Systematically derange the language

Burnt Breakfast.jpg

Burnt Breakfast by Su Richardson

Sticking to my two pages a day has so far proved a good discipline. To avoid the writing becoming stale and cliched, and also to keep me interested in the ‘doing’ of it, I’ve drawn inspiration from Bernadette Mayer’s list of prompts. I came across these on Trish Hopkinson’s website (there’s a wealth of links for writing prompts on there). The one that has really inspired me is ‘systematically derange the language’. Mayer goes on to suggest that you try writing ‘a work consisting only of prepositional phrases, or, add a gerund to every line of an already existing work‘. I’ve often cut words ending with ‘ing’ from my writing. Now I’m cramming them in! The writing I’m producing is prose though, rather than poetry; somehow there seems to be more room to play around with ‘ing’ words in prose. I’ve also noticed that I’m inventing a cast of characters as I write, which is more usually a feature of prose too. I’m not going to try to categorise the writing any further than this. It’s very much fragments at the moment, but I’m hoping that they will add up to something meaningful and fresh.

I also attended a writing workshop run by poet Suzannah Evans yesterday at the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield. The exhibition is entitled ‘This Life is so Everyday: The Home in British Art 1950 – 1980′ and it was a great  for me to be able to develop some of the ideas I’ve had while writing my two pages a day into something more substantial (although still episodic). If you’re able to get along to that exhibition, I’m sure you’ll find it sparks some ideas. If not, browse Bernadette Mayer’s prompts (and journal ideas) and see where they take you. So, until next week, happy writing! 



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