Every time I meet other writers in real life, I get this wonderful glowy feeling. It's like someone else finally gets it. Imagine if you had a burning passion for flying kites, and you're walking home one day when you see a flash of something colorful in the sky. You follow the thin line of string down to the earth and see a boy holding a spool, watching the kite dance in the wind. You spend the day discussing aerodynamics and the pros and cons of flashy ribbons and how much it sucks when you don't notice a nearby tree. And by the end of it the kite has flown off somewhere, but you're both smiling because you've shared your passion with someone else, and they understood.
This camp, and every other gathering of writers I've ever been to, has felt like that. A kite in the wind. A sign that you are not alone.
We did a lot of little exercises where one of our instructors, Jess, would give us a writing prompt and we'd spend ten or fifteen minutes writing, then people would share what they came up with. On my own, I rarely use prompts or write like that, in short bursts. They were great, though, and it felt so nice to write without forethought, without an outline or a story arc. Just to get the words down while they were still warm. A few of my favorite prompts were:
- Write something involving a mirror or other reflective surface
- If you had a key that could open one door (anywhere, anytime), what would be on the other side of it?
- Write a brief autobiography, and include one lie
- Write about yourself, the writer, from the point of view of someone else (your friend, your laptop, the flies on the wall, etc)
- Write a song lyric/nursery rhyme/poem you know by heart, then respond to it line by line