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Journaling for Creativity.

Mind training games: Looking carefully at quotes

This post forms part of a serialisation eventually building into a complete reference on Journaling for Creativity and the writer's notebook. One that will demonstrate how to journal in order to improve creativity and effectiveness of artists, writers or anyone needing to be creative.

Introduction Contents Techniques About Method Games for Creative Development Looking Carefully at Quotes


The game

Journaling for Creativity: Mind training games: Looking carefully at quotes
This is a short, journaling for creativity, mind training game that may be played either directly in your writer’s journal, or purely as a mental exercise. It is ideal for any time you are waiting for something and a suitable source of quotes are to hand.


How to play

From the media around you, whether it’s a broadcast, newspaper, magazine or book, select a quote or journalistic phrase and write it in your journal.

Neat tip: You can collect these at anytime. Just pop them into your creativity journal and they will be available whenever you wish to play this game.

Study your quote for a short while; explore both the quote and your own reasons for selecting it. Look for, and consider the intangibles around the quote. For example;

Is it timely?
What emotion does it carry?
How does it make you feel?
What message does it deliver?
Has it always been, will it always be, true?
Choice of words?
Choice of delivery?
Choice of audience?
Do you like or dislike it?
Etc, etc, etc…

You may find it helpful to do a small cluster diagram on your quote, as described in “Mind training games: A small epiphany”, in order to drill down into all the possibilities surrounding your quote.

Then start to journal about the quote, and cover each of the following topics in your journal entry;

Why you selected it
What it means to you
The message of the quote
The way that message is delivered

And finally,

What, if anything, you learned by playing with your quote.


The purpose of the game

The game has two purposes.

One is to instil a habit of looking for quotes around you. By doing so increase your awareness of the significant prose and quotes around you, and their influence on the world.

The second purpose is to look at such examples with a critical eye and mind; to understand what is working, at what emotional level, at what logical level and why. By seeing the same phrase from different perspectives provides a way for you to develop your own prose by adopting the best methods you have observed.


Do you have any examples of great quotes or prose samples you would like to share?

I do. I came across a particularly powerful, five word combination some years back, and I even blogged about them at the time. They are “Are you hitting your goals?”. The link will take you to the article explain why I think these words are striking.

If you have a personal favourite phrase or quote, then please do share them with us in the comments area below.


Photo credit: The Wit & Wisdom of Winston – Oct 2010 – Westerham Pub Wall – Those Two Imposters, by Gareth Williams.
"Mind training games: Looking carefully at quotes" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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