For the next month, I’m going to share one short writing activity weekly. It will be a writing exercise that can be at least started in a brief time period. I try to get in one writing session a day. Some days the nap gods (for my children) are with me and I get an hour or two of writing accomplished. Most days, however, I write in fits and starts, stealing 10 minutes here and half an hour there (if lucky) and so on.
Writing Activity #1:
Poem Prompt Blog:
This is a poet’s blog (Robert Lee Brewster’s Poetic Asides). I will confess I’ve never actually read his poetry except for what he’s posted on this site. However, I happened to come across his Poem a Day (PAD) series in April (he also has weekly Wednesday Poetry Prompts that are on-going) and thought it seemed like a great idea. Since then I’ve been working through his poetry starters whenever I get a chance. For each prompt he proposes a topic to write about and sometimes suggests different avenues from which to consider the subject. To wrap up, he gives an example of a poem he wrote on the day’s topic.
You can’t (perhaps you can), I can’t write anything great in 5 to 15 minutes but I can free write on the subject presented. Here’s what I do, I take one of the starters and write on the idea for a minimum of five minutes (I literally often set a timer to make me keep at it). It’s been interesting because even in 5 minutes, I’ve often been able to get a good jump start on an idea and at times the prompts I’m least into have produced the best results in the end. The writing itself might not be any good but I’ve been able to write a page of brainstorming on the topic or perhaps even a couple of lines to start a poem. The idea for me is to have a bunch of raw material to work on and refine at a later date. Much of it may not be usable, but seeing his poems helps. Sometimes his work is good but sometimes I’m not impressed at all, which goes to show no one does it perfectly. It makes me feel better about throwing my hat in the ring too and seeing what comes of it.
Here’s the link:
Another aspect of this exercise that I appreciate is it makes me write about something I might not normally think about. Lately, a lot of my poems have taken his topics and related them to sleep (write about a superpower: the amazing sleepless woman; write a mechanical poem: the mechanics of staying awake for extended periods of time; you get the idea). But look at that guy who wrote the book, “Go the **** To Sleep” about his children not sleeping. His complaining got published so maybe there’s a market there…