Friday, April 26, 2013

Word Association exercise

Word associations can almost make a poem in and of themselves, no matter where you start. Now, whether that poem makes sense to anybody but you is up in the air, but what's that Stephen King says? Write your first draft with the door closed, edit with the door open? That's a lot like "write for yourself", isn't it? That's what so many of us do, isn't it? I say that a lot, probably. Because really, who else am I writing for right now? A hypothetical future? Hypothetical children who will be embarrassed by my badness or boldness?

You can start with a simple thing. A state.

Bruce Springsteen
Asbury park
sun gold summer
dewy green grass
lightning bugs at dusk
stars in the gloaming
Cheshire smile moon
Andy did you hear about this one?

The words that come out of you can be a punch in the stomach, a slap in the face. Writing is so private and so raw, sometimes. We're naked, it the audience knows how to look. We're inscrutable if they don't. Friends, strangers. Sometimes it doesn't matter. The worlds in our heads are of our own creation, and the windows we create to them can be so small.


  1. Great exercise! I love jump starting my creativity in fun and funky ways. I'll have to give this a try the next time I get stuck.

    1. Thanks! I was the nerd in writing classes who enjoyed writing exercises, because they made me think and write in a different way from which I normally operated.