Inspiration in the Mundane

Writing is a craft, as well as an art. That’s good news; it means it can be improved with practice. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. And write and write and write… Stuck for ideas? Try this little end-of-the-day exercise.

Sit down and write a description of something mundane you did today. Say, for example, you bought gas. What were you thinking as you filled your tank? Were you having any feelings? What was the weather like? Scorching sun, rain, wind? Were your clothes stuck to your body with sweat; hair blowing in the gusty wind? Note the smell of the gas, people around, etc. Keep it simple. Write only one or two paragraphs.

Now re-read your narrative. Is it interesting or bland? Can you taste your sweat, feel the cold nip of the breeze on your nose? Does it lack flavor? No matter. Just take note of it without judgment, for this will help your writing improve.

Now you have the choice of writing more or chilling out. Which shall it be? Want to move on? Okay, now let’s get outlandish. Take the true beginning and add something absurd. Say you’re in the store paying for the gas and a man comes in and robs the place. You hide behind a row of snacks, terrified; trying not to wet yourself. As you peak through the canned goods you realize, in horror, that you know the man. In fact, you’re dating him!

Or maybe a van careens into the station lot, screeching to a halt. Two men jump out wearing Easter bunny masks and grab you, pulling you into the van and slamming the door behind them. The car lunges into gear and they tear out, speeding down the road. After a few minutes, the man in the front seat turns to face you. To your surprise, it is…the president of the United States!

See how it works? It’s easier to write than most of us have been told. So what are you waiting for? Just write! :)

Copyright 2008 Ashandra-Aah

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