it’s difficult to start writing. as a lecturer in creative writing, i have always found it far easier to go against the common advice — write what you know.
don’t write what you know.
you have feelings there. you have thoughts there.
and what’s that going to do but slow down the writing process?
you want to write more, not more carefully, more thoughtfully, more slowly. you want to write more to practice. don’t write crap and show it to people. i’m a stream of consciousness writer.
it doesn’t matter what the topic is or what the time constraints are. i write at the same speed all the time and pretty much at the same level of quality. i’ll happily give you five thousand words on the meaning of the color purple in modern culture.
so what does that mean for practice?
i give students two different types of exercises — quick writing (one minute per topic) and time writing (ten minutes per exercise), usually ten of the first or one of the others at the beginning and end of two-hour lectures.
by the end of a half dozen sessions, the level of confidence in writing about any topic is immeasurably higher. and if that’s not a measure of better creative writing, i’m not sure what is.
here are a few to start with. good luck. remember, one minute exactly. discipline yourself and don’t think.
remember – thought is the opposite of action.
- pineapple is the meaning of life.
- goats knit the best slippers.
- only pink cats like tuna.
- the wheels on the bus… are square.
- half a rainbow ends in a pot of aluminum.
- pipecleaners are the gateway to the afterlife.
- pink wool is a miracle.
- chocolate milk. comment.
- books make more sense upside-down.
- giant sunflowers smell like orange.
- coins feel like silk.
- winnie the pooh is my best friend.
- bare feet are cute.
- noses are overrated.
- photo frames are evil.
- elephants are just dogs in fat suits.
- your hair doesn’t really exist.
- fabric is unethical.
- clocks always run in reverse.
- rubber mallets. comment.
- lightbulbs are the new religion.
- paper towel is the answer to every question.
- carpet is evil.
- grapefruit makes everything alright.
- candles are just the darkness winking at you.
- camels make the best politicians.
- cat poetry is cuter than dog poetry.
- ferrets only beatbox at night.
- egg timers are sentient aliens.
- you’re wearing a wig.
- wallpaper covers all sins.
- boxing is more fun with packing tape.
- gloves are the end of civilization.
- flags are like postboxes.
- blankets. comment.
- halos are overrated.
- all good animals have tails.
- fuzzy ears. comment.
- rabbits make better stew than bunnies.
- flowers are always taller than humans.
- temperature is a myth.
- grass smells.
- tea only exists on tuesdays.
- beavers are damnable creatures.
- teeth are only useful for plastic packaging.
- sleep smells like daffodils.
- tuesdays are green.
- two heads are better than eight.
- tigger. comment.
- cds are the end of humanity.
- the letter k. comment.
- towels are better than soap.
- face cloths make me grin.
- frisbees are like religion.
- all dogs are called fido.
- gummy worms are part of this complete breakfast.
- whalesong. comment.
- tuxedos look better on monkeys.
- carpet is my savior.
- men would be smarter in heels.
- wednesday smells like rice.
- nighttime is purple.
- sweaters are always too big.
- porpoises write the best sonnets.
- pants are overrated.
- chimpanzees are excellent judges of character.
- today is brought to you by the letter z.
- 2am is a myth.
- jellybeans make life worthwhile.
- moo. comment.
- pizza makes emus smile.
- shakespeare makes great falafel.
- snow doesn’t exist.
- sour candies are an affront to ra.
- it only rains in the desert.
- the letter b does not exist.
- closets are beds in disguise.
- the meaning of life is oatmeal.
- feet are irrelevant.
- slippers are art.
- watermelons are transparent.
- soap makes me smile.
- pots only boil while they’re being watched.
- pillows are overrated.
- tissues are the cause of global warming.
- numbers above 100 are illegal.
- headphones are for penguins.
- kittens make good punk drummers.
- teddy bears don’t grow on trees.
- gold is lighter than air.
- rocks are exciting.
- coke is the life force on mars.
- batteries taste like peanut butter.
- pencils don’t work in space.
- sparkles are a sentient being.
- licking the mixing bowl cures all ills.
- moss only grows on happy rocks.
- glue sticks hold the world together.
- hairbrushes are demigods.
- seals are shaped like diamonds, not clubs.
- compasses always point southeast.
- rolling pins were designed by the mob.
- silver tastes like strawberries.
- macaroni is the universe’s perfect shape.
- bubble wrap. comment.