Please, read The Scream! before reading this post. Initially I had combined the posts, but I felt that the single post had become too long. So, I cut it up into more digestible pieces. Here are several light-hearted prompts, which I've given to my fourth grade students. I've modified them slightly given that these exercises are intended for an adult population.
1) In yesterday's post I wrote about describing a color using your five senses plus the felt sense, which is any sensation you are aware of in your body. I personally love describing an emotion or feeling uses the five senses plus the felt sense. Worrying looks like....Worrying smells like... Worrying tastes like.. Worrying sounds like... Worrying feels like... Worrying feels like (think sensation in your body)... The sentence starter provides structure and you simply fill in the blank with what comes up organically. This writing exercises is particularly helpful if you find yourself stuck in an emotional state. If I just start writing regret feels like... and continue with the aforementioned format, then I often find I have a bit more room to breathe. The emotion is often still there, but I am no longer drowning in it.
2) For the next eight minutes, list everything you're aware of. Tap into your five senses and the felt sense. Let your pen run across the page. Forget spelling, penmanship and all the rules you were taught. We're trying to get the creative juices to flow and it's hard for anything to flow if there are too many rules and expectations.
3) Describe something multiple ways. For example: 1) The candy cane was sticky. 2) I found the candy cane's red and white swirls dizzying and dazzling. 3) I remember plucking candy canes off the Christmas tree in my grandmother's lobby. Don't feel locked into this exercise. If writing about your grandmother's lobby, for example, takes you down a different path, then follow it. Free-writing is playful and spontaneous!
4) Describe a special place from your childhood. Again, use your five senses plus your body's felt sense to help you bring this memory alive.