Saturday, July 12, 2008

Exercising My Writing Muscles

On Thursday I posted a writing exercise at Write Out Loud. I suggested that limiting ourselves can be helpful in freeing our writing. The exercise was to write one sentence about a belief or lesson you've learned. These sentences can become jump-off points for a larger piece, or they can simply be stream-of-consciousness thoughts. The point is to get something on the paper without the pressure of producing a complete piece. Here are a few of the belief/lesson sentences I came up with:

Children should not have to fear their parents.

Love can blind you, but it can also open your eyes to the beauty of the world.

There is truth in the world around us—in nature, technology, imagination, words—if only we could be aware enough to see it.

Is this really a world where parents kill their babies, people live on the streets in poverty, and a hurricane-ravaged city is left to die?

I also suggested that anyone who was interested should take on Liz Strauss' challenge to write 25 words of wisdom. For this exercise, I took one of my sentences from above, expanded it and then edited it back down to 25 words:
Love can tie you up in knots
binding you
and blinding you, but it can also
open your eyes to the beauty
of the world.
After doing all this stretching of my writing muscles, I decided to take on a bigger writing exercise and headed over to Feeless Free Writer and picked a prompt. I plan to get through all of these soon, but for today I decided to use Free your ride #2:

I crossed the bridge every day for a year, on my way to school in the morning and on my way back to the farm in the afternoon. I loved it in the morning, with it's dirt path and dark gray metal sides, cool to the touch before the day's heat could warm them. But in the afternoon, as I dragged my feet through the gravel and dust, I hated that bridge. The rusty rails made me want to scream.

The farm was the last place I wanted to be. If I could I would have stayed at school, slept in the boiler room with the mice and spiders. If it weren't for school I'd be in the fields every day, planting and weeding with the farm hands. It was bad enough that I had to help with the evening milkings. They took away from my time reading. When I was in my room with a book, the farm wasn't so bad. I could forget then why I was here in this godforsaken place, living with a family I didn't know, wearing clothes that weren't meant for me. But in the barn, with the cows, mooing and grunting, all I could think about was where I should have been and what I had lost. Sometimes in the barn I would bellow and grunt and moo along with the cows, tears streaming down my face. No one could hear me over the sounds of the animals on the farm anyway.

Lots of free-writing today. Getting the creative juices flowing so that I can be productive tomorrow. Hope you're all having a great weekend, writing or not.


NoRegrets said...

I should do things like this...

Ami said...

Noregrets - It's always more fun than doing the writing I *have* to do. :)

patresa hartman said...

awesomeness! thanks for playing, ami! :)

Ami said...

P - Thanks for the prompts. They give me an excuse to write just for fun!

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