The other day, I asked my creative writing students to write the name of an everyday item on an index card. Beneath that, I asked them to write the first seven words that they associated with that word. The students then folded their cards and traded, now tasked with writing about that everyday object without naming it nor using any of the seven words below it. Basically, we played an impromptu game of Taboo.
The goal of the exercise is to remember that describing the same old things in the same old ways produces the same old results. Sometimes a new perspective is necessary to give both the object and the writing new life.
This is my favorite piece from the exercise. It's by Jared P. who had to write about a simple pencil.
The genesis, the apocalypse. These divine concepts are left behind as mere etchings from infinite creations and possibilities. It acts as a vessel for infinity, yet it wears down and eventually dies. Once replaced, however, the depth of creativity given is rivaled by the gods.