August writing challenge: be observant.

I’m inspired after my recent trip to the Netherlands and Ireland. Looking over my journal entries [aka my travel blog], I see myself becoming increasingly focused on details as the journey progresses, and it’s these details that enrich my own reading, hooking me into deeper memories.

This month’s exercise is aimed at encouraging you to be mindful of your surroundings, to use all of your senses, and to notice little things. I am always surprised at how a conscious effort to be more present improves my writing.


Monthly Writing Challenge #6–August 2015: sit still and observe.

Find a space where you can sit and watch for half an hour. This could be a place that is quiet and alone, or you may be in the midst of a lot of movement.

Don’t write; just observe. Allow half an hour or more if you can. Soak it in.

Ask yourself questions to home your attention–eg:
What do I see?
What does it smell like?
What do I taste?
What can I hear? What am I not hearing?
How do I feel?
Does this scene remind me of anything?
What is changing as I watch?
Is there anything out of place?

Afterwards, give yourself 10-15 minutes to write down whatever comes to mind.

You might focus on the whole of what you observed, or a tiny detail, or your observations may trigger a story. What you produce might be raw, beautiful, ugly, powerful. It might even be the kernel of a something bigger.

What did you come up with?

I’ll share mine if you share yours.


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