Monday, 22 December 2014

Holiday writing - prompts

The following is such a well-known fact that it may as well be a cliché: if there’s something you want to do but can’t ‘find’ the time, you never will. Therefore, make the time.

The holidays are not excluded from this rule.  

The reality of all the tasks at hand: buying gifts, remaining on budget, wrapping said gifts, ensuring adequate distribution on a deadline of these gifts; all of these tasks as well as ensuring that you remember to feed the kids demonstrates a human penchant for enjoying being busy. It makes us feel accomplished, and yet afterwards we mourn that we didn’t have enough time to do more. Do more?!

Time for me to burst everyone’s bubble. The day will never get longer than 24 hours, the hours never longer than 3200 seconds and the year never longer than 365.25 days long. (The .25 refers to the leap year phenomenon… I enjoy accuracy.)

And yet, we refuse to make the time.

I want to make your life easier this holiday season. Whether you’re working right up to Christmas day, or you have the work week off. Try this: since the stress of the season can make your muse run out of the room screaming, try this:

Freewrite. Remember freewriting, otherwise known train of thought exercises? It’s good for the creative mind, gets the juices going and once you’re up and running, it feels easier to tackle the cortisol.

Here are a few of my own holiday-inspired writing prompts, with images:

1. A person, walking alone in the woods, miles away from any home or farmstead or village stumbles upon a snowman. Who made him and how did they get there? Why is the protagonist in the woods him/herself?

2. While lost in a winter wood, the character stumbles upon a cabin with smoke rising from the chimney, cold and wet, they decide to approach.

3. In the middle of the night on a snow-covered bridge, two people are holding hands. Why are they there so late and what are they saying to one another? Is there a witness?

4. A winter hunter is out in the woods, and far too close to him he sees a wild animal enter a clearing. But before he pulls the trigger, he realizes…?

More prompts will be posted on Twitter until the end of 2014. Please keep an eye on my feed: @writerramsay.

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