Monday, July 21, 2008

Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River

Sandra Lee Schubert

Title: Out of the Box: Finding Words Anywhere.

"You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you."

- Joseph Joubert, French essayist and moralist

Where do you find your inspiration? Some people pull it deep from inside them. Others glean it from life experience. Or you can find it on the side of the road. When you are ready to express your creativity how do you do it? Do you write for two hours everyday or grab your time on the bank line? Do rules govern your creativity? In a writing workshop a participant refused to do one of the exercises because she didn’t create that way. She couldn’t write unless she did it just her way, thus missing the opportunity for exploration. A schedule can provide you with a successful framework for a writing life or it can make writing dull and ordinary. Keep to your schedule but shake the tree every now and then and see what kind of fruit hits you on the head.

Creative Writing Prompts:

Found Poetry
Found poetry
is the rearrangment of words or phrases taken randomly from other sources (example: clipped newspaper headlines, bits of advertising copy, handwritten cards pulled from a hat) in a manner that gives the rearranged words a completely new meaning.

Use Junk Mail to your advantage

Be creative and read your own Spam mail subject lines (please don’t open them – an adventure in virus-dom is not the one I would like you to take). See if any of the words or lines interests you. Or using my Spam email subject lines see if you can create some poetry or even a tiny story out of them.

A swinish
Guys, feel eighteen again!
Stop fruit down
Small cap promo mover alert
Saleslady knee hole
Finally there’s a way
Culprit erodible
Hot women doing crazy things
Sad dependent spoon
Authority relieve your strongest pain light
Spumoni taxi
Muscle bound guys become the biggest bottoms
while pole in wall is glory whole
Aching reckon apollonian declarator workplace civic

Here are my sample poems

Muscle bound guys become the biggest bottoms
Underbooked and underwitholding
Take spumoni taxi

Sad dependent spoon
Culprit erodible
Guys feel eighteen again
Finally, there’s a way!

Saleslady knee hole
A swinish
Stop fruit down
Lane of careful sliding
Depends on the knee

Are these brilliant poems? No they aren’t. The point is to look for inspiration in unexpected ways and be willing to experiment and fail. Be willing to create bad writing, on the other side could be something brilliant.

Sandra Lee Schubert is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer and dabbler in the arts and online entrepreneur. She co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. She is also the creator of the e-course Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog: Email her or @writing4life via twitter.


©Hotbutton Press said...

Come be a Penny Dreadful!

And someone else thought the idea was cool enough to create a Yahoo!Group for the same idea:

Colleen Gonzalez said...

I love your Junk e-mail idea! I have to come up with a week's worth of prompts for my writing group and I'll definitely be using that one! Thanks!