On the way up to the teen/ young reader department of the store, we passed by a table. It was covered in a whiteboard table cloth and around it were a few young girls (elementary maybe middle school) and three adults. The adults were the founder of Young Writer's Project, a program/community that encourages young people to write and be confident about their work, an author, and someone whose position I've forgotten.
The man asked us if we wanted to do a writing exercise, and I felt obligated to say yes so my friend and I sat down though we obviously were much older than the rest of the participants, and it seemed like they had signed up for the activity.
The activity was to pick words out of a bucket and write a story including all of those words in 7 minutes. This was really hard. My words were DJ, Pacific Ocean, and break. So, I picked another slip and got "Bill-28 hates his job, thinks he is stuck." What did other people get? Train station, crashing, aliens. Easy and creative.
When I looked around after 7 minutes, people had mini novels written it seemed. I think I had 3 sentences.
My story was about Bill who works a 9-5 in a cubicle and decides to go on a solo sailing trip for a year, starting off in a port in the Pacific Ocean.
In the end, I liked this activity and was glad we sat down. First, writing on the table was great. Second, it was challenging to write continuously for 7 minutes and also to get creative and make something up that sounds interesting. You should try this exercise too. It may make you more confident in your writing abilities, and it feels good to get out of your comfort zone.