Writing exercises that involve a degree of randomness allow us to tune in to our passive thinking—those little bits that flit through and around us while we work at our desks or climb the stairs. They build a path towards greater trust in ourselves to find words for the unsayable and deepen our faith in the process of writing.
Take the first two books at hand. Flip to a random page in the first book. Find the first concrete noun (things like “ball” or “rock;” no “doubt” or “vehemence”). Do the same thing with the second book.
Now write for five minutes, letting your writing build from those two nouns you identified. Try to use both in the first sentence. At the end of the time, read your work aloud. What did you find?
If you only have your phone with you and no books, try the exercise with two emails or two stories.