We’re developing some online writing courses at The Write Factor and in them we give our clients all sorts of exercises to help them flex their writing muscles and build confidence on the writer’s journey. We suggest that our clients keep a daily journal, into which they record observations about the world around them, quotes that inspire them, news stories that intrigue them… eventually building up a resource of anecdotes, notes and ponderings that will become an invaluable resource as their work evolves. It occurred to me that I should practice what I preach, and so have redoubled my efforts to write creatively every day and to always keep my journal handy. One of the exercises we recommend is to choose a cliché and write a ten-minute stream of consciousness about it. Here’s mine:
“This cold wind that keeps on blowing – maybe it’s the breath of an iceberg that’s floating off some arctic shelf and affecting gravity? Whatever it is, we always seem to be in the teeth of a gale here on this Atlantic promontory, the grass quaking in its roots, the swallows skimming in the sheltered valleys. Yet everything in the garden seems rosy as we approach solstice: the Yellow Rose of Texas is vibrating on the trellis; the agapanthus buds swell and spike, a hint of forthcoming delights; the blackbird entertains me on the roof, in the bird house and by the compost heap – cheeky goldeneye with his evocative, heart-wrenching song.Even if ISIS nearly have their finger on a nuclear button and this great Earth and all her inhabitants will pay the price; even if the great volcano on Sumatra is about to erupt and change the weather for years – still everything in the garden is rosy. All will be well because it’s just evolution isn’t it? Or is this just a load of old clichés?”
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