In my Creative Writing seminar earlier today, my professor asked the class what some benefits of this particular type of writing include. Some responses included that creative writing allows one to delve into and explore their creativity, that it provides a sense of freedom, that it can be therapeutic, and that it can present new opportunities, meaning the material composed during a creative writing exercise can often times be later expanded to compose a larger piece.
My professor asked us to complete three different creative writing exercises today, with all of them focusing on the setting of the story. They are as follows:
(1) Creative Writing Exercise: Describe a chair in which the owner of the chair becomes the chair:
“It sits in the back corner of our sitting room, wrinkled and creased from constant use. My dad’s lazy boy. It’s a caramel brown with odd stains and marks that have worn off from his work clothes. An oil smear here and there, the leather faded from where his body has settled into it night after night. Each evening is the same. He finishes his dinner, shuffles into the living room and sinks into the worn cushion, flicking on the television as he eases into his spot. He never uses the footrest, nor does he incline it. He simply tilts his head back and begins to snore in unison with the roaring crown of the football game on TSN. Everyone knows not to sit there. My dad’s lazy boy.”
(2) Creative Writing Exercise: Describe an airport from the point of view of a lost child:
“I stand by the monstrous machine that spews out luggage, cowering. My fingers twist into one another as I wring my hands in distress, my head whirling around in an attempt to find my parents. I was with them just seconds ago, in the food court. They told me to wait for them, so I wandered over here to the luggage monster. I haven’t seen them for what feels like ages now. There are big and scary men walking all over, wearing black and white uniforms with bulky vests. They scowl down at me, and I force myself to stare at the floor, terrified. I wince and cover my ears as the tremendous roar of an airplane screams over my head. I curl into a ball on the floor beside the luggage monster, my eyes reading an overhead sign that says LAX. What does that mean? I ponder. I fold myself smaller and smaller until I feel a familiar hand on my shoulder. Uncurling, I turn my head to see my Dads face looming over mine. ‘I found him!’”
(3) Creative Writing Exercise: Describe a neighbor watching a yard sale and wondering why their neighbors are moving:
“I peer out of my kitchen window, pulling the white lace curtains aside just enough to see the neighboring yard. As I squint my glasses begin to slip down my nose, and I push them up hurriedly. I see a For Sale sign amidst boxes and tables scattered across the lawn down the street. I use my cane to propel myself forward several inches, trying to see what’s going on. I acknowledge that my neighbors are holding a yard sale because they’re moving, and my mind begins to race. Did little Joey finally get himself in trouble for good? Or maybe Mrs. Wellington finally found about her husbands affair… my mind catapults into a frenzy of potential explanations for my neighbors move. My stomach lurches with the possibility of new gossip for me to share with Mrs. Teller when I see her tonight at Bingo. I yell for my husband. ‘George!’ He peers around the kitchen door, eyebrows raised in curiosity. ‘Yes darling?’ I jab my cane at the window. ‘Come and see this, Georgie. You won’t believe what’s happened!’”
All of the above examples are my own, and I was able to compose all three of them in class this morning. I really enjoy creative writing, and it is because it allows writers to surprise themselves. Had I not been prompted by my professor, it is likely that I would never write the above material.
I urge you to experiment with creative writing, and to keep your material. Who knows, maybe down the line your work will turn into something huge.