Creative Writing – Week 10

J. California Cooper (one of my favorite storytellers!) tells Marita Golden she loved telling stories with – and to – her paper dolls growing up.

 

M.G.: I read in an article that you played with paper dolls.

C.C.: Until I was 18.

 

M.G.: What did you like about paper dolls?

 

CC: You could tell a story. And that was that. The fact is, they were paper, so they couldn’t do it without you. It was the fact that you had somebody who could stand there and say, “Oh Howard, don’t do that.” My mother said you could put me in a room by myself and shut the door and you’d think a crowd of people were in there if you didn’t know I was in there by myself, because I talked to myself.

 

M.G.: And you were never alone when you were in your world of imagination.

 

C.C.: Right. That’s why when I was 18, my mother got scared and thought I was retarded or something….

 

I loved this book because it affirmed so much of what I knew, experienced, and felt as a writer, and because reading it feels like being in the company of a bunch of people who “Get it!”

 

Do you have a favorite book about writing or the writing life? If so, do share. And tell us why. 

Creative Writing Workshop – Week Six

Write about your worst habit. Twenty-minutes non-stop. Put it down. Plan to return to this assignment tomorrow for 20 more minutes. End this assignment by completing the sentence, “Now that I realize how (disgusting/or harmless) this habit is, I can…..”

Creative Writing – Week 4

Consider what are your optimal conditions for writing well. Consider this from Legendary Author Toni Morrison: “I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are at their best creatively. They need to ask themselves, ‘What does the ideal room look like? Is there music? Is there silence? Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside? What do I need in order to release my imagination?”

 

If you suffer from writer’s block, ask these questions of yourself: Where do you write well? During what time of the day are you most creative? Then adjust your surroundings in a way that best suits your imagination.

 

(from the book, “Writer’s Block: 786 Ideas to Jump Start Your Imagination”)

Creative Writing – Week 3

Have fun. Take out a couple sheets of paper – or go to your computer – and do this: Trace a five dollar bill through five the lives of five different owners.

What was exchanged in the transaction? How much – or how little – did each transaction mean to the owner involved? Give yourself only 15 minutes for this exercise. It’s just for fun.

If the bill doesn’t make it through five people in 15 minutes, that’s fine. If you had fun with this you’re a success! (from the book: “The Writer’s Block: 786 Ideas to Jump Start Your Imagination” by Jason Rekulak)