“Blackout” writing exercise

This exercise is loads of fun.  As part of National Young Writers’ Month, an email was sent around today to those signed up, encouraging us to get in the writer’s headspace and check out the Friday Writing Workshop: Blackouts! on their blog.  The gist is this:

All you need is a writing device (sharpies work pretty well) and a newspaper, book or something along those lines. Then start circling words or letters you want and crossing out the ones you don’t to make something new and, hopefully, awesome.

Here’s my first attempt, although I’m sure there are opportunities out there to do much, much better – and I know you’re a creative crowd worthy of the task! Anyone care to share their Blackouts?

~storytelling nomad~

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16 comments on ““Blackout” writing exercise

  1. Just stumbled across your blog today and I’ve really enjoyed all of the posts so far. I cannot wait to get home and try out this exercise. Have you ever printed out a page of your work, cut out each word (similar to the single word fridge magnets) and rearranged the words to make a new story? It can sometimes be fun to butcher your own work and it’s an interesting editing excercise.

    As a 25 year old writer who once went by the name “Katy”, who is maintaining her own blog which documents her writing career, I really appreciate what you are doing here. Considering the short amount of time you’ve had this blog you have such interesting content and it’s giving me ideas to breathe new life into my stale work. Keep it up and I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to add you to my blogroll.

    As we don’t say in the States, but totally should, Cheers!

    • That’s amazing feedback, thank you so much Kate. It’s so nice to hear such a positive response from people, it keeps me wanting to do more! I haven’t had a chance to look through your blog properly yet, but I wouldn’t call your writing at all stale. If it helps, 2 weeks ago I hadn’t written anything in AGES. In fact, as much as I have always loved writing, I only really did it when I felt I had to…assignments, competitions etc. I didn’t get any practice, and was not motivated to change that. This blog has been the answer I needed and now that I’ve gained some semblance of momentum, it feels so good to be writing every day, and unlike uni I get to write about whatever I want, which is quite the change. I’m glad that it’s given you some ideas though, I think that’s one of the best ways writers can help each other out.
      As for butchering a story and rearranging the words, I’ve never done it but I’m totally on to it! Sounds fun, and I like fun.
      Thanks again for your encouragement, and for adding me to your blogroll! And good luck with the writing!
      Cheers (yep, you totally should!)

      • Stumbling across your blog today was exactly the spark I needed to reignite the hope I have in my own blog. Everything you said I agree with one-hundred percent, especially where you mention blogging everyday having the luxury to do it on your own terms that that has motivated you when it comes to your own writing. Having studied philosophy in uni and writing paper after bloody paper on Plato through Sartre (I avoided the hell out of Kant) burned me out, so I can appreciate your situation as well. Writing shorts and taking up my own blog gave me hope that I could fall in love with writing again. Until your next post, Cheers!

      • I’m so glad Kate! Falling in love with writing…it’s like the honeymoon that never ends! Look forward to reading what you come up with :)

  2. Pingback: “Blackout” Writing Attempt « Talking To Myself

  3. That’s a pretty bad idea… I’d like to try it. Although, I’d need to get an English newspaper, otherwise I’m the only one who’ll be able to understand it ;P

  4. Pingback: More “Blackouts” « storytelling nomad

  5. Pingback: I don’t need that word…or that one…or that one… « No "aspiring" about it

  6. Pingback: I don’t need that word…or that one…or that one… | Embrace Life. Be Inspired. In Finland.

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