Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category:

Collecting Colour

Written on February 11th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Get a cardboard box, decide on a colour – make the box that colour with with paint or glitter or wrapping paper glued onto it or marker pen or gaffer tape etc… this is a colour box. Whilst you are out and about or even within your own home, you might see something of that colour that is particularly striking. Collect such items into your colour box.

Red items into a red box, purple into a purple.

Once you have a full box you should get visitors or house guests to select different items and arrange them on the table for you. What have they selected? Is there a pattern beyond the red? Do the object contrast or compliment each other?

Do they tell a story and are they what you expected, that particular person to pull from the box? If the objects had been different colours, would the selection have been different?

Within the answers of these questions a poem may well lay.

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Written on February 9th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Angry about something? Write about it, put all that vitriol on paper or bash it out on the key board but don’t update a status or blog post with it! Not yet!

Let the mood die down and on a happier day take what you have written, you may want to remove specifics ie peoples names, places and dates and so on. Or scrape the piece of writing but just take a few phrses away from it or the concept. Sometimes these things come out comedic and with a bit of a tweak may make an excellent performance piece.

This is a good way to cool off, see the funny side and capture the strength of feelings that surround strong emotions. Colourful language often comes to the fore when writing such pieces.

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The Power of Shrooms!

Written on February 8th, 2015 by adminno shouts


Mushrooms have a place firmly in folk lore, fiction and the kitchen. Love them or hate them, they crop up through out the year but especially in autumn. What do you think of when the word mushroom is spoken? There is a Mush and a Room aspect to it, it is a very textural word, you can feel what a mushroom is like from it.

Spend 20 minutes writing about mushrooms, if you are stuck then start by describing the photograph above.

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Money Boxes

Written on February 6th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Sometimes you might find little snatches or phrases bombling around in your head. On their own they are not a poem but if you don’t do something with them they may well evaporate out of your brain and be lost altogether. And though they are not poems they are the seeds of poems.

What we here at WoPo find useful is to get an old money box or pick up a cheap one from a charity shop or car boot sale. Place it somewhere easily accessible and put a stack of non sticky post it notes next to it. Then when ever you end up with a phrase or sentence fragment or just two words that sound unusual but right together – write them down on the post its, fold them up and pop them into the money box.

This is similar to the Inspira jar and several other exercises, so if you have such a hoard of little paper scraps or post-its then you might want to raid it for some extra poetry help!

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Lake Scene

Written on February 5th, 2015 by adminno shouts

Tree stump and wooden pilings in Thriftwood Lake

This photograph is of a small lake in Essex – what does it say to you? Do like lakes or fear them? What is at the bottom of it? Can you imagine why the photographer was there?

Spend 10 minutes jotting down the feelings or back story to the photo.

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Fridge Poetry

Written on February 4th, 2015 by adminno shouts

It might seem like a cheesy daft idea but get yourself some fridge poetry – the more the better. Then lay it all out on a nice clear fridge or magnetic white board. You will find that words start just jumping out at you and you automatically start form sentences and phrases. After a while you will have fridge full of fragments and snatches of sentences, some of these will be strange but evocative combinations of words which you may well not have thought of.

Write these down on post it notes that you can stick or pin up somewhere you will see them in the house – so doors and curtains are great for this just be careful not to damage anything!

The phrases will then get wedged into your mind and you’ll start thinking on them and mulling them over until a poem forms around them.

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Epic Music

Written on February 3rd, 2015 by adminno shouts

Music and the muse have always been intricately entwined, one thing that some of us here a WoPo find really useful is finding music mixes on youtube. This is also how we find new artists for album buying!

There is music for many different moods, some with images – just type the mood or inspiration words into the search part of the site. One of my personal favourites to search for is Epic, which is where the above mix came from, but you can get relaxing, inspiring, alpha wave and so much more.

Another way of syncing music with the muse to help with writing is to play a CD or digital music file in something with visualisation software, that is most laptops and gaming systems like the xbox. The music plays and the screen fills up with pulsing shreds of colour that react to the sounds.

These alone can inspire the writer. Basically put some music on, let it soak into you and then start writing. Just writing down your feelings and senses for as long as the album or video lasts!

Try not to stop and think, just write and write. There will be the bones of a poem in there somewhere.

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Make a Mood Board

Written on February 2nd, 2015 by adminno shouts

Back at the beginning of the year we created a Pinterest board to help collect images and concepts we thought might help the aspiring poet – why not have a go at this yourself. The site is free and tries it’s best with copy right too :)

Set yourself up a board where you can collect images from within pinterest, or from the web or even add your own if you so wish!

Then grab your timer and write about each picture for 5 minutes.

Or alternatively create a mood board, where you collect images that are “dark” or “joyfull” or show the wonders of nature or the moon etc… Spend half an hour at a time scouring the sight for images for your mood board. Then leave it for a while and come back to the board, drink in the images and listen to some similarly mood orientated music and then begin to write.

A good example of a mood board is Deep Ice which was set up with novel writing in mind but works well for poetics.

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With-In The Map

Written on February 1st, 2015 by adminno shouts

The Maps of Imagination

Old maps can be a great source of inspiration, why not get an old map and write your poetry straight onto the pages. Where does the map represent? Do you have memories there?

If you are artistic why not draw a picture on the map and then see where that takes your imagination or just look at the picture above, set a timer for 5 minutes and just start writing.

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Written on January 2nd, 2015 by adminno shouts

There are some amazing pictures and concepts to be found on the site Pinterest, so we have set up a WoPo Inspired board which you can scroll through to find ideas or a mood or a feeling for your poetry.

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