What it is

Detail from What It Is by Lynda Barry.

Over the last week or so, I’ve enjoyed reading and doing the writing exercises in Lynda Barry’s book, “What It Is”.

In the exercises towards the end of the book, Barry takes the reader through a simple process of generating an image, orienting yourself within that image, and then writing from within the image in the present tense.

The exercise can easily be built upon and tweaked, for example: writing from someone else’s perspective from within your story rather than your own, writing in the 2nd person or 3rd person.

I’ve also made a word bag (which, as it sounds, is a bag of words). Random words from the bag are used as a catalyst in the writing exercises. At some point, I may create a bag of images. These, too, will be used to stimulate the writing process.

So far, I’m enjoying doing something creatively different, with some structure, and perhaps most importantly, doing something for no reason.

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