Before I begin today’s post, I should comment on the dinosaur of a blog-theme that I chose for swishingUp. This is now discontinued and is non-responsive and is best seen using a desktop or laptop computer. I apologise for any inconvenience that desisting any change to the visual theme might cause visitors while ‘Ideation and Idea’ provides scenery not often seen elsewhere. If you are reading via a hand-held mobile device and have a WordPress account you may have a better visitor experience by using the Reader. You can find SwishingUp in the Reader here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/59608132
How to post daily and deliver fresh and unique content? Using prompts open doorways to new ideas and so can be a good place to start. There are also dozens of techniques and strategies to explore to develop writing potential and skill and encourage originality.
I’d wondered on writing about or to a daily prompt from dailypost.wordpress.com today but was disinterested in today’s prompt word (Tide) for the context of this post. Diverting then to the random alternative prompt generator on The Daily Post’s homepage (link above) and determined to dig out a prompt that begins with the letter ‘D’ eventually at click number 61 ‘Disagree’ turned up. Yet demotivated to write anything disagreeable for this post, but not entirely discarding the prompt, I decided to save it with the other 61 prompts noted during this first digression excercise.
Digressing with the disagree prompt distracting while drafting this post to divulge: By the way, I disagree that the correct spelling of excercise in the English language is spelt similarly to exorcise. Have we seen fit to alter excise to exise with such disappointing demises? No!
Until I was about maybe nine years old, the correct English spelling of excercise was exactly as I write it. I was instructed by my teacher to defy such derrogatorisations of English words as were being dictated by political impositions (she didn’t use quite those words of course, my tending to over-do the D influences adds a dramatic edge to representing my teacher’s influence and instruction!)
The tide of book-cooking and tick-box strategising within education departments to cheat on improving performance levels flooded our shores during the mid to late 1970s and have refused to roll out ever since.
The only reason the spelling of the word ‘excercise’ was ever changed was that the government and educational establishments were too impatient to await more than two or three kids in a class of 35 plus being able to remember the correct spellings of such ‘difficult words’ within a limited timescale. The Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries may as well be sacked for their dumb-founding ‘daptations of real English words and language use implications and neither are a reliable authority. If you happen to be a dim-wit academic you might choose dependency on either and defer to their sometimes defective dictatorship of dictionarial decorum. [Ahem! Dipstick!]
At click number 9, ‘To-Do? Done!’ might have sufficed for a ‘D’ inspired post, but I’m done with to-do lists and don’t wish to add more to the delude, not even as discretionary subject matter.
Time to make another prompt box? It’s easily do-able. Another day, perhaps.
Delaying again, and not dancing to the tune of those DPprompts until later, I diverted to threewordsaday.wordpress.com where prompts were posted daily for five years. Discovering that for 2018 there’s a random post generator there directly appealed to my desire to repeat the first random prompt excercise here until it delivered a more delicious ‘D’ word. At click number 15 the prompt ‘definition, sing, stop, floor on’ turned out. I could have danced with joy. Definition! What a delight.
‘Stop on definition‘ seemed quite appropriate, if I were to choose three from the five given. But what would I write about?
That brings me to thinking of the device or strategy known as ‘generative distraction’. I often call this distractive generation – it implies something different but can mean the same thing (generative distraction / distractive generation): the first is more distinct discerning unambiguous meaning, the duality of the second seems definitely and definitively appropriate for many among those born in the last two or three decades, but happens to describe me fine too.
Simply, this (generative distraction) is a means of applying rules of method that seem to limit potential creative output but can in fact have the very opposite effect. So just for an example, I could decide I might want to deduct all the D words from this post and replace them with non-D words or I might wish to discard every word containing any occurence of the letter D…
“There are many different ways that you can do it. … You can set yourself
any number of rules that you have to follow. The important thing is that the rules have to do with the making of the poem itself and by following those rules you distract yourself from what it is that you think you want to say and can find a way to say it that seems fresh because at every moment you’re trying to get your thought to work within the confines of your form and so that ultimately the distraction allows you to express […] feelings and ideas that you knew you had to begin with but in a way that seems as if you’re discovering them as you go along.”
Shane McCrae, Poet, author and academic, from the video class transcript of the How Writers Write Poetry 2015, session 4 available to read here https://swishingup.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/e7de3-hwwp15_class_session_4_transcript.pdf
[quote sourced at page 10 of the text cited above]
The whole mooc pack and other creative writing past mooc resources are available from the University of Iowa for open access self-led individual learning (materials only, no course commitment, no forums, no submissions, no certification). Visit http://www.distancelearningiwp.org/ to find out more.
If you’re joining in and posting alphabetically, don’t forget to pingback and/or leave your link to your post inspired by the letter D in the comments section.
Does every post need a call to action? I tend to disagree. What do you think?
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