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Michelle Warner

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“Where Does Your Writing Hide?”

Posted on June 29th, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom Well

This well serves a unique drink:
Words that refresh and cause you to think.

For the next three weeks I am co-leading a Youth Writing Camp. I have been leading writing camps for seven summers now and it is one of the seasons in my life when I feel most alive. I love teaching students to write but more than that, I love seeing them evolve into confident writers.

Since my mind is focused on writing, I thought I would share an inspiring excerpt that we will use to generate writing from our campers. It has reminded me to keep my eyes open to where writing hides in my life. Even if you wouldn’t call yourself a writer, I hope it sparks some creativity in you too!

Writing Toward Home by Georgia Heard, pgs 11-12

“Many of us grew up thinking that ideas for writing come from the fascinating and adventurous lives of writers…Poems, and all writing, are hiding in the most ordinary and familiar places–if we can only change our way of looking at them.

At a recent workshop I asked people to list where poems hide in their lives. Here are some of the places they named: in my father’s chair, in spider webs attached to the walls of the garage, in the taste of spinach in my mouth, in my mother’s silence. Their catalogue itself sounded like a poem, it was so vivid and surprising.

We don’t necessarily have to change our lives around to be writers or to be writing more. We must change the way we look at our lives. By looking at the small, everyday circumstances and happenings, we find ideas to fill volumes.

[Then she lists an action point to apply the idea to your own personal writing:]

Make a list of places where writing hides for you. Be specific. Instead of “Nature” say “In the oak leaves frozen in the pond.” Instead of “Memories” write “In the papery skin of my grandmother’s hands.”  Check around your life. and you’ll find an abundance of writing ideas.”

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