More On Filling Your Writing Well

Saturday, August 02, 2008
By Jill Earl

Last month, Annette wrote a post, Fill Your Writing Well, encouraging writers to take time out to go gather sensory details to help us create vibrant characters and settings. She offered ten ways to help you get started, such as people watching at a sidewalk cafe, attending a live music event, and stretching out on a blanket in the park under a tree. It was fun to go through her list and see how many activities I’ve done, and keep in mind ones I want to try in the future. I have a couple of suggestions of my own below.

1) Special events
With weddings, graduations and other social events in full swing during warmer months, you’ve a perfect opportunity to do more people watching and listening in on conversations as you hit the buffet line or waltz with your significant other. And you never know what might happen while you’re doing the 'Cha-Cha Slide'.

2) Photo-ops
Ever thought about taking your camera out for an impromptu shoot around the neighborhood? Try it and see what images you catch. Take a couple of shots of a pair of cheeky squirrels chasing each other around a tree, their claws scrabbling on the bark. Or how about the squealing kids watering down each other more than their lawn?

3) Farm visits
Whenever I can, I go to a local pick-your-own farm for fresh produce, during cool summer days and especially during fall. I like going in June to pick strawberries and blueberries, smelling their sweetness lingering on my fingers as I drop them into my container. In the fall, the tang of apples surrounds us as we pick and snack on the crisp beauties. I’m dazzled by the vivid greenish-blue of broccoli and run my hand over their bumpy heads. In the market, I admire the bright colors of the preserves and relishes as I select which ones come home with me to perk up meals. And I chat with other pickers as we exchange recipe ideas.

Those are some ways I’ve restocked and refreshed my image well, while enjoying life outside my writing space.

Now, it’s your turn.


Joanne said...

I always have a notebook handy to jot down ideas I come across during the day. This works well for blog subjects, which are frequent but short, so it's nice to have a list of possible posts. Newspapers & magazines keep me current, too, and inspire timely ideas.

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