The Writing Deck


Writing should be the easiest thing in the world. It’s a tool that we wield every day, a physical process that is as natural as breathing. The ability to read, write and compute are the three basic skills that we learn in primary school, and use all our lives.

So why is the execution of it so hard? Why is the blank piece of paper so famously daunting? Because it is. Anyone will tell you. Creating content is difficult. Unlike mathematics or reading, writing challenges you on two fronts. There is the ‘I don’t have anything to say’ fear, and then there is the ‘I can’t express myself’ hurdle. Two totally different problems, both equally daunting, both inextricably linked, and both potentially paralysing.

So it was no real surprise that when Emily and I sat down to design these cards, we both wrote down the single thing we find most challenging about writing. One of us wrote ‘content’, the other ‘form’. That made perfect sense, one of us is an educator, the other an author. One deals in fiction, the other works with facts. We both use writing in totally different ways, to do different things, with different goals and different aims. But what we do have in common, is that when we look at screen, more often than not, neither of us can get going.

So we set out to design a set of exercises which will both help you find what it is you want to say, and then will absolutely enable you to say it. Each card works on two levels. It suggests something for you to write about, and then gives you a way in to writing it. Some are more about form, others are mostly content. Some are easier than others, some are downright difficult. You will find some of them come naturally, others will require more thought.

So get online and order a copy. I’d recommend