Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Challenge

Greetings All Dear Readers!

Today is the first day of my new Challenge series - not a thing is new but the day it is presented on. This will be my 68th challenge! Here is the first one I wrote: 
I challenge each and every one of to a duel! Nah, I don't. I've decided that Friday will now be Challenge Day on this blog. I will challenge my readers to do something different each week and you all can let me know how it goes (or not - you are free of course to ignore challenge day but you'll be missing out on lots of fun).
Here is today's challenge - a walking quest. Yes! Get off your duffs and walk somewhere in your neighbourhood or near where you work. This can be a short walk but you are to bring back something creative. If you are writers you can bring back an image, an overheard conversation or perhaps even the genesis for your next work. If you are fibre artists - look for something to inspire you in a way that you haven't worked before - photographers, visual artists - same thing. If you see yourself primarily as a householder or work where creativity does not flourish - use your inspiration to create a table setting, a letter to your old aunt, a fridge poem, a desk shrine, or as the seed of a prayer or contemplation. Do not restrict your inspiration to nature, there is much in the constructed world that could be inspiring. Look beyond what the things are (a sunset, a plastic bag blowing down the street, a mother's hand touching the hair of her child) to what you see without laying those ideas on them ( a splash of red orange, a dancing form, the texture of lines intersecting). Above all - allow yourself to be surprised by the moment.
I look forward to your responses...
That is how I began on Feb.5, 2010 - a year and nine months ago...

Here is today's Tuesday Challenge -

This one is taken from Joseph Sestito's wonderful book Write for Your Lives - it is about recovering the process of writing - the why, in our bodies, of writing. Before your next writing session I want you to sit quietly and imagine something that you do in which you experience flow. Something in which your mind and body are so synchronized that you are able to turn off the inner judge and just experience the joy of the doing. Maybe it is skiing or riding a horse. Perhaps it is when you knit or walk your dog. Close your eyes and vividly imagine you are doing whatever it is you do to get into this state. Bring your mind to every sense - what are you smelling, hearing, tasting, touching, seeing? Make it as vivid as you can and realize that this is something, as a writer, that you are probably pretty good at - imagining a state of mind! As soon as you have really got that feeling in your cells, open your eyes and begin writing. If you find yourself getting all tight again, close your eyes and go back to that state. Your nervous system will thank you and so will your writing!


I achieve flow when taking photos. So that's where I'll be going...
Tell me how it goes and what helps you keep in the best state for writing.

9 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Oh, I like this challenge! Channeling that energy and rhythm for writing sounds so powerful. Definitely going to try this! And I love that 'photo!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Cool picture, Jan! And a great challenge, too. I really do need to get off my duff today!

Bish Denham said...

I like this exercise! I would imagine myself floating on the ocean. So relaxed, so peaceful. At one with the ocean, the sky. Ahhh....

Liza said...

I'm the same place Bish is...and the water is warm!

Jan Morrison said...

Hello y'all! Yes, I can imagine floating too or riding a horse. Or in the canoe, stroking out the paddle and heading for the open bay. I'm not though - I'm going through my wip removing a character and I have to go through every chapter in case I refer to her on a page I don't recall! It is fine - good, I'm also catching some places where I slip out of the correct tense - a common problem of mine! Now back at it I go.

H. L. Banks said...

Took Tuesday's challenge, Jan. A great experience. A simple one. I went out in the backyard and raked leaves. The repetitive action loosened my thoughts and I became more aware of colours, trees, birds, sounds happening around me. Went into the house more relaxed than when I left it. Thanks.

Clarissa Draper said...

Flow for me comes in many forms but I love the flow of music and also, crochet. I crochet when I'm stuck at a line or certain part. Sometimes the flow helps me start again.

Faith Pray said...

The marble picture is bold and dripping with color! I have new flannel sheets on my bed. Cocoa-colored, fluffy and unbelievably soft. And all through my busy, exhausting day of taking care of four little ones and squeezing in a little time to write, all through the day I keep thinking about my bed with its sheets that tickle my skin and welcome sleep. Thank you for the challenge! I feel happier already.

Sarah Allen said...

Ooh, great post :) I love listening to movie soundtracks. That helps me a lot.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)