when you don’t want to write about shame
Write what it means to give something of your self away. Your fears. Your goals. Your intense vulnerability. Your rage. Your forgiveness.
Write about that moment of utter clarity, when the jumble of thoughts in your brain momentarily clears. Write about the moment of silence – when you reach for the doorknob and you feel like you can finally hear yourself think, make sense of all the twistings on the wind.
write to your own past or to someone else’s past. Use the photograph as evidence. Create a new story, an explanation as to what happened before, during or just after.
write a shadow play
Open a thesaurus to a random page, pick a word. Open to another random page, pick another word. Work this phrase into your writing.
example: frugal country
Write a poem of months. Each stanza a month in the past year or a forward-view of the following year. Or some other year.
For non-poems, go by the paragraph, the page, the chapter.
Today, listen to the snippets of conversation that occur around you. Find a compelling phrase, take it out of context, and write about it or the ficticious events surrounding it.
Go somewhere out of your comfort zone or out of your usual routine today. Settle in a corner or in the middle of the action, pick a person, place or thing and describe it exquisite detail.
Go somewhere else and be vague.
Since I started writing, I’ve always had 1-2 line “snippets” that weren’t quite complete enough to create a new poem, but not quite crappy enough to scrap or type up with my “fail-proof” backup method. For the longest time, I hadn’t any idea what to do with these things, so I just left them in my notebooks.
My latest project, because I always need some kind of project, is to combine these poetic bits into a single document so I can see if anything can be done with them. There have been a few I’ve found so far that will work well together and I’m curious as to what I’ll find when I go back a few years. It’s an experiment, for sure. I’m hoping to be surprised by what I find.
A writing exercise:
Spend some time each day to write 1-2 lines of highly condensed text. It could be a concise thought, description, other. Date the item and keep a running list for a length of time – let’s say 2 weeks at a minimum; maximum time at your prerogative.
Look back through your snippets every so often, though I would discourage you from reviewing what was written daily. The goal here is to see if anything naturally connects.
Good luck! And do let me know if this unlocks anything for you.