Do you keep your old creative writing notebooks?
I hope so, because you’ll need an old (used) notebook in order to complete today’s creative writing prompt/exercise.
By nature, I’m a squirrel. That is to say, I hoard stuff. It proved useful when my children were small and announced at breakfast they needed a toilet roll tube, a calendar from two years ago and three red buttons to take to school that very day. I always rose to such a challenge.
Although those days are long gone, you can still count on me to have safety pins, elastic bands and pink and yellow envelopes should you need them. And lots of notebooks (both used and pristine).
How is this useful for writing? Hang on, I’m getting there.
I have several decades-worth of old notebooks on my shelf, and every now and then dip into them to find something to work on I’d otherwise forgotten about.
This is your creative writing task for this week: take one of your used notebooks and open it at random. Find a few lines of text you like the look of and see if you can develop them into a new piece of writing.
You’ll be surprised at how an old idea can spark new ones, given the chance. Keep trawling through your notebook until a spark ignites and there’s a flame (metaphorically, of course).
There’s no telling where this might lead – your choice again this week, poem, story, creative non-fiction, whatever. I was once placed in a writing competition with a short story that began this way…
This is the 74th new creative writing prompt in a series which began in March 2020 as a Lockdown project to kick-start new writing: drama, short stories, flash fiction, poetry, memoir, creative non-fiction, whatever. Originally, I created 42 daily prompts and exercises, with a nod to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Now I post them weekly every Wednesday at 5pm (Dublin time). It all began here.