Aspiring doctors have medical school. Karate students have belts of different colors. Pianists have scales and arpeggios. But what system do writers have for getting and staying "in shape," to help them focus, practice, and make progress? This is an ingenious collection of exercises to inspire, encourage, warm up, and jump-start anyone who writes. A wise and funny friend who will cheerlead you through even your darkest can't-write days and "every idea I've ever had is awful" nights, she provides encouraging suggestions, hilarious observations, and an amazingly vivid catalogue of writers' neuroses (with advice on overcoming them, of course). From "Roget's Resume" and "Emulating Ernest" to "End Well," "The Rewrite Rut," and "Dear John," the exercises in this generous, wry workbook will keep your ideas fresh, your mind open, and your pen moving.