Exposure—now there’s a threatening word. Are you up for an armchair adventure?
Let’s play “Exposure: Risk and Gift,” a creativity game I dreamed up, well, just because.
Exposure: Risk beginning, step 1
- Using paper (or your device), write I’m afraid 25 times down the left-hand margin
- Finish each phrase with whatever comes to mind, without lifting pen from paper (or fingers from keys)
- Circle any “I’m afraid” statements that alarmed or surprised or annoyed you
Exposure: Risk writing, step 2
If you read my recent post on the Camperdown Elm, here is the same tree, seen later in the day and from another angle. Trick-or-treat, anyone?
Using one of the statements you circled, write a letter, or a list, a poem, or a song, or even a partial scene using one of these phrases below (or one of your own) as a kickstart:
- They planted me deep, downhill from the Ferris place, never suspecting . . .
- Sleepwalking inside somebody’s nightmare . . .
- I never meant to . . .
Or you could write from the viewpoint of someone discovering the cure for Dutch Elm Disease . . .
Play with possibilities, no matter how crazy, and see what happens. Sometimes free writing unearths an emotion that’s “under the radar,” eating at your inner peace.
Exposure: Offer a gift, step 3
The Camperdown Elm in November dusk (first two photos) looks pretty creepy.
The Camperdown Elm below was taken in April, in afternoon light.
Margaret Atwood once said: So much depends on the light, and the way you squint.
Now take what you’ve risked writing so far and “gift it” with one or two of the following:
- A favorite time of day, or weather
- A new character
- A quote or proverb you love
Follow wherever the words want to take you. Stop when you feel done.
Read back what you’ve written. Has the overall mood and/or meaning changed?
Have your thoughts about the underlying fear you identified changed?
Consider emailing me what you created. I’d love to read it!
Was this experiment interesting or enlightening?
Would you enjoy a similar creative prompt from time time?
p.s. To see a stunning full view of the Filoli Camperdown Elm tree in bloom as well as the fabulous winged seedpods in close-up, click here. (scroll to image #5)