This is the fourteenth installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
There’s something inherently fun about collecting beautiful things. For this week’s exercise, it’s not artwork or seashells or new shoes you will be pocketing; it’s metaphors. One of the steps to becoming a good writer is reading a lot, While reading, you are constantly exposing yourself to the craft. Consciously and subconsciously, your mind is picking up craft elements. Therefore, to get better at writing great metaphors, we must first read beautiful metaphors.
1. This week’s activity is going to be a ubiquitous task hanging around you all week. That is, you can’t simply sit down for 10 minutes and hunt for metaphors. Instead, I want you to pay attention all week to what you read and hear and be specifically aware of metaphors. Underline one in the book you are reading for pleasure. Circle one in the newspaper article you read in the morning. Jot one down from the radio, TV show, or podcast you listen to. Watch a movie, and listen for a metaphor. Try to collect at least three striking metaphors.
2. In your notebook, write out the cool metaphors in longhand.
For example, here are two that I found this week in the book I am reading for my book club book, News of the World by Paulette Jiles:
· “She had been laced into a thing that she could only imagine was for magical purposes, meant to confine her heart and her breath in a sort of cage to hold her forever like a shut fist that would never open.” (a 10-year-old Native American girl referring to the corset she had been put into by white people.)
· “There was a half-moon waxing and it seemed to run in reverse between cascading clouds that flowed together and then pulled apart and then ran together again.”
3. Keep this Metaphor Bank page running in your notebook even after this week’s exercise. Stay aware of the metaphors you come across, and keep jotting down the beautiful ones. Write them out longhand. Say them aloud. Memorize them. Study them. What makes them work so well?
How did you do? Did you enjoy the process of copying down in longhand beautiful metaphors created by other Creatives? Did you savor their language and images?
To encourage each other and grow a community of Curious Creatives, sign in from a google account so you can share your creation in the comment boxes below. Also, if you subscribe to this blog (submit your email address in the "Follow this Site by Email" box to the right), you will get an email update whenever a new exercise is added. Thanks for playing!