Writing for liberation exercise: play like a child

Last week in class, I watched my tiny kids turn pillows into castles, physically eat and swallow a “pizza” we made out of much spilt glue and coloured-in vegetables, and act out the animals of the masks they wore. I wish I had that amount of imagination, that much freedom in my mind to think whatever the fuck I feel like. But us adults get dried up with the practicalities of life, not to mention the way oppression, exhaustion, social norms and stereotypes, exploitation, and stress can mush our brain into an everlasting To Do list and paragraphs of well organised, efficient, useful words.

So the point of the following exercise is to play. It’s to let you breathe, to let go of the restraints, restrictions, and norms. It aims to take the stress out of writing and make it fun. You’ll think it’s unproductive because there’s no pay cheque, published poem, or social criticism coming out of it (probably), because us writers end up having to think like that. But we love writing, so for just ten minutes, lets take away that pressure.

Here are ten things. Ask yourself, what would a kid do with them? And then, write whatever you want. I’ve done the first one as an example. You’ll be surprised where this might take you :)

1. Banana – Little people living inside the banana drove it through the air and landed it on an umbrella, and then they ate their banana-plane and they could fly too.
2. Fluff
3. Kisses
4. An ant
5. Twenty tiny toes
6. The tallest tree
7. A giant hole
8. All the stairs
9. A box
10. The stockmarket

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