Through out the day we encounter many words – some we like, some we dislike; some we even avoid to use, or we overuse. Why is that?
To every word we attach our meaning, definition and somehow just one word can influence our way of thinking and how we form opinion.
The next exercise I’m going to propose belongs to type of writing that some experts and psychologists call free writing. As in this article, author Joel Friedlander sees that free writing:
- is a practice that helps to liberate your writer’s voice and connects you to the vibrant stream of creativity that lies just under the surface of our ordinary thinking.
- can be used to launch you over a writer’s block, to explore painful emotional memories, and to work out problems in a longer work. It can be used for making contact with one’s own unconscious.
- is a simple, structured practice that is flexible and forgiving. It can be used as the base of a writing practice, or spontaneously whenever you want to go deeper into a subject.
You pick one word – it can be a word related to your current project you are working on or just some random word you find interesting, attractive or annoying. The purpose of the exercise, is in your own words to write down general definition, widely accepted meaning of the word.
Then ask yourself do you agree with given definition and give your reasons why you agree or disagree.
Afterwards continue writing what’s your own meaning, what emotions it triggers and ext.
For example, the word danger. One of the generally accepted definitions is life-threatening situation. For me, first impression is the feeling of unease, uncertainty, fear, unpleasant surprise and losing control over situation.
You can write as long as you like. One, two paragraphs. It’s possible that at one point you will feel stuck and think “This is stupid, it doesn’t take me anywhere!” , which is the critical point -by continuing to write, you are unlocking a new stream of ideas that otherwise you might have stopped before they had chance to get out.This type of playing with your insights, examining thinking patterns – opening the word can help you further tap into your creativity potentials. I personally find this exercise very useful – especially when it comes to writing/creating something new, from personal perspective. It can be helpful in terms of crafting a story, poems and blog post and all you need is just one word to start.
Give it try and share your experience in the comments below.