Writing is hard. Hours and hours of sweat and tears, rejections and rewrites not only add a few deep lines on our faces, but drain us from the creativity that sparked out desire to write in the first place.

My Words for the Journey friends like to joke about writers lurking on the “dark side” coming into the light (fiction or non-fiction depending on your primary genre). When someone pokes their hand into the air above their head and makes a sheepish announcement that they’ve secretly been banging out cozies, a group of us whoop and holler. Same said when one of us “liars” is plunged into the realm of writing reality.

Should writers be super-glued to one type of writing, or does a blend of fiction and non-fiction enhance the over-arching writing experience?

More than a month ago, I started writing real stuff for a news and “info-snacking” website that delves deep into Denver’s many characters. My assignment is to publish a minimum of 4 article each week on the subject of outdoor recreation. Dang. I can’t even come up with four blog entries in an entire month!

Slamming the journalist’s hat on my head, I slung my camera over my shoulder and set off to stalk stories that would generate a high volume of page hits.

Approaching the ordinary from a unique angle sharpened my observation skills and stories showed themselves everywhere.

So much so, I have to look at my idea list and choose the direction I want to take for a few days.

Most surprising is how my writing the real stuff ignited a steel-melting inferno of story ideas for my fiction writing! Developing my journalism self is enhancing my fiction and vice-versa.

Knowing I need to grab attention with my headline and first sentence, my ideas need to be twisted. I must play with words and ideas. Play. Imagine that!

In the spirit of play, I’m gonna ask you to join me. Don’t be a pooper – trust me, this will jump start your brain. The prompt below is from the Writer’s Digest Writing Kit.

You realize one day that your cat has the ability to time travel and that he’s been checking in on you from time to time throughout your life. Tell his story from his point of view.

Darcie Gudger is a member of ACFW. She completed her first novel which is being pitched by her agent. She also writes for http://www.examiner.com as an outdoor recreation columnist/journalist. When not writing, she can be found Booger wrangling or in the woods trying to get lost.