Writing Assignment: Sit In The Sun And Write About Summer

by Randy Murray on July 12, 2013

Do you isolate yourself in a specific place, at a specific time, to write? If so, it’s time to add direct experience to your writing practice.

For today’s assignment, find a time to go outside during daylight hours, and, with luck and weather cooperating, sit for a while in the sun. Protect your skin, but experience the warmth, the light, and breathe deeply. And then, with a ready notebook, write about this direct experience of nature, place, and time.

If you don’t have sun today, write about whatever weather you have. If it’s rainy or cold, button up your overcoat, when the wind is free and experience that. Then find shelter and write.

Writing too much from imagination only, from inside your head, can be limiting. You can break through those limits, refresh your imagination, by directly experiencing something—virtually anything—out in the open, with the intention of writing about it. Getting outdoors can set your mind onto new paths. Take this opportunity to change what you typically write about, to leave behind what you think someone else will want to read, and write about what you are experiencing in that moment.

For this assignment, you have my permission to write in short, descriptive sentences, to make lists, to start and then drop thoughts and impressions. Write about what you see, feel, hear, and smell. And if you are fortunate enough to find a spot to sit in the sun for a few minutes, relax and forget about writing for a few minutes. When you are ready, write about that, too.

Then put your notes away. In a day or so, read them, think about this moment and see if there’s anything else that you want to add. These notes, this material, might be a good start for another writing assignment that you can design for yourself: what can I write from these notes?

For bonus points, perform this assignment frequently.

The Writing Assignment: Sit In The Sun And Write About Summer by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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