What's it about?

This blog has a very specific purpose: it's a place to post prompts for creative writing during the time of the lockdown. Initially it was for the use of my writing group, as we cannot for the time being meet in person - but I want to open it up to anyone who'd like to have a go at creative writing. I very strongly believe that writing is good for you: while you're writing, you're off somewhere else - you've escaped! And that can only be a good thing during lockdown.

Do sign up to be notified by email when a new prompt is posted - usually on Thursdays - and I would love to hear how you're getting on in the comments. Have fun!

Monday, 23 March 2020

You want to write...?

Well, now, for obvious reasons, could be a good time to start! I write books for children - for more information about me and my work, click here. I also run a creative writing class in Cheddar. Usually, we meet on Thursday mornings, but because of the virus, that won't be possible for a while. So I'm going to give them an idea for a piece of writing here each week, and we'll be sharing the results at our usual meeting time on Thursdays.

So I thought, why not post the prompts, tasks, ideas, whatever you want to call them - on here, where they're accessible to everyone? I firmly believe that writing, like any creative activity, is good for you. You may not be able to leave your home, but that doesn't mean you can't send your imagination soaring.

Enjoy the journey!

A useful hunting ground for ideas is among your own memories and experiences. Many of the tasks will draw on these. Just have a go - it might be a few paragraphs, or a few lines, or it might be much longer. Do follow the blog so you'll be notified when a new post goes up - usually once a week, and do tell me in the comments how you're getting on. Hope to hear from you - and above all, I hope you enjoy it!

Here is the first task.

Using objects

I don’t know if you’ve seen the TV programme The Repair Shop, which has just been moved to a prime-time slot on BBC 1 on Thursday evenings. Its setup is simple: members of the public bring in objects which are battered and broken, and the team of experts restore them with astonishing skill.

It's become very popular, and though some of this is undoubtedly because it’s fascinating to watch the skill with which the experts approach their task, I think a lot of it is because each object comes with a story. Often, it belonged to a much-loved parent of grandparent or child, and seeing it restored brings great comfort – and often a few tears – because the renewal of the object also brings about the renewal of the connection between the person and the object’s original owner.

So objects can mean a lot, and can tell us a lot about their owners. (Look at the picture above right, which shows boots painted by Van Gogh - can you picture the person who owned them, and imagine what their life might have been like...?)

Now - choose an object that belonged maybe to a parent, grandparent, partner or friend. Describe it carefully, and use to as a starting point to write about its previous owner, and perhaps to explore your own relationship with them. See where it goes!

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