Writing Assignment: Ask A Stranger

by Randy Murray on December 16, 2011

I am a professional writer. If you pay me, I’ll write about almost any subject. Over the last year or so I’ve written, extensively, about enterprise software, marketing, real estate, finance, fashion and retailing, even home theaters, entertainment, and 3D-TV. And loads of other subjects.

I’m not an expert about any of them (OK, I have a great deal of experience in marketing and I’m a home theater hobbyist), but if you pay me, I’ll do the research, talk with the experts, and be able to write well about most subjects.

Far too many novice writers believe that they can only write about a single subject, or perhaps can only write about their own direct experience, from the heart, so to speak. But you can build and sharpen your writing skills by breaking free of those limitations. If you go to school to learn writing, you’ll be given assignments. If you take a job as a professional writer for a newspaper, magazine, or web site, you’ll be given lots of different things to write about.

And because of that, you’ll become a better writer. You’ll have to discover how to research, to think, and to write clearly. All because you didn’t choose what to write about.

Which is, of course, the entire purpose of these Writing Assignments.

For today’s assignment, stop a stranger, not a friend, not someone you know in any way, and ask them to give you an assignment. Some assignments will be impossible and you can choose to decline them (nothing will self-destruct in a puff of smoke).

Simply stop  someone and say, “Could you help me? I’m working on my writing skills and today’s task is to ask someone I don’t know to assign me something to write about. What do you think I should write about?”

Then write about that subject. Don’t argue with them or ask for another assignment. Just thank them and get busy. You may have to do some research. Good. You may have to think. Better. But accept the assignment, do the work, and write.

You may leave your completed assignment in the comments section below.


Click here to view and complete previous writing assignments.

And buy a copy of the Writing Assignments book!

The Writing Assignment: Ask A Stranger by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: