Writing from the Daily Prompt: Bookworms. Or, Recursive Writing About Writing.
One thing I would like to do more of is write about things other than what I’m doing or whatever news story or blog post has made me too angry to function. In theory the Daily Post’s writing prompts would be an excellent way to work on that, but in practice I tend to see them when I’m falling asleep or on a train or otherwise not eager to write. Last night I saw one that interested me & had the presence of mind to tweet about it, which means I had reminders this morning.
Something actually worked! I’m more excited about that than about the writing, to be honest. Anyway, here it is:
Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.
I like the idea of using an image search, that was what made me want to do it so much. I’m also blogging this in real-time, so even if the result sucks I’ve already gotten a blog post out of it!
As it happens, the nearest book to me is a journal I kept from 2008 to 2010, and the tenth word in it is “write”. That just feels weird to me.
It brings up a lot of pictures of pens! Many of them in hands. My first thought was “Yeah, barely a left hand to be seen, but counting the first 30 or so about 20% of the images are southpaws, compared to approximately one-tenth of us in real life. If anything, the wrong-handed majority are actually underrepresented here!
The second thing I notice is the fucking patriarchy. (Seriously, it’s everywhere.) Out of the half-dozen or so cartoon images of people writing that show up on the first page, the women all seem relaxed and happy while the men look stressed or bored. This at least seems to get better as you scroll down, but it was striking to me. The idea of writing being a “feminine” thing goes way back, and persisted long after it was obviously stupid, well into the 19th century. The echoes of it persisted throughout the 20th century and continue even now, fading away but audible still.
I examined them more in-depth after, but those first two were really fleeting impressions that were nearly lost in a desire to write more that’s as deep and powerful as the ocean. I was surprised by it because as much as I tend to whine about neglecting my blog and never doing anything with the ideas that come to mind as I’m trying to sleep, I don’t usually think about writing all that much.
On the other hand, my mind has been focused on basic survival for a while now. Perhaps if I set aside time for creativity, like a sensible person would, I’d find that writing has grown on me. Come to think of it, I may be doing just that right now.
Bah, introspection on an empty stomach can’t be good for you. I’ll have breakfast and think of it later.
Have a great day everyone!