Monday, June 28, 2010

Creativity Exercise: You Rule

In Women, Food and God*, author Geneen Roth spells out her seven eating guidelines. They make a lot of sense to me. And if "eat when you are hungry" seems ridiculously obvious to you, mazel tov. You're not her target audience.

The idea of having seven guidelines, seven rules, inspired a writing exercise I was going to lead at a writers' retreat this past weekend. However, there was wine to drink, and a lake to swim in, and a speedboat, and one of the writers in our group is a professional chef. So ... yeah. We didn't really write that much.

We did, however, follow the eating guidelines -- especially "eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure."

But I digress. Here's the exercise:
  1. Get out a clean sheet of paper.
  2. Make a list of topics where rules could apply. Don't write the rules -- just list topics that could have rules. Rules for eating, drinking, living, writing. Rules for friendship, parenting, whatever. Come up with some fun topics -- but don't take more than a minute.
  3. Choose one of those topics.
  4. Write the rules! At least three rules, no more than seven. Write fast. It's not a manifesto we expect you to follow. It's a quick way to wake up your brain.
  5. Have a great week!
*Thanks, Mo, for the book!

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