Writing for liberation exercise: word portrait

Ask a friend, or someone you know who feels comfortable with you- ideally a person feeling pain or suffering in some way – if you can word-draw them.

The idea is that they sit in front of you, quietly, and you can observe them. Instead of drawing, you’ll write down words.  Maybe you’ll notice the way their eyebrows cringe in pain or how their eyes are soft while their posture is tense… the idea is just to see this person for the vulnerable human they are, and take notes. Later, you can turn your notes into something, if you want.

Unlike other writing exercises, this is quite intimate, with a live subject before you. So many of us feel invisible, misunderstood, taken for granted, or unacknowledged, that this sort of activity can be quite tender and affectionate: without any actual touch involved. If saying a person’s name and asking them what they think about an issue can be powerful, then this takes that sort of appreciation of another person to another level.



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