Monday, August 8, 2016

August Writing Challenges: Day 8 - Observation

August. The summer is nearly over. Kids are going back to school. You now have some time on your hands.  Okay, you still have a list of chores a mile long, but let's put writing at the top of the priority list, okay?

I am going to challenge you with a writing prompt every day this month. Are you up for it? I hope so.

The writing challenges will be about a variety of topics and hopefully cause you to dig into your writing toolbox to complete with emotional skill.

Watch out, I just might throw in a fun one, well, just for fun!

For the eighth challenge we're going to see observant we are with our surroundings:

Here is your challenge:

The first step is to notice your surroundings. Your home. Start there. What is in your room - apartment - house - tent - mobile home - ancestral mansion? Your abode? Your residence? Look around. Get a pencil and a piece of paper and go to work.

Make a complete list of the everyday, utilitarian stuff in your home. For example, your bed. Next to each item, rate its degree of necessity, meaning, to what extent could you live without it. This will start you on a path of attentiveness.

How many times a day do you walk by it, see it, hear it running? How aware you you of your surroundings?

Once you've made a list of items in your hoe and rated their "essential-ness," widen the search. Observe other people's homes/work places. Look at homes on television and in movies. Write down what you see and remember. 

Think about homes you encounter in books or short stories. What particulars are other writers including? Consider the characters in your own works. Even if you weren't planning on describing their homes in detail, try to flesh out their physical worlds. Do they have a four-slice toaster?

What about trends? Have you begun to notice similarities in the way in which people lay out their kitchens? Do most apartments have a television in the living room but not a bookshelf? Do more married people have pets? Is there more art on the walls in the homes of your single friends or married friends? 

Look, see, observe, record. Write.

IMPORTANT POINT: As a writer, you will spend a lifetime sharpening your observational  skills. The more you are aware of, the more you an write about: AWARE with your eyes, with your heart, your soul, your body. The world is out there for you to gather up and hold. You are on a lifetime mission. Your assignment is to LIVE AND OBSERVE. Your objective is to gain EXPERIENCE.

The end result? Hopefully, lots and lots and lots of wonderful stories.