Welcome to the sixth of our Creative Challenges. We’re focusing on the relationship between writing and production in our second week of Creative Challenges: WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 6 gets you defining yourself as a writer.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you:
Define yourself and your writing in one word – that starts with the same letter as your name! And when you’ve done that – try the same for the projects you’re writing, and for your favorite films and TV characters.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to defining yourself as a writer.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC6”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC6 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
So much of writing is just about choosing the right word at the right time – for example, in a title. For this Activity, you should choose a word that describes both you as a person, and the sorts of project that you want to write or produce. Not easy – and reducing your options to the words that start with just one letter makes it a much more focused activity. It’s easy to get neurotic about this kind of task if you’ve got the world of choices – constraints can be very powerful tools for writers, especially screenwriters (who might have to balance budget needs and casting requirements in their scripts).
The Research has shown that people with alliterative names – first names and surnames that start with the same letter or sound – are more successful in life than people who don’t. Of course, most people don’t have that, but this activity might give you a moniker you can use to achieve the same effect. Equally, it might give you something too cheesy or reductive to be useful. Examples: “Inventive Ian” is what I end up with when I do this, others could be the likes of “Steely Stevie”, “Creative Kate”, “Mad Mal” etc.
This is a useful icebreaker activity in writing classes, and you can open it up to include words that are collocated (i.e. connected in our minds) with your name or project title too: for example “Conan the Librarian”…! The outcomes can be written large on a nametag and discussed with the class to help everyone define and remember one another and what marks each of them out as a person and writer.
Can you use the result of this activity – or something similar – to define yourself when you introduce yourself to producers or agents? If so, you could stand out from the crowd and stick in their memories – which matters, considering how many other people are trying to do the same and get the same result that you are!
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!