Writing exercises have always been great fun for me. Not only do they strengthen your writing, but they challenge you in a fun way that you can't get anywhere else. I miss the days when my old writing communities would issue word challenges or word banks for stories, and while I know that other communities still exist, it's still sad when the ones you belong to fizzle out or an admin quits and the group just falls apart. One of my favorite writing challenges that we'd use in a poetry group I was in was from Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones.
The challenge was to essentially make a noun complete a verb that it normally wouldn't be associated with. You take a profession and come up with 10 verbs associated with it. Say you choose rock star; you might use the words sing, gyrate, boogie, drink, travel, etc. Then you pick 10 nouns in the room around you and randomly write a brief poem or sentence featuring a verb per noun. Wow, right? It's mind-blowing. You put combinations together that you'd never even thought to have been possible before.
Have you tried this exercise or a similar one? How did it go? Tell us about any impossible poem combinations you came up with.