Finding the Words Again
Posted on February 21, 2016
I lost my writing north like a compass with an old needle that lost its north-seeking ability. Now, you can do two things if that happens: you can throw out the compass – which would equal giving up on the writing dream – or you can fix the damn needle.
What did I do?
I’m not ready to give up on any dream. I went out to find me some lodestone and re-magnetize the needle.
Usually, a writing prompt – or a few prompts if I slid down the slope too far – from one of my beloved Writing Maps will get the writing juices flowing again. This time I went on a Writing Safari with my best friend, author and creative writing coach Sieneke de Rooij.
Sieneke took me to the Sixties Exhibition at the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum. She had some excellent writing exercises prepared, like writing a dialogue between my (mother’s) favorite sixties article of clothing and one of the exhibited items.
That was fun.
First of all because it brought back memories of my mother, who, devoid of any shame or consideration for the more prudish part of the village, would prance around in hot pants and six-inch heels (her long-legged gorgeous self could totally pull that off) causing a flurry of disapproving looks from the villagers and alternating bouts of embarrassment and pride with me. I strongly believe that’s how she planted the seed of hard-core feminism in me.
And secondly: I wasn’t even five lines into that dialogue or inspiration spun north, east, south and west. I grabbed my current project’s notebook and scribbled away. Four pages. One solid scene.
So, if you lost your writing north… go find that lodestone and re-magnetize yourself right back to it.