(19 of 40) More Getting off Balance

I thought I should try to explain the title of my last post. Many writing exercises have a goal of knocking us out of our conscious, tightly controlled (well, somewhat controlled) mind and into our unconscious. My friend Shawna, for this reason, calls writing "a trip down the rabbit hole," you know, a la Alice in Wonderland.

Imitating another writer is one way I get myself (would that be my ego?) to shut up. I get so busy concentrating on doing the assignment right (I've always been a whore for A's), that I forget all about content and usually end up surprising myself.

Or you can try this. List 10 concrete nouns. List 2 or 3 colors. Name a place. Write down a phrase you overheard someone say today. Write down a single image from a recent dream. Now put these on index cards (equal size bits of paper), one item per card, and shuffle. Now, use these -- whatever order they turned out in -- to write a poem.