce the giggle factor and get our whole brain working. Some participants have told me it’s the one time they can slow down enough to catch all the words that come. Here ‘tis:

Take 10-15 minutes and write something – anything – with your non-dominant hand.

Simple! The beauty of this little workout is many-fold. It exercises the side of our brain that we don’t normally use much or intentionally and thus flexes different creative muscles. No one else can see our handwriting. It gets us away from the computer for a little bit. It can be used with pen/pencil and paper or paintbrush and canvas. Doodling and drawing circles works just as well if we can’t think of anything to write, or we can copy something.

You can do this as often as you want during the day, even with actions that don’t involve writing. Try eating with your non-dominant hand. Or pour something into a glass. Can anyone brush your teeth with your other hand?!?  {Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for spilled milk or messy toothpaste – or any other – accidents should you choose to try these suggestions.}

As a start, try writing to-do lists or grocery lists with your non-dominant hand. The more things we try, the better and more comfortable we get with such endeavors. That will and does benefit our writing.  An added bonus — I’ve found that sometimes this little exercise helps when I hit the proverbial ‘wall,’ because it stimulates all kinds of creative ideas.

Have fun with your handy work!


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