Friday Writing Exercise: Slow Reading 0 Comments

Friday Writing Exercise: Slow Reading

Notice how slow things are the new craze? Slow dining, slow cooking, slow walking down the middle of the street, oblivious to anyone passing you? There’s a reason it’s popular – slowness gives you time to stop and reflect, and that’s what this task is about.


Pick a poem or a story.

Read it, pausing at every paragraph/stanza.

Put the book down and think about it.


Deceptively simple, I know, but critical and deliberate reflection is one of the best ways to improve. When given the time, things will stand out to you, both what worked and what didn’t.

I first did this with the story Leopard from ‘Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned’, which is a damn nice collection by Wells Tower. Where previously I’d noticed good lines, now I was giving myself time to think about why they were good. At the same time I also noticed inconsistences and odd phrasing. Both of these would have been missed had I just got absorbed into the story.

If you’re hungry to get to the writing portion to this Friday Writing Exercise, then I admire you –  the challenge is to write 100 words in ten minutes, taking time over every single one of them. If you want to make it take longer, then by all means, but don’t do it any quicker. If you need a topic, try ‘Childhood Miseries’. Bonus points if you bring a leopard into it.

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