Writers Block #1: “From Little Things Big Things Grow”
In our first instalment of Writers Block, we discussed some inspirational writing tips given by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet. Here’s a summary… and a writing exercise now due Monday 9 August, if you want your work to be read out on air! 🙂 CLICK ON READ MORE
TIP NO.1: Try not to write love poems at first because it takes a lot of skill, practice and control to write something powerfully personal and unique.
TIP NO.2: Don’t force yourself to write about a big, universal theme, such as the meaning of life, for instance. Instead, start with jotting down the little things that are on your mind- your passing thoughts, hopes, wishes, what makes you happy or sad, what you find beautiful or ugly or what you can see, hear and smell around you. Focusing on little details in ordinary things can help us to sharpen our observation skills.
Grander themes will also often subconsciously seep into your work this way. In the words of Rilke: “If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”
THIS WEEK’S WRITING EXERCISE:
Write about something that is really ordinary to you- an everyday object,something that you do everyday or a place that you often go to.
But here’s the catch- try not to be too obvious about what it is! Don’t give away the actual name of your object, place or action in your piece. For example, if you are writing about a garden, you’re not allowed to say the word “garden”.
There is no word limit but this is only a casual exercise so don’t give yourself too much pressure! Perhaps sit down for 10 minutes and no more than half an hour to do it.
When you are proofreading your exercise, see if you can describe some parts better and also take out any unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
If you’d like to share what you’ve written, please email your response to this exercise to [email protected] by Monday 9 August. You can send in as many responses as you like.
Good luck and start writing away!