Writing Assignment: A Single Leaf

by Randy Murray on October 21, 2011

It’s fall here in central Ohio. My yard is suddenly covered in leaves. The air is full of them, whispering as they shower down in the breeze. The temperature dipped a couple of weeks ago, but it’s warm today, even hot. But the leaves are still falling and soon there will be snow on the ground.

Fall is my favorite season. I grew up on a farm and fall means harvest, the culmination, the reward of long, hard months of labor. It means the return to school, of excitement, a break in the hot dusty weather, and a time to put on warm, comfortable clothes. Fall is a time of celebration.

There are so many things to write about fall that it’s sometimes hard to know where to start.

This problem is shared by many subjects. Where do I start? Writers struggle with complex ideas and stories and because they can’t tell everything, explain everything in the way that they want.  They find it almost impossible to write anything at all. They struggle the way my daughter use to at the age of six when she had to detail every element of her day to tell a story. It’s like starting a tale with “Thirteen billion years ago the universe exploded . . .”

You don’t have to write everything. You just have to start. For any idea, thought, or story, just start with a simple, single thing.

And for fall, let’s start with a single leaf.

For today’s writing assignment write a short piece observing a single leaf. What does it feel like? What is its texture, its sound, its weight? What can you see? Tell your reader about the shape, the condition, and the color. Focus on just this single leaf and nothing else. Only the leaf matters. Your job is to be specific, thorough, and comprehensive. Your job is to start writing.

You may leave your completed assignment in the comments section below.



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The Writing Assignment: A Single Leaf by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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