In our extended family, there are a number of young aspiring writers. And there are some of us (like me) who don’t consider ourselves writers, but like to hang out with the aspiring writers, in the hopes that their youthful enthusiasm will rub off on us.
When we get together we like to do an activity we call “Writing Challenges”. We gather in a group with paper and pens. Someone issues a challenge (some examples are below), and everyone writes for about 5 minutes to address that challenge. Then we read out loud what we have written. It is non-competitive and spelling doesn’t count.
I am thinking of introducing this activity this weekend at my church’s women’s retreat. I don’t know if I will have the nerve to do it. First I will have to overcome the Presbyterian Mindset – if it’s something new, we’re not interested, because of the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Always Do Things The Way Thou Hast Always Already Done Them. And it could be that there aren’t any aspiring writers attending the retreat. But I thought I would practice introducing the activity by proposing some challenges here. Next week, if I remember, I’ll post some results here. Feel free to try it on your own. Don’t be shy – share your results!
Some examples of writing challenges:
In the “Memoir” category:
Write about a water voyage you once took.
In the “Write a Midrash” category
The scene is this: God is about to give the Ten Commandments to Moses. Imagine and write down the conversation that Moses has with God.
In the “About Writing” category:
Write the first sentence or two for an imaginary book in each style of writing: horror, comedy, romance, adventure, sci-fi.
In the “Silly or Strange” category:
What if you were a Barbie doll that was only active at night?