Just before Christmas, I finished the second of a set of challenging comprehensive exams in my doctoral discipline of rhetoric and writing. For months, I had been studying the concept of rhetorical delivery, combing through countless journals and books, constantly stumbling upon things I’d missed, and walking (or writing?) in circles more times than I could count. Finishing the exam felt triumphant at first, but I soon found myself feeling absolutely spent, and even a bit numb. I needed to get back into a rhythm of something that would inspire me and help me generate the ideas that i so desperately needed going into the larger research project of the dissertation. Most of all, with my exhaustion closing in and another busy semester about to start, whatever I added to my routine needed to be easy and brief enough to do every day. I discovered “The Daily Dozens” while attending a workshop at the . The Dozens are a daily writing exercise designed to kick-start ideas by doing something that we all love and are good at--making lists. A poet might use such an exercise to come up with images, or a series of conceits to hold a poem together. A fiction writer might come up with quirks for a character. An academic might use the Daily Dozens to generate thoughts on an article, solutions for an intellectual problem, or lesson ideas.
is a resource for the College Composition Program (CCP) at Florida State University. All the exercises and assignments have been submitted by CCP Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Instructors who have used them in their classrooms. Some TAs frequently surf the for daily writing exercises and activities. Other TAs use the to brainstorm their own writing exercises and activities.
Daily writing is one of the best ways to build students writing -- and reading -- skills. Setting aside 5 minutes for a daily writing exercise is an excellent way to ensure that students will get writing practice each and every day. Each student might have a 5-Minute Writing" notebook that is used for this purpose.
There's a simple, low cost way to improve your health with a daily writing exercise. It's called the gratitude journal. Michelle Kennedy of WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, N.C., explains.