I need a little zing in my writing routine. I seem to collect all these books of enticing writing exercises and then fail to make time to try them out. However, I've always found that reading books about writing energizes my work and introduces me to new techniques and theories. It's important to stay fresh. So, I'm now officially carving out time in my writing schedule for exploring these books. Zing!
I'm starting with a book that's been on my shelf for a while, The Gotham Writers' Workshop Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide from New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School. Reading this book is like taking mini-workshops on character, plot, point of view, description, dialogue, setting and pacing, voice, theme, revision, and the business of writing. The chapters are written by Gotham instructors and are interspersed with writing exercises. You can read a couple or sections of a chapter and do a couple of exercises in about 20 minutes and learn something useful in the bargain.
Imagine that—learn something useful for your writing in about 20 minutes. You can't beat it.