Saturday, October 17, 2015
'Warning the Stars' #37: Autumn Chill
Hello writers and friends. It's mid-October here! It's getting chilly out there, but I also want you to just chill out....hence the title of the prompt this week.
It's a crazy time of year, right? School has started back...maybe you're midway through another semester of college (or another semester teaching college). The kids have started back to school. Halloween is a few weeks away...Thanksgiving is next month and Christmas is merely two months away. Yes, hectic is the perfect description.
Not today, though! I have the perfect remedy for your tiresome woes.
This prompt is all about setting the mood, creating an atmosphere where creativity can flourish, and relaxing into yourself. No difficult word maneuvers this week. No form to keep beat to. No specific words or images. Just the mood and you!
Follow These Steps:
1. Make some time alone. Either pick a time when no one else will be home at all (if you can find that pleasure in your busy life) or choose a time when you can go into a room and be alone with minimal distraction/interruption.
2. Make sure you're warm and comfortable. Whatever makes you comfy, go change into it. Is it those old fuzzy socks you've had forever? The hoodie with a hole in the sleeve? Your bath robe? Who cares, anything goes. You are alone, the object is to make yourself as comfy as possible.
3. Turn the lights down low...but keep enough light to be able to read and write without straining your eyes. Turn a lamp on. Light some candles...candles are a must! I use them to meditate, I also light them when I'm writing and they work wonderfully for relaxation. A lit candle burner also works perfectly. If you have a fireplace, light it up!
4. Have your favorite drink. Coffee is my absolute favorite. Sweet tea comes in second. Maybe you like those or maybe you prefer hot chocolate, wine, warm lemon water. Whatever drink helps you to maintain that relaxed, laid back mood....have that.
5. Turn on some relaxing background music. Make sure it's low...barely audible. Remember, the object is to write, not merely listen to music. Choose something with music or lyrics that you find uplifting or inspiring. I love indie music, and oftentimes I write to Iron and Wine or Bon Iver for their calming sound and thought-provoking, poetic lyrics. You can try one of those, or choose one of your own favorites.
6. Find a comfy spot...a favorite chair, the middle of your bed, the window seat with a view of the street outside....just wherever you can sit and be comfy for a prolonged amount of time...sit down. I've been known to sit with my back to the couch, the bed...I've used my coffee table for a desk, the stairs (they always seem so private).
7. Now that you are comfy, the lights are low, you have your favorite sitting spot, some good music turned down low and a nice drink...grab your notebook and just begin to write!
Don't time yourself. Don't stare at the clock. Just relax into the moment...a sort of warm, cozy meditation, and begin to write down whatever things come to mind.
Maybe you'll just end up venting...I like to call venting 'mental dumping,' pulling away the dusty film that settles at the forefront of the mind. Once that film is removed, ideas are more readily born.
Maybe you'll just journal write...a memory, how happy you feel right now. Perhaps you'll think about a problem...and this is a perfect time to resolve it, while you are alone with yourself.
Or, just maybe, you'll sketch out the beginning of a great literary piece...a poem, idea for a short story, a creative business idea.
If you get really lucky..maybe you'll write a poem.
It's okay if you don't end up writing anything publishable, or even anything you want to share with anyone else.
The idea of this prompt is to bring you back to yourself. To bring yourself to the pleasure of basic writing. Writing because you enjoy it and it brings you pleasure. Writing for yourself without ever worrying about how great what you write will be once it's down on paper.
I'm wishing you all a cozy, happy Autumn. Go out and enjoy the colors, it won't be long before everything is white again!