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Creative writing ideas during lockdown

Creative writing ideas during lockdown

Don’t let your creativity get stifled during the lockdown. Now’s the perfect time to explore your creative side whilst you’re at home.

We reached out to our Creative Writing Tutor, Julie Thorndyke, who gave us some great creative writing exercises to work through during this period.

Writing Exercise 1 – Keep a journal

In the future (and yes, there will be one!) your family may ask you what it was like during the pandemic, and you may struggle to recall. Keeping a daily journal may offer future generations an insight into these difficult days.

If you don’t know how to begin, keep it simple: each day write down one thing you are grateful for (e.g. a full pantry); describe one thing you did to pass the time ( e.g. knit a square, watch a movie); and record one thing you observed (e.g. a magpie pecking the grass). Commentary on politicians is optional!

Writing Exercise 2 – Sort out those old photographs!

We all have boxes and albums of photos waiting for “one day” when we have time to sort them. Now is the time!

As you sort and label, group and organise, keep a pen and paper handy and reflect on the images. Begin writing with the words  “I remember . . .”and a rush of information will flow onto the page for your memoir or family history.

Writing Exercise 3 – Release your inner poet!

Poetry doesn’t have to be mysterious and follow rules.

One of the simplest ways to write a poem is to make a list . . . a list of anything at all. Perhaps the colours and plants in your garden. Observe, make a list, then leave it for a day.

Next day, read the words you have listed, add or delete, rearrange. What emotion do they provoke? Leave it for another day. Read your draft – write out again and add your thoughts. Type it up. Give it a title. Here’s an example:

Into the Compost!

The last slice of bread

in the packet, white with mould.

A squishy black tomato,

forgotten in the vegetable crisper.

The snippets of hair

from trimming my fringe.

The torn-up paper bag

that held a fresh bread roll for lunch.

The fur I combed from the shedding cat,

the dust from the vacuum cleaner barrel,

the carrot peelings and onion skins

from last night’s cooking.

The fallen leaves from the maple tree.

The lawn mower’s load of grass clippings.

Passionfruit skins, pea pods, apple cores.

Brown lettuce leaves.

The real estate agent’s business card,

the shredded paper packing

from my online christmas shopping.

The draft poem on lined foolscap,

squished around used coffee grounds

and two date pips.

Julie Thorndyke

We hope these creative writing exercises help you to tap into your inner creativity! Feel free to share your poems or writings with us – we would love to hear from you!

You can join Julie in her Creative Writing classes:

Other Creative Writing classes available:

About Julie

Julie Thorndyke has a Master of Creative Writing degree from the University of Sydney. She has published poems and stories in many literary journals and has won several short story competitions. She recently published a novel, "Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby".