So free time is upon you, you want to write or need a break from the major piece – like I do, hence I blog… Try these ideas out and see how they work for you – to free your mind, create something new, or just for a bit of fun.
1. Be something else, something that does not speak – a dog, a cat, the blossom on the tree in your backyard, the tap above your kitchen sink. Imagine their day – what they see, how they feel, what they smell, what they notice.
2. Subvert your craft 1 – do something you wouldn’t normally do, artistically speaking. Do a drawing, a painting, take photos of the world instead of writing about it. Make a dress, knit a scarf (longer than a day I know but worth doing anyway). Bake, and consider the different ways of creating and making that could impact on the way you write.
3. Subvert your craft 2 – write in a different genre. If you are a poet, have a go at a story, if you write articles/non fiction try a short story. If you write fiction try a memoir. If you write adult fiction try a story for a child. Move around in your writing – experimenting doesn’t hurt. Roald Dahl began life writing for adults – he was not successful until he turned his hand to writing for children.
4. Write nothing for a day. See if you can actually do it – no word upon the page, no typing upon the screen. No notes, no lists, no jottings, nothing. Can you not write for a day? How does it feel? If you feel like you’re drowning without writing, then you know it’s your true calling and, really you should pay more attention to it!
5. Travel to a different part of your city or country (or if you are travelling OS this is ideal for you). Find a place to sit and watch. Make notes about the people, the place, the weather, what’s happening. Is there a story there already or one you can make?
6. Write a letter to your favourite writer – dead or alive – and tell them why they have made such an impact on your life, what it is about their work that inspires you, that makes you love them. Do you write like them, because of them?
7. The papers are full of stories of ordinary people. Find a story that’s interesting to you and flesh out the details of that person/that family’s life. What has happened to get them to this (terrible/wonderful) place? Have you created a bigger story worth developing?
You know the drill – choose as many or as few tasks as you want. Be distracted from your life, from your main writing, but enjoy your writing, no matter how big or small your oeuvre, otherwise there is no purpose to it at all. (Images courtesy Google Images and Private Collection)