What creative writing exercises do you recommend for improving my writing ability?

I’ve never done any actual creative exercises per se myself but I know several authors, including myself who, as part of our jobs, ended up fueling our creativity. Here are a few examples:
  1. One author is also owner/manager of a CSA. That’s Community Supported Agriculture, a farm in which she sells shares of her crop to people for a specified amount of money, who all, including my friend, jointly decide what she’ll raise and she divides the crops and delivers them to an agreed-upon spot to be picked up when ready. As you can imagine, that requires quite a bit of communication which she supplies via a newsletter. That newsletter provides both information and awareness and it hones her creativity in the same way that fiction does.
  2. Another author worked for many years in eco-friendly environments, usually government agencies concerned with saving the natural environment. The reports and newsletters she wrote as part of her job taught her how to communicate with the public on environmental issues and she now writes eco-fiction romances with settings in those same natural environments.
  3. My husband and I owned and operated several small businesses, two of which involved living, working, and creating art in the wilderness, and I ended up providing all the advertising. Writing about the wilderness and writing advertising copy taught me how to communicate with the public, how to get my message across, and possibly most important of all, how to get that message across with the fewest words possible, which in fiction is called ‘writing tight’ and is an essential element of writing fiction that actually sells instead of boring readers to death.
  4. A pastor I know also writes Christian-based fiction and non-fiction. His day job includes giving sermons and preparing and giving those sermons has taught him how to hone his message so that it resonates with his audience and also says what he actually wants it to say and, since he writes down his sermons before giving them, he also gets practice in the actual act of writing.

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