Writing exercise: I’ve been a bit blocked the last day or so, after seeing the magnificent first draft of the book printed out, all 300 glorious pages. At last the book looks real, solid, and almost like it could get published. But I can’t seem to move on, so I’m trying some writing exercises to shift the block and get my momentum going again.
Spend a day not speaking. Not at all, not to anyone. Don’t use any words at all to communicate, don’t write anything down either. Try to communicate with gesture, facial expression and the like, but refrain from using language at all. At the end of the day, write a 2000 word essay on the experience.
Lie on the floor. Spend at least 20 minutes on the floor, and look at your room/space/garden/office from this perspective. Really look around. What does it look like from here? What does it feel like, smell like? What is different? Write about this room from this perspective.
Take a section of your work in progress, around 500 words or so, and rewrite it using a different point of view. If it’s first person, try third, and vice versa. Or even try second, which is a completely different challenge.
Take a section of your work in progress, and rewrite it in verse (hmm, not sure I want to do this).
Write a short script for an animation/cartoon. This is a good one because you REALLY have to visualise things, and it gets your imagination working.
Take a day off from writing. Instead, using an ipod or a Dictaphone, or your laptop, tell a story out loud. Make it up as you go along, but speak it, don’t write it.
I suppose I’ll blog at some point about what it’s like to do these, although I have done one of them today. I lay on the floor in my study and looked at it from an entirely different perspective. It certainly smells different and feels different. More importantly, I felt different. I felt I had a different relationship with the room and its contents from down there on the floor. There were so many secret little spaces that I don’t usually look into. It made me much more aware of the shadows between and behind things, the dark spaces under things, the way that things occupied the space above me. Like being at ground level in some great city of books and candles and furniture.
Ok, so I’m still a bit blocked, but at least I feel like I’ve done something creative today, not just work, work, work.