What We Take With Us
This is the tenth installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
What we literally carry around with us in our everyday bags can offer a lot of insight into who we are. In this exercise, we will move back a few steps to gain perspective on our own lives and characters by looking at what we literally carry around with us in our pocketbooks, backpacks, diaper bags, briefcases, etc.
1. Empty out all the contents from your bag onto a clean surface. Every little thing. Empty even your wallet of everything: business cards, receipts, ATM cards, etc.
2. Spread them out and step back. Imagine these items belong to someone else. Look at everything as if you are an anthropologist in search of clues about your character and your life. Try not to judge, just notice. What do these items tell you about this individual?
3. Pick an item that most surprises you.
4. Begin writing to explore that item. Try using the following sentence-starter to begin: It didn’t mean anything to me anymore, but there it was anyway, _________, accompanying me wherever I went.
Did you choose a very telling item to write about? Did a seemingly mundane everyday thing yield some interesting insights about character?
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This exercise was inspired by:
Smith, Michael C. and Greenberg, Suzanne. “The Backpack.” Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, 2nd ed., NTC Publishing Group, p. 105-7.