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Drove Me Nuts

"I'm feeling kinda intimidated because there are so many good writers in this group."

Someone in our Pix Into Words workshop said that last Friday, and everyone else nodded. A screenful of heads bobbed up and down. Yup, everyone felt the same way.

"So, if we all feel that way, then none of us needs to feel that way, right?" I chirped.

Then we ran out of time before I could give out homework.

So for next time*, try this: Write about a 10-year period of your life in three-word sentences. Every sentence has to be exactly three words. Not four, not two. Three.

Pick any ten-year period of your life, and write for 10 minutes. Don't think, just write. See what comes out. Like this:

"I was hired. That Cosmo Girl. I wore makeup. High heels too. Helen loved me. Helen Gurley Brown. I'm almost famous! I worked hard. Played hard too. Sex articles galore. Sex, sex, sex. Cosmo was fat. Thick with ads. Smelled like Chanel. Scavullo was king. Helen held court. Invited famous guests. Donald Trump came. Entertained the ladies. Stephen Spielberg came. Norman Mailer too. Helen loved men. They loved her. Such a flirt. Drove me nuts. Five years passed. I was bored. Quit my job." And so on.

Bring this work of art to our next meeting and we'll go around the circle, reading aloud. Like a poetry slam.

And stop worrying: It's not supposed to be pretty.

No one is going to judge you on your prose. Because this writing stuff is really just an elaborate form of play.

* April 7, 10:30 Eastern Time on Zoom. Contact and ask to be put on the email list for "Pictures Into Words."

P.S. Thanks to Abigail Thomas and her book "Thinking About Memoir" for this exercise.

Above: Victor Hugo's inkwell.



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