Sunday, June 13, 2010

Inspired to Inspire Inspiration

Heehee...I love a good wonky title. This title is truly the truth of my post today. I want to take a hot poker - er - funny bunny and help inspire you to inspire your're inspiration.

'Kay...enough of the run around. On to the "serious business" of posting. *Sets aside water gun and clown nose.*

Generalization heading your way...Writer inspiration is, well, everywhere. Writers see ideas in everything. The angry man honking his horn at the stressed out soccer mom in front of him. The seemingly sedated check out girl and the bagger who can't seem to stop doing some weird jig.

The worst moment - another assumption here...and we know what happens with assumptions - is when the creativity well runs dry and the world seems an uninspiring dry cardboard society.

What we've done is drained our natural source of creativity, but training yourself as writers can be a lot like training yourself as any other artist of medium - we just sometimes snub our nose at these exercises.

*Pulls nose out of air*...let's get artistic people.

Okay, starting point: Cardboard land.

Pull out a blank piece of paper or blank word document. Now....write. Anything. DON'T THINK (I saw you). Just write. Whatever comes out, even if it's just a grocery list.

Alright - yes, I used it...catch me if you can - now take one element of your writing. Using the grocery list example, pick off an item or two if you're feeling crazy. I'll just choose bread and butter.

Now exand on that item(s) using at least two of your five senses. In case you forgot, here's a quick overview of the senses: Smell, sight, sound, taste, touch.

Remember, it doesn't have to have any point other than your brain popped it out. It doesn't have to be good, just words strung together.

Got it? Good. Now look around (either in real life or through a website or magazine) and pick out a person. Male, female...heck, even an animal. Visualize that person. Their tastes, personalities, characteristics, mannerisms.

Now write what that person would do with the item(s) you just wrote about using the five senses.

End point: a constructed quest for creativity.

Here's my example:

Item: Bread and butter
Person: Corporate woman sitting on park bench

Lucy used the back of her hand to dab the sweat off her neck. The navy suit was a bad choice for a July interview. Pulling out the bread, she spread herb butter and took a small bite. Crap, she thought, realizing she'd forgotton water. Crumbs stuck to the roof of her mouth. She swallowed hard, forcing the dry piece down her throat. Perfect, just perfect.
Exercises like this won't totally get you out of your block, but it'll start refilling the well. Go ahead, try it. And if you have any other good exercises, feel free to share them.

Good writing all!

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