Life is interfering with my desire to get a new post written, so instead I’m offering one of my most popular lists:
- Go somewhere public—a cafe, a mall, a park—and eavesdrop. Write down the most interesting thing you hear and create a scene around it.
- Watch an old movie or TV show you loved as a child (for me, it’s “The Partridge Family”). Let yourself really feel what you loved about it when you were a kid. Then do a freewrite from that place of childlike joy. (Write about the movie/show or whatever else comes up.)
- Eat something you’ve never eaten before. Eat it slowly, and experience the texture, taste, feel and smell of it. Compile a list of adjectives, verbs and nouns that describe the experience. Make the list as long as you can. Then use the words to write a love scene.
- Go to an outdoor place you love—a pond, a beach, a woody path, a park—and write there.
- Do a freewrite. Make yourself keep writing for at least 10 minutes. Start with “I remember when…” Or, for something different: “I don’t remember when…” Better yet, do both.
- Go for a walk and pretend you’re from another planet. Notice everything—sights, smells, sounds—as if you’re experiencing it for the first time. Then write about something you encountered on your walk.
- Make a collage from pictures you clip from magazines. A day later, look at what you’ve created and write about the theme you see in the pictures or a story they tell.
- Take an hour for yourself and do whatever you feel like doing. Spend the last 10 minutes of the hour writing about whatever comes up.
- Find something you wrote in the past—a journal entry, a note, a list, a homework assignment, an e-mail—and write about the person who wrote it as if he/she were a character rather than an earlier version of you.
- (Variation on Number 3): Eat something you loved as a child but never eat now. (For me, it’s a Pop-tart.) Eat it slowly, and experience the texture, taste, feel and smell of it. Compile a list of adjectives, verbs and nouns that describe the experience. Make the list as long as you can. Then use the words to write about someone from your past.
Copyright © Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World, http://www.stranglingmymuse.com