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Find creative possibilities in your workplace

In these economic times when everyone knows of someone who has lost a job, we all have work of some sort — even if it’s looking for another job. Some people work as stay-at-home moms and dads, while others work in small businesses, schools, or large corporations.

Whatever your situation, jobs are sources of great writing material. You might find inspiration to write a poem, an essay, a scene for a short story (after all, your characters likely have jobs too), or maybe even a whole novel.

Broadcaster and author Studs Terkel chose to literally write about other people and their jobs. In Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, he interviewed people in all sorts of jobs — from a factory worker to a fashion model. The narratives move between mundane details, emotional truths, and existential questioning.

These writing exercises could be a starting point to spark your own workplace writing.


1. Make a list of what you need for your job, including tangible and intangible tools. Now, write a page about your most valuable tool.

2. Imagine your absolute worst day at work. Write an advice column. Pretend it’s your opportunity to do that day again, and share your advice and insight with someone.

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