Monday, November 10, 2008

Give Me Five Monday Meme #40

Monday, November 3 & 10, 2008

The 'Give Me Five' Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here's how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn't have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
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Give Me Five techniques you use to aid in writing for your blog or for your journal...whatever helps cure that writer's block.
***There weren't many participants last week and I'm really interested in this topic. So if you already played along, we'll see you next week. If not, I can't wait to stop by and read yours!***

With writing on everyone's mind for the various National Writing month challenges taking place all around us (I'm not participating this year) I thought, why not share some inspiration? On Saturday, I took a writing/journaling workshop based on a book written by Kathleen Adams called Journaling to the Self and learned some very good techniques for getting the ideas flowing! I don't agree with some of her ideas about meditations and some other things, but the writing techniques were really pretty helpful. So naturally, my mind thought of all of you and what techniques you may use for "creating the magic"!

1. Springboards. Springboards are small prompts that get you started. You'd be surprised as to how often you come across springboards and don't realize it. The study suggested keeping a tiny note pad with you for those times when springboards come to your mind. They can be questions or the beginning of sentences that you finish. Here's a short list of suggested springboards:

  • When the sun is brightly shining ___
  • My body is telling me ___
  • If money was no object ___
  • If I knew I could not fail ___
  • When I reflect on friendship ___

2. Clustering. Clusters are great, probably my favorite, actually! And when paired with a good springboard, the ideas just flow! A cluster is where you start off with an idea in the middle then branch off thoughts around the outside. Of course when you translate it into written form, each branch can be branched off with further detail and before you know it, wham! You've just written a blog post or journal entry and probably revealed some very good details about your topic. I really enjoyed learning about this technique and the study facilitator suggested doing your weekly 'to do' lists using clusters. It's a far more creative alternative than a simple list and when you are finished, you can appreciate all you've done with a nice piece of artwork if you use colored pencils and perhaps a bit of collaging materials. I found this technique to be the fastest as well.

3. Character Sketching. Descriptive vocabulary comes in handy here. You can choose a person of interest and go off in a number of directions. You can speak of the person's internal attributes, their physical appearance, their contribution to your get the point. It's basically writing that paints a picture of a person so that anyone reading it would have a sense of knowing the person in the way you see them. This makes a great gift for someone too.

4. Unsent Letters. These can be very powerful and obviously not something for a public blog. I'd suggest using this technique privately. Read more about unsent letters and how they can benefit you and get down all the issues. Just be careful about writing things that you don't want read by others. I wrote one to my dad and realized I had more issues than I thought! Even down to things like how he never finished projects around the house and how that affects me even now! Writer beware...and have tissues close by!

5. Acrostics. This was big fun! Here, you take a word or short phrase, writing it down the page and then begin the writing with the first letter. As you are writing about the phrase, you move down the page finding words that start with each letter of the phrase. Any line may have a few words or just one word. They can be a bit more tricky but still a great source of writing inspiration. Here's one offered up by Wikipedia just to give you one example. They have it more as a list where the lines aren't flowing and telling a continual story but this is just one example:

You should try one with the name of your blog sometime, it could be fun!!! (Oh wait, there are 2 Z's in a row on mine.....yikes!)

Give Me Five Participants
1. Vivian
2. Kwizgiver
3. amber
4. Pinayinstates
5. Joyce T.

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Kwizgiver said...

This is a great topic! Thanks for the suggestions.

Amber said...

I like unsent letters, though I don't do them often. I figure it's better that if I'm going to write a letter I may as well send it to the person in question, but it takes me hours of revision before it's sent off so I don't offend too much, and come across as being fair.
I've never tried clustering, I think maybe that my thought process may be too random for that direction.
I may just need to try the Acrostics, what a great idea!
Happy Monday, have a great week!

BeccaGirl said...

No, no no! If you are random, clustering is just great to create focus! You start off with an idea and then throw out things that it makes you think of and then you just go right down the line! It sort of takes those random things and orders them for you...I love it! :)

forgetfulone said...

Great ideas! Wish I'd had time to participate this week.

Joyce said...

Here I am at last, Becca. Thanks for the prompt!