“Ten Minutes a Day to Good Writing Using Seven Senses” by Joan Y. Edwards
In learning how to write better song lyrics for the musical movie I am writing, I ordered about 6 books about how to write or improve your writing of lyrics from the library. Much to my surprise, when I read Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison, I was amazed that he gave his readers exercises that would not only improve the writing of lyrics, but any kind of creative writing, you might pursue.
He suggests that for ten minutes – only ten minutes a day – not a minute longer to do an Object exercise.
Use seven senses: (There may be more, but Pat Pattison only emphasized seven)
- Sight- What you see and what it looks like
- Hearing – What you hear with your ears and what it sounds like.
- Taste – What you taste and what it tastes like.
- Smell – What you smell and what it smells like.
- Touch – What you touch and what it feels like: hot, cold, prickly, smooth.
- Organic – Your awareness of inner bodily functions. For example: heartbeat, pulse, muscle tension, stomach-aches, cramps, and breathing. Concerns the movement and function of the physical organs insights and senses inside your body. Knowing when you’re hungry, sweaty, thirsty, etc. Receptors: control the breathing rate, tell if there’s not enough oxygen, then sense of suffocating; Receive inputs from poisons, drugs, and hormones and communicate with vomiting center; tell too much sugar; can tell if you’re blushing; your esophagus senses if you’re swallowing, vomiting, or having acid reflux; the pharynx in your throat can give a gag reflex if you’re choking; urinary bladder and rectum sense fullness; stretch sensors tell when blood veins dilate and cause a headache; Pain;
- Kinesthetic – Use of the body to do something or create something, to move. Sense of motion, speed of motion, balance, your relationship with the world around you. Sense of gravity. If they have a glittery disco ball with lights shimmering across your eyes and body, you might feel a little disjointed and dizzy. Riding a roller coaster gives you a different view and feeling about your surroundings. Anything to do with the movement of the body, like recognizing that to get into the tunnel you have to crouch down low if you’re tall. Anything to do with the body parts. Knowing how to place your hands, feet, and arms to hit a golf ball is kinesthetic sense. Sports, acting in a play, juggling, riding a skateboard or surfboard, playing music, molding pottery, performing surgery, driving a car, riding a bicycle are kinesthetic exercises.
There are other senses, too. Perception of time passing, space sense, distance perception. When he mentioned the last two senses, it shocked and surprised me. I’d never heard them mentioned in this way. I had to do a little research to explain it in a language I understood.
For ten minutes you write freely. The only thing is you write sentences or phrases about the object. Tell something you remember about this object. Show us in as many ways as you can. Use your senses. Make it personal to you or write as a character in a story. You are free to include who, what, when, where, why, and how to your writing during the exercise. I think it would be a good idea to read over the different senses described here before you begin to write.
Pat Pattison says that each time you do it, you’ll dive deeper into your subconscious mind and get all those treasured word jewels hiding out in there. Each time you do it, you’ll get more relaxed and able to dive down sooner than you did the last time. You can pretend you are a character seeing or using this object.
Pat says not to spend longer than ten minutes a day doing this. He warns that people stop because they say it takes too long when they spend more than ten minutes. Or they say, I did 30 minutes today. I can skip Thursday and Friday. When you do it regularly, you reap the benefits.
It has over 200 pages of tips about Writing Better Lyrics. Some hints will help with writing poetry and other creative works. I highly recommend it.
I’m going to put a word here: SALT. I’d like for you to share what you wrote about it during your ten minute exercise as a comment. If you don’t want to share your writing, just tell me how and why you think this will lead you to improved writing. I’ll choose a random person who leaves a comment before midnight next Wednesday, March 13, 2013 to receive a free pitch and 1000 word manuscript critique or a copy of my picture book, Flip Flap Floodle.
Pat Pattison. “Writing Better Lyrics:” http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Better-Lyrics-Pat-Pattison/dp/1582975779/
Here are five other words you might like to do a free 10 minute exercise for 5 different days:
I did a 10-minute writing exercise for the word Salt. I posted it in the comments area. I don’t think that I used all seven senses, but I had fun writing it.
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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
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