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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Collecting Souvenirs

by Lisa Bullard

Author's snow globeNot all writers can claim the vast and varied assortment of souvenir snow globes I’ve acquired on my travels. But most writers I know are constantly collecting other things: stories, words, images, emotions, quirky characters, new experiences, and oddball facts. These “writing chachkas” clutter the rooms of our imaginations until we need inspiration

Then we pick one up, shake it, and watch to see what lands in our writing.

A big part of the writing act is sedentary—sooner or later, you have to set your butt in a chair and focus on a page or a screen. But movement is crucial too: you have to get out into the world and find new souvenirs to add to the mix, or your imagination can quickly grow stale. Even a simple “road trip” to a coffee shop or the park can provide fresh material or a new perspective on old material.  I’ve learned to value these times away from my writing chair as an important part of my writing process.

I’ve met many kinesthetic learners who hate writing because they hate to sit still. And even students who have a knack for sitting quietly can benefit from a change in perspective.  So I’ve worked hard to build movement into my writing sessions with students.  One of the most popular activities is a simple poetry-writing Treasure Hunt.  (Download a description here.)

Why not get your students started on collecting their own word souvenirs by simply sending them on a writing road trip across the landscape of your classroom?


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