Writing for liberation exercises: Quick creativity

Creativity is, in essence, new ideas, new ways of seeing things, new combinations of old things. Sometimes when we’re writing – articles, novels, stories, songs etc – it can be hard to chill and get into a creative frame of mind. The following super-quick exercises can be helpful in opening you up to new ideas and kick starting your creativity.

  • My favourite, which just takes about 2 minutes: Tell a story using the alphabet, or the alphabet backwards. Eg A boring cow decided to eat fluffcakes grown on hell’s gates in jumpers
  • Go to Google Images, search for “Random image” and spend one minute describing the first one that catches your eye. Or, use this random image generator.
  • Alternatively, pick two images and put them into a single sentence or two – you have one minute.
  • At random, pick two sentences from two different books. You have two minutes to write them into one paragraph. Chop them into pieces if you like, but use all of both of them.
  • Draw a squiggle then turn it into a drawing.
  • What was the last thing you threw out? Write a list of 10 uses you could have given it – and no need to apply rational rules or science here, just do whatever. Yeah – a tissue can be a bug blanket, if you like.
  • Get the objects on your desk or the clutter on your bed, or the  random things in your bag, and make an artwork out of them. Just arrange them in a weird way – it doesn’t have to be impressive or mean anything.
  • Draw your face, or a friend’s or a random face from the Internet, without looking at the paper. Then write a sentence about what you produced.
  • Find stains on your ceiling or clouds in the sky, or cracks in the floor, and decide what things they look like. Once you have a few things – put them into a tiny story.
  • Break the rules. Write a list of 10 things or concepts or whatever that can’t be broken. Then take a few and break them. Make it happen, with your words.

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