Archive for the 'Sandbox Challenges' Category

Only Have Five Minutes for Creativity? Try This Metaphor Exercise

January can be a tough month: recovering from holiday overwhelm; dealing with sniffles, flu, and cold weather; trying to get back into the swing of things. Sometimes it feels impossible to be creative. So it seems like the perfect time to rerun this post about one of my favorite quick creative exercises. Even when you’re not feeling well and have no time, you CAN nourish your creative soul with this five-minute play break.

If you’d like to try your hand at the metaphor exercise, check out the starter items in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox—or come up with your own. And, as always, I love it when you share your creative endeavors here!

Sandbox Challenge #1: A Camel is a Walking Sand Dune:

I’ve been engaged in several rounds of  a grueling match with the Human Head Pounder, the Vicious Throat Scratcher, the Phlegmy Cough Monster and a few of their other unpleasant pals. Now that I’ve gotten them halfway back into their caves, I’ve started thinking about how to stay creative when I’m sick. When deadlines start moaning because it looks like I may not meet them. When unpaid bills and undone chores begin growing horns and making increasingly scary noises. When the words in my brain stick together like swollen, overcooked pasta.

Then I remembered that a camel is a walking sand dune.

camel shadow

It’s a metaphor exercise I developed for myself during a period of intense busy-ness that had me nearly crying with my inability to find time for creativity. In order to calm myself down, I decided I could take FIVE MINUTES before bed every night for creativity.

Here’s what I did: I carried a small notebook with me, and during the day, I would jot down a few items, like “music blasting from a passing car,” “ocean waves,” “a black cat,” “a waterfall.”

Then, in those five minutes before bed, I would create metaphors for some of the things I’d written:

Music blasting from a passing car is a 30-second parade.

Waves are arpeggios on the ocean.black cat in garden

A black cat is a soft shadow.

A waterfall is long hair falling down a woman’s back.

I find this a wonderful exercise, because it sparks my creative imagination even when I have only a couple of tired minutes. And some of the metaphors I’ve created in these stolen moments have found their way into my stories and essays. I still keep a small notebook with starter items always ready to be turned into metaphors.

I’m going to begin issuing small writing challenges here. These will be geared toward the concept of this blog—that creativity can take place in tiny found moments—so none of them should take very long.

For this first challenge, write a metaphor/metaphors like the ones I’ve discussed here.  Post your answers in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox.  I’ve left some starter items there, or you can come up with your own.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Sandbox Challenge #36: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

Does a word sometimes slither like a serpent?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Armed and Dangerous

This is one of my favorite exercises, so I’m posting it again: Choose something that blocks you from creating and visualize it as a character. Then write something about him or her. It can be a description of the character, a poem, a metaphor, an action scene, a dialogue, a haiku, a 1-sentence memoir or anything else. Get creative!

Here’s one of mine:

The minute she walked into my office I knew she was trouble. She had a pair of To Do lists that just wouldn’t quit. Longfemme fatale and persuasive like I like them. She leaned against the wall and pulled a tapered black pen out of her clutch.

I acted surprised, but she could tell I was expecting her. Ms. Always-Too-Busy was no stranger to me. She had obstruction written all over her, written as clearly as the words she was adding to the bottom of the second list: “Groceries. Vacuum. Pay bills. Work!”

I knew I should walk away, but there was something about this dame that always made me stay. I’d stay until she seduced me into crossing every item off her lists. I’d stay until my Muse stormed away, pouting. I’d stay until she left me spent and lying in a pool of my own neglected words.

Like I said, the dame was trouble. Trouble with a never-ending To Do List.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Sandbox Challenge #35: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

Why does the hat of night fly so full of holes?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Only Have Five Minutes for Creativity? Try This Metaphor Exercise

I’ve been under the weather and trying not to be overwhelmed by life. Having one of those weeks when it seems impossible to be creative. So it feels like a perfect time to rerun this post about one of my favorite quick creative exercises. Even when you’re not feeling well and have no time, you CAN nourish your creative soul with this five-minute play break.

Okay, I’m going to go drink some hot tea and write a couple of metaphors before I get back to work…if you’d like to try your hand at the metaphor exercise, check out the starter items in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox—or come up with your own. And, as always, I love it when you share your creative endeavors here!

Sandbox Challenge #1: A Camel is a Walking Sand Dune:

I’ve been engaged in several rounds of  a grueling match with the Human Head Pounder, the Vicious Throat Scratcher, the Phlegmy Cough Monster and a few of their other unpleasant pals. Now that I’ve gotten them halfway back into their caves, I’ve started thinking about how to stay creative when I’m sick. When deadlines start moaning because it looks like I may not meet them. When unpaid bills and undone chores begin growing horns and making increasingly scary noises. When the words in my brain stick together like swollen, overcooked pasta.

Then I remembered that a camel is a walking sand dune.

camel shadow

It’s a metaphor exercise I developed for myself during a period of intense busy-ness that had me nearly crying with my inability to find time for creativity. In order to calm myself down, I decided I could take FIVE MINUTES before bed every night for creativity.

Here’s what I did: I carried a small notebook with me, and during the day, I would jot down a few items, like “music blasting from a passing car,” “ocean waves,” “a black cat,” “a waterfall.”

Then, in those five minutes before bed, I would create metaphors for some of the things I’d written:

Music blasting from a passing car is a 30-second parade.

Waves are arpeggios on the ocean.black cat in garden

A black cat is a soft shadow.

A waterfall is long hair falling down a woman’s back.

I find this a wonderful exercise, because it sparks my creative imagination even when I have only a couple of tired minutes. And some of the metaphors I’ve created in these stolen moments have found their way into my stories and essays. I still keep a small notebook with starter items always ready to be turned into metaphors.

I’m going to begin issuing small writing challenges here. These will be geared toward the concept of this blog—that creativity can take place in tiny found moments—so none of them should take very long.

For this first challenge, write a metaphor/metaphors like the ones I’ve discussed here.  Post your answers in the Tiny Packages section of the Readers’ Sandbox.  I’ve left some starter items there, or you can come up with your own.


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Sandbox Challenge #34: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

Is it true they scatter transparent letters across the sky?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
CLICK HERE!   (To learn more, click here)

Sandbox Challenge #33: Neruda Writing Prompt

The Book of Questions, by Pablo Neruda, contains poems made up entirely of questions. I’ve pulled out one of these for today’s writing prompt:

Is the sun the same as yesterday’s, or is this fire different from that fire?

Write a poem, essay, story, memory, freewrite, description…whatever this question evokes in you.

I’d love to see your creations in the comments if you feel like sharing!


DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CREATIVE BURSTS WORKBOOK!
And receive free creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week.
To learn more, click here!


Download a Free E-Book! Click on the Cover Below for your Creative Bursts Workbook

And get fun 15-minute creativity prompts delivered to your inbox twice a week

About Sandy Ackers

Sandy

Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

To learn more about Sandy, click here: About Sandy

Connect With Me On Facebook:

Meet My Muse

Click here to read the post discussing my relationship with my somewhat pesky male muse.

Inspiration in your inbox:

Blog Archive

Total Hits:

wordpress analytics
wordpress analytics

Share This Blog

Bookmark and Share
Add to Technorati Favorites
Writing Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Copyright © 2009-2014 Sandy Ackers. All rights reserved, with the following exceptions:

Writers retain all rights to any comments, stories or other original work posted on this blog in the comments sections or the Readers' Sandbox.

Many of the photos on this blog are in the public domain. If you'd like to reproduce a photo, contact Sandy Ackers at the email address listed in the ABOUT section of this blog for information on whether the image is under copyright.

Reproducing, copying or distributing the writing on this blog without the express permission of the author is strictly forbidden.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 310 other followers

%d bloggers like this: