I'm a member of a group of people who write poetry. We meet once a week, in the home of one of the members. Sometimes we talk about writing related things, sometimes we read our poetry to the others and critique the work that was read. Sometimes we do writing exercises.
Last Thursday night, one of the members gave us a writing exercise. We had to think of a word, then write down words that related to that first word. Then we had to write a poem using as many of those words as we could.
The exercise was a good one. All of us there gave it a go, and came up with a new poem, which we read to the others. I felt my effort was lame, and not worth much, but when I read it aloud, and received feedback about it, I could see some merit in my efforts. I may take that baby poem soon, and work on it, drawing out the metaphors there, and making it more than a lame little baby poem.
This is one of the things that being a member of a writing group can bring you. Different ideas can help to encourage you to tread different paths, try new things, or try doing old things in new ways. If you're in a rut with your writing, having a new kind of exercise can be just the thing to jump start you out of the rut!