Get a friend or family member to (secretly) choose 5 English words or to pick five pictures/photographs. (It also works with small objects)
Tell them to put each word or image into a separate envelope (no need to seal them). Shuffle the envelopes.
Set an egg timer (or the timer on your mobile) to 3 Minutes.
Open the first envelope. Read the word / Look at the picture.
Start writing. Fast! Don’t think. Just do. Use the word or image as a mere starting post and see where it takes you.
Allow the creative half of your brain to take over. Don’t censor. Don’t try to polish, just pour the words on the paper.
… until the timer tells you to open the next envelope. Reset the timer.
Try to link each new prompt to what you’ve written so far. Take a wild leap. Make a connection. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t fit seamlessly.
Repeat this step until you’ve included all 5 prompts.
If you want to carry on writing because you suddenly had an idea, by all means, do so! That’s the whole point.
If you’re uncertain where this is going, try rereading it the following day. You may discover that, in fact, you’ve struck gold.
Obviously, what you’ve written will need polish, and it may even be a good idea to kick out the prompts that got you there. But the exercise should have taken you to new and interesting places of your subconscious.
Image by Tasy Hong Pixabay