“I would go as far as I could and hit a wall,” said musician and memoirist Patti Smith. In response, playwright Sam Shepard advised, “When you hit a wall, just kick it in.” Writing teacher Barbara Abercrombie’s powerful writing prompts give us just the push we need to do it. Like a workout with a top trainer, her exercises warm up, stretch, and build creative muscle.
Kicking In the Wall includes quotes from famous writers to accompany the exercises, as well as real-world examples of completed exercises by the author’s students in the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Though Abercrombie says readers need only commit to five minutes per exercise, she writes, “I’ve seen novels, memoirs, and many essays get started in those five minutes, and a lot ended up being published.” Her playful method is essential fuel for writers trying to get off the starting block, persevere through challenges, and cross their personal creativity finish lines.