Spider Veined

spiderI don’t know about you, but spiders don’t bother me much.

I can’t say I’m that fond of them, especially when they catch me unawares, but I’m not really frightened of them, at least not the mostly small, harmless ones we have here in Ireland. I guess I would feel differently if I had to deal with some of those big, scary poisonous ones in other countries.

Of course, some people are terrified of all spiders – there’s a name for this fear when it is a true phobia: Arachnophobia.  And if that’s you, I apologise for the picture if it gives you the heebie jeebies!

But perhaps we can turn that emotion into a piece of writing for this week’s creative writing prompt/exercise? Use the spider as a trigger for some new writing.

Do you have a story to tell about an incident in your life involving a spider? Could you write a piece of memoir or a poem about spiders? Could a spider appear in your short story or flash fiction?

If you are not sure where to go with this idea, sit down for ten minutes (time yourself!) and do some free writing – that is, write down whatever comes to mind, starting with the word ‘spider’. This writing is for your eyes only, so it can be as wild and imaginative as you like, it doesn’t have to be grammatically correct, and no-one is going to check your spelling. At this point, you may just want to write a list of words that spring to mind at the thought of spiders.

Here’s some words from my list to start you off: cobwebs, spider veins, venom, bites, Spider-Man, arachnids, eight legs, spinning, corners, money spiders, dust, flytraps, Black Widow, Tarantula…

Now look back at what you’ve written and find some nuggets which may be worth doing more work on.

If spiders don’t do it for you, perhaps you can focus on another phobia? Us humans have a good few things we’re afraid of. Are you scared of flying, public speaking or heights? Do you come out in hives at the thought of thunder and lightning, or barking dogs, slithering snakes? All of these things are among the top reported phobias. Don’t be afraid (!) to use that fear, or the prospect of fear, to generate some new writing.

If you are new here, then welcome! There’s some background as to what this is all about here, otherwise just call back next week for another creative writing prompt/exercise to inspire you to keep writing. There’s a new post every Wednesday, at 5pm, Dublin time.