Monday, 1 April 2013

Make The Most Of The Mundane


Firstly, this is not an April Fool! (And I can’t believe we’re now in the fourth month of the year, already. Pity the weather seems to have forgotten which month it is too.) But that’s the point. Here in the UK the weather is being … unusual. It’s been a tad chilly. There’s still snow lying on the ground even now. And everybody is talking about it (if not moaning about it).

Although some people don’t like the weather, and wish it were warmer, it is making life more different. Some might say more interesting. It’s giving people something to talk about. 

There may be moments when writers feel that in order to write they need to write about something interesting. Perhaps they need to sail down the Amazon wearing a fur coat and red ankle socks, or conquer Everest on their hands, or have driven from Land’s End to John O’Groats in sportscar with a famous celebrity. 

If you fancy doing something different, try writing about a mundane activity, instead.  Sit down and write about making a cash withdrawal (and I mean an authorised one from a cash point machine, rather than an illegal one involving stockings and a sawn-off shotgun!). Alternatively, why not write about making a cup of tea, or pegging out the laundry?

Just because something is ordinary, and mundane, it is perceived as uninteresting. Yet that perception can be wrong. As someone who used to work for a bank, I know everything that can go wrong with a cash point transaction! So, if ever you find yourself stuck for something to write, or you need a writing exercise to stimulate your creative muscle, spend ten minutes writing about a boring, mundane activity. You might just surprise yourself how interesting your subject matter is.

Good luck.

6 comments:

  1. Good idea for a writing exercise. After all, a certain loo roll company has made a complete advert about the mundane subject of folding or scrunching.

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    1. Of course, at Caerleon, if you forget to take the loo roll out of your 'pod' before having a shower, folding and scrunching isn't an option, because all you have left is a soggy mess!

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  2. Yes there is potential everywhere - and that really is the skill of a writer - to observe, note and create. The writing is then almost the easy bit!

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    1. Yeah, it's the watching bit we don't always get right!

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  4. But isn't that what the craft of writing is all about, making the ordinary seem extraordinary? I once wrote an article about what I thought was my extremely ordinary up-bringing. The editor of the magazine I sent it to didn't think is was so mundane though. He published it.

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