Creative Sparks: Writing Prompt Week 3

18 Aug 2022 1:07 PM | Megan Cole (Administrator)

Writing prompts and exercises can be the perfect way to move your summer writing project forward. Through August and into September, some of our members will share some of their favourite writing prompts to spark your creativity.

This week's writing prompt comes from poet Rob Taylor. 

The following is how I’ve prepared for almost every poem I’ve written in the last five years:

  1. For twenty minutes, read a book you love.

  2. Go outside with the book, a notebook, and a camping chair (if you’re in a noisy neighbourhood, earplugs can be essential, too – not to eliminate all sound, but to dull speaking voices). 

  3. Walk to a destination that’s at least ten minutes away. Ideally somewhere quiet like a park. Don’t wear headphones. Just listen to the rhythm of your walking and breathing.

  4. When you arrive, sit and look at what’s around you. Write about something you can hear or smell or hold in your hands. Start small and see what grows from it.

  5. If nothing’s coming to you, read the book some more and then walk again. Repeat as necessary!

  6. At any point in this process, if a line comes to you, stop and write it down. Stay in that place/moment for as long as it’s productive, then move on.

Rob Taylor is the author of four poetry collections including The News which was a finalist for the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. In 2004 he co-founded Simon Fraser University’s student poetry zine High Altitude Poetry, and in 2007 he co-founded One Ghana, One Voice, Ghana’s first online poetry magazine. He was also the poetry editor at Red Fez from 2007 – 2010, and the poetry editor at PRISM international in 2014-15. Rob has run a blog devoted to Canadian (especially Vancouver) poetry, Roll of Nickels, since 2006. In 2011 he was part of the team that “resurrected” Vancouver’s Dead Poets Reading Series, which he helped coordinate until 2018. Over the past decade, Rob has conducted almost 100 interviews with poets and authors. For more about Rob Taylor visit his website here.

Supported by the British Columbia Arts Council

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