NANOWRIMO Prep: Extended Divergent Thinking Exercise

Welcome to November, NANOWRIMO month!

This is an extended divergent thinking exercise designed to enhance your creative processes so you can write efficiently whether you’re participating in NANOWRIMO or not. It won’t take any longer than five minutes, but it SHOULD get you thinking creatively so you can dive into your work.

The best part of this exercise is you can do only part of the exercise if you don’t have time or don’t want to do the whole thing.

Step One: What Color Shirt Are You Wearing?

I’m wearing a black sweater with a purplish-red long-sleeved shirt beneath it.


Step Two: Set an alarm for two minutes

 In that time, list everything you can think of that is the color of your shirt

(Or the color of one of your shirts or one of the colors in your shirt – approximately)

I’m choosing purplish-red since it seems easier right now.

Try to list specific things. For instance, Christmas ornaments, instead of “Christmas decorations.” It’s okay if it’s not the exact color of your shirt. If it reminds you of it and is a similar color or has some of the color in it, then you’re good to go.


Step Three: Select two or three of the words you came up with

Spend a minute coming up with things you could do with each of those things. When you’ve done both of your words, go through it again.


I’m choosing Apples, couch, and shoes and I’ll list the two or three things I came up with first for them:

Apples: Pie, Snack, Cinnamon apple cake (Maybe I’m hungry…)

Couch: Remove cushions from couch and make a fort, jump on it, paint it

Shoes: Get dust out of the carpet in the basement, wear them, click clack across the kitchen


Did you come up with better words the second time? Does your brain feel like it can spark new and creative ideas? I hope so!

Hopefully, you can make some creative and innovative connections as you get to work on your novel today. Have fun!

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  1. I’m wearing yellow. It’s my favorite color because it reminds me of the sun–bright, happy, energetic, lemony. I think of my water, lemon in my water, lemon pie, custard, custard donuts, pudding and corn. I can see what this gets a person’s creativity going. My mind jumps from one yellow object to another, flowing and flitting. Which is what I like to do when I write. Keep going without stopping.

    Great idea, Robin. I hope it helps many writers “get in their game.”

    Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

    • Robin says:

      Nice job!

      I am not exactly doing NaNoWriMo. I’m hoping to finish this book this month, though… and I think it’ll be at least 50k words before I finish. So, no. But kinda.

  2. This is good. Worth saving to use at future times, too. Thanks.

Please share your random thoughts.


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