Experiments in writing
A small selection from Bernadette Mayer’s Writing Experiments:
Pick a word or phrase at random, let mind play freely around it until a few ideas have come up, then seize on one and begin to write. Try this with a non-connotative word, like “so” etc.
Explore the possibilities of lists, puzzles, riddles, dictionaries, almanacs, etc. Consult the thesaurus where categories for the word “word” include: word as news, word as message, word as information, word as story, word as order or command, word as vocable, word as instruction, promise, vow, contract.
Attempt to speak for a day only in questions; write only in questions.
Etymological work. Experiment with investigating the etymologies of all words that interest you, including your own name(s). Approaches to etymologies: Take a work you’ve already written, preferably something short, look up the etymological meanings of every word in that work including words like “the” and “a”. Study the histories of the words used, then rewrite the work on the basis of the etymological information found out. Another approach: Build poems and writings form the etymological families based on the Indo-European language constructs, for instance, the BHEL family: bulge, bowl, belly, boulder, billow, ball, balloon; or the OINO family: one, alone, lonely, unique, unite, unison, union; not to speak of one of the GEN families: kin, king, kindergarten, genteel, gender, generous, genius, genital, gingerly, pregnant, cognate, renaissance, and innate!
Write a brief bibliography of the science and philosophy texts that interest you. Create a file of newspaper articles that seem to relate to the chances of writing poetry. Write the longest most beautiful sentence you can imagine — make it be a whole page.
Write a work that intersperses love with landlords.
Write household poems — about cooking, shopping, eating and sleeping.
Write while being read to from science texts, or, write while being read to by one’s lover from any text.
So. When it comes to craft, specifically writing, intersperse items of interest, do the opposite, be exhaustive, mind beauty, and include approaches that puzzle and alarm you. Head over to see the much longer list in its entirety.