Kooky, isn’t it, how if we just allow ourselves to experience the chaos of free-range writing, words and phrases emerge, some of which even make sense? Kerplunk! my eye focused on the letter K and now I am kompelled (oh, Elaine, honestly—you’re better than that) to create five sentences beginning with that letter.
Kinsfolk and klezmer bands and kalamata olives volunteer their services, but I can’t find sentences they approve of. Kangaroos hop by; at least that’s entertaining.
Kidnaper? Dear online Scrabble dictionary, that is not an 8-letter word: Unless there’s a profession I’ve never heard of: Kidnaper, n.—someone who shears only the necks of baby goats.
Free-range writing: a rusty tool in my toolbox
My tribe is a lovely mix of business people and artists. When I wrote the prompts for my Jumpstart 2017 five-day writing challenge, I wanted to give the artists a chance to write in a more business-y vein and the others an opportunity to stretch their creative wings, perhaps for the first time in awhile. So I included some free-range writing prompts, arbitrary exercises like the one I wrote about the other day. Everyone seems to be enjoying the experience.
One thing I hadn’t planned on when I created the writing prompts: following them myself. But fair is fair, so this morning I closed my eyes, pointed my face toward the keyboard and found myself staring at the letter K.
K? Nothing begins with K (hence my desperate Google search for Scrabble lists).
I will match my storytelling abilities with anyone’s, but I only know how to work with facts. So I guess I need this exercise as much as any of the participants in my group.
Actually, I’ve needed the whole challenge as much as any of the people who signed up for it. Not to establish a daily writing practice—today is Day 248 for me. But to scrape the rust off some of the tools in my writer’s toolbox. Even grown-ups deserve playtime now and then. I do not play with writing, just for the pure enjoyment of it, nearly enough. Okay—ever.
Jump(start)ing for joy
I’m writing this on Day 4 of the five-day challenge. Someone asked me this morning how it was going and I replied:
“It’s exceeding all of my expectations. People are posting really remarkable work in a range of styles, and forming a community by leaving supportive comments on each others’ posts. It may just be the best thing I’ve done all year.”
I mean that, too. The Challenge wraps up tomorrow and I’ll have some final words on it next week. In the meantime, look for a “very special” (as the advertisers always say—apparently “special” is no longer quite special enough) New Year’s Eve blog featuring Seth Godin tomorrow.
Wishing you all a happy and productive 2017.