March 14, 2011
Writers (and songwriters) often ask me about which kick-start methods are most helpful. There are several.
For example, a common one is to use “prompts” (i.e., starting a sentence, or a paragraph with a diving-board phrase like …
“The worst job I ever had was ____ .” or
“My best friend became a best friend when she _____.” or
“My family didn’t believe me when I said I would _____.”
Note: For a great book of prompts for songwriters, see our friend, Lisa Aschmann’s … 1,000 Songwriting Ideas.
Or, some like Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages daily writing exercise (from her hit book, The Artist’s Way).
Some use the one John Braheny mentions in his best-selling book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting … an exercise called object writing …. which Pat Pattison teaches at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. You choose and focus on any item that you see in the room where you are and just write about it, for about 10 minutes. And it doesn’t matter if your writing goes “off topic… ”
And now, in this article, by Joel Friedlander, (which came out last year, but someone just brought it to my attention) … I learn an exercise called ‘freewriting.’ This one, however, is done sans computer. It’s totally handwritten, which may or may not appeal to you.
Here’s the link: Unleash Your Creativity Now (How to Freewrite) — Excerpt:
“… In freewriting, you write just fast enough so that your hand moves faster than your brain can defend itself.The results are sometimes unpredictable, but the most surprising images, characters, memories and stories started to pour out onto the page. Where was it coming from? I was mystified, and stunned. Somehow this practice had connected to that deep stream of creativity we all have running, somewhere deep underground, and allowed it to manifest in writing.”
Whole article … click: Unleash Your Creativity Now (How to Freewrite).
Some writers really like to tap into their flow, their source… their hidden under-belly … in so many ways. (Personally, I enjoy variety, so I try all these techniques at various times.) This one is definitely worth trying! Enjoy!
[Photo taken by me at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, from the Product Design class … April, 2010. A Time Meter, with an hourglass egg-timer in the center. For a quarter, “Plan Carefully, Here, Buy More Time.” I wish this thing really worked!]