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“Use it or lose it,” as they say. This little adage is doubly true for a writer’s creativity—especially in the current situation where we’re cooped up at home.

That is why I like to gently wake up my brain each day with some quick, fun little games. A little warmup so that when it’s time to sit down to write, that creative flow is there when I reach for it.

Not only are these games fun things you can do to pass the long hours in lockdown, but by enhancing your brain’s creative core, playing will take any artistic pursuit to the next level. Your writing. Your photography. Even your videography.

These “brain games,” as I like to call them, forge new neural pathways while strengthening existing ones. It is a great way to keep your mind healthy, active and working up a creative storm. It also helps you think outside the box when you are stuck.

Your pitches will shine, grabbing an editor’s attention. I certainly noticed an improvement in mine alongside a decrease in how often the thesaurus was used.

Word games like Word Collect, Word Finder, or Word Search cement existing vocabulary, create a larger synonym base to draw from, and increases your vocabulary with new words. That’s three great reasons to play. 

Can you see now why this is how I like to start my day? 

In the morning when I’m fresh and rested, these games kick my old gray matter up a notch to get my creativity flowing, which helps prevent writers block. But the best part is, it’s solidifying and strengthening my writing skill without feeling like work. 

Word Find is my favorite. Playing this for 10 minutes each morning over a cup of tea refreshes core writing skills by activating your word memory and grammar.

The biggest bonus I’ve found so far has been the help with synonyms. Remember, editors have seen plenty of writers write about “the turquoise water.” So instead, use other less-heard-of descriptors for blue like aqua, cerulean, azure, cobalt, aquamarine, or teal. 

Now I don’t know about you but teal is not a word I use every day. In fact, if I’m honest I think I had forgotten about poor old teal. But now it has been stored away in my brain as a Caribbean descriptor. This will come in handy the next time I write about my Mexican Caribbean home. All because it was in my morning Word Find game. 

The only downside I see to these games is that they can get a little addictive. I’m sure it’s not just me. So, if you are a bit of a word nerd, and I think most writers are, then you could end up wasting hours playing games instead of working.

To prevent this, I advise downloading your game of choice on a weekend so you are free to play for as long as you like the first time. Otherwise you could end up looking up only because you are hungry, and then realize its lunchtime and you’ve wasted the entire morning. Yes, I confess that happened to me the first time. 

So, overall these games are amazing tools to put in your writer’s toolbox. Just promise you won’t blame me if you end up spending hours playing. Happy word skill building. 

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