Another Writing Exercise

If you’re looking for other ways to exercise your creativity muscles in advance of the upcoming first weekend experiment, here’s another writing exercise like the one we did in class on Wednesday that you can try on your own.

Get a piece of paper, fold it in half, then unfold it (to make a vertical crease down the center, dividing the page into two columns). In the left column, write down ten things you’re passionate about on any level: emotionally, politically, irrationally, whatever.

Below that, write down ten people you’re interested in. They could be people you know personally, celebrities you admire, people you don’t know anything about (someone from the bus? a face in a magazine?), or even types of people, like mountaineers or composers.

Next, divide your life into 5 even chunks– if you’re 20, for example, take each four year period as a chunk. Write down a memory from each of those time spans in the right column, just a few words or a sentence (enough to remember what you’re talking about). If you can’t remember one, make one up that seems plausible.

Finally, look at everything you’ve written on the page. Look for connections between things, and when you see them, circle each one and draw a line between them. Don’t think about this too much at first: just connect things that seem intuitively right to connect.

Once you’ve created a bunch of connections, then go back and start thinking about them. If you had to label each connection, what would you name it? Did any connections (or their labels) surprise you? Pick one or two that seem interesting and write a paragraph or two about it.

For other writing exercises and thoughts related to learning to write hypertext, check out Deena Larsen’s Fun da mentals, a great starting point.

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