I really wanted to share with you an exercise we were encouraged (playfully forced) to take part in, as part of a work shop by English Pen; an organisation that promotes the freedom to write, and the freedom to read.
Well you know how excited I got with Hotpenning, and how that spiralled into the Inspired Line project (which is still going on, so do jot down a sentence if you want a short story written and dedicated to you!). I'm hopeful these two little exercises will similarly inspire some creative writing from you :-)
Exercise 1 - Five little things
- Write 5 things that are blue
- Write 5 happy words
- Write 5 celestial words
- Write 5 verbs
You should end up with a list something like this:
Sky, my bag, flower, jeans, sea
Smile, jolly, beam, sunny, cheery
Red dwarf, solar, sun, twinkle, galaxy (whoops I wrote 6 words!)
Laughing, skipping, eating, munching, bouncing
5. Looking through the list, circle 1 word. Which ever jumps out at you and says circle me
6. Write a short letter to that word, its needn't take too long, perhaps 5 minutes.
Here's what I came up with:
How are you? You usual happy self, I hope. I've been stuck with sulk all day. God he does get you down. What have you been up to? Your usual madcap adventures, full of mischief?
Keep smiling, and come back soon
Lots of love
Well no, its certainly not literary genius, but its a good bit of fun, and it gets your pen moving, especially in times of dreaded writers block.
Exercise 2 - Poem Snippet
- Find a poem, any poem
- Pick 1 line from the poem, and write it down
- Write 2 further lines under it, to create a new mini poem!
I've chosen to promote a lovely little poem, by a local champion of poetry Julia Webb
Winter comes with the half-remembrance of rain
and the sudden opening out of the city
into wide white vistas of snow.
A trail of footprints through unsullied whiteness,
brings a memory of shuffling home frozen-footed
where orange street light
created pools and shallows in icy gardens
and birds had left their twiggy signatures on the tops of cars.
Tonight will freeze the city beneath a brittle crust,
skid the cars onto frozen pavements,
wind the city down to slow:
as if it’s had its mouth stuffed full of snow
or the night raised a finger to hush us,
as if the sky whispered no.
I will now proceed to write an awful little poem, just to demonstrate how not to write poetry. Sorry Julia!
As if the sky whispered no,
I hesitated, stalled and stood
But why should my heart say go?
I hope you have fun trying them, and do let me know the results. I'm always keen to find and encourage writing.
Good luck! X