Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baggott & Asher Writerly Boot Camp. Day 21.

[If you find yourself here, baffled, lost, disoriented,
here's the link to the post that might clarify
what you've just stumbled upon --
complete with pic of Louis Gossett Jr.
and Richard Gere.]

1. Memory Exercise. This is designed to guide you (goad you) into mucking around where the important, psychologically resonant stuff is stored.

Today, jot a memory associated with music lessons, one associated with swimming lessons, and finally, a memory associated with any other kind of lesson(s) that resonate the most with you.

2. Reading as a writer. I'll be mixing this up from day to day, with some repeats.

You might be having a problem with your work -- something large or small, craft or professional. Imagine you're having drinks with a writer you admire -- dead or alive -- ask that person your question. Wait for their answer. It's messed up, but sometimes this really works for me.

3. Image Exercise. This one is also the same every day -- more or less -- and hopefully habit-forming. Jot 3 images. Look at something closely. Notice something. Pay attention.

Today, give me something blue, one thing that's dusty, one thing that's black.

4. The Quote. Everyday I will provide a quote and either a little rant on it or an exercise paired with it.

“All the things one had forgotten scream for help in dreams.” Elias Canetti

Dreams. Certain projects burrow into my dreams. There are certain places I revisit in dreams -- build on each time I go back. There are kinds of dreams I have at certain times in my life.

Write a dream you've had. Write a dream your character recently had and a recurring dream from your character's life.

AND ... tell me three things you've forgotten -- but would love to have back.

5. Quilting Exercise. This will always be the same but the parts will change daily.

Pick and choose from the things you've jotted so far -- those disparate elements -- and use them to create something. But don't force it too hard. Have some faith in the resonance of these things in and of themselves. These elements have all been dredged to the surface. They're bobbing in your brain. Start writing something even if you don't know what it is. Let these things bounce in and out. Work. Row.

Remember: If this works for you in some way -- this daily jump start --
and the writing that comes of it startles you in a good way --
then you might want to sign up for THE WRITING REGIMENS at THE SOUTHEAST REVIEW. It's super cheap and very smart and jammed with great resources and pep talks and exercises. Brilliant stuff and a great way to support a literary magazine at the same time.
(They also have contests and post winning works by regimen participants
so a good way to get published.)
If you want to know when the next one is, email