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.
A game which is best played when you have time to relax and ponder.
The concept of the game is straightforward; think about or study a person, item or event, then describe it by using the effects it causes without ever mentioning it.
Ripples of existence
Nothing exists in isolation; simply by existing, an item will cause some effects in the world around it.
For example, a rock sitting on the ground could interact as;
A sunny perch for lizards
A hard place to stub toes
A trip hazard for the unwary
A hunting ground for spiders
An anvil for thrushes to open snails
A surface for lichen or moss to grow on
A safe shelter for ants and burrowing insects
A navigation marker between here and there
Visualise these as if the rock exists surrounded by water and from it ripples are spreading out and away, affecting the watery world around it.
How to play
There are two parts to the game.
To play the first part, choose an item, event or person as your focus. Then open your creativity journal at a clean, double page. Write or sketch your chosen subject in the middle of the left hand page.
Now around the item draw a cluster diagram of all the ‘ripples’ (effects) that you can think of caused by your focus object. You may further enhance your diagram by playing the sensory impressions game to stimulate your mind into providing any deeper associations you have with the subject.
When you cannot think of anymore ripples, spend a few minutes studying your cluster diagram and highlight anything that appears significant. If you feel a desire to re-cluster a part of your diagram, do so, even if you don’t understand why you wish to.
The second part of the game is to describe your subject on the facing page, without ever mentioning it by name or direct description. Use prose or poetry for this, but only use the ripples of existence surrounding the subject in order to describe it.
The purpose of the game
This game is designed to improve the player’s awareness and mindfulness of the world around them. By deeply examining the effects and relationships that some objects and events have with the world, the player gains an appreciation that all objects and events also have similar ripples of existence emanating from them. Once trained to expect these ripples, the player will subsequently find it easier to identify them.
Practicing the description of objects and events only by using the ripples they cause also trains the writer in introducing items into their work in a far more subtle and elegant manner. This can help with pace, tension and foreshadowing as well as building deeper, solid and interesting characters.
Why not try your hand at this game and see how you do? As an easy start, try one of the following;
Please let us know how you got on in the comments area below.
Discover more about this fascinating way of viewing the world at "Awareness of the ripples of existence".
Photo credit: Ripples of colour, by Scott Cresswell.
"Mind training games: The ripples of existence" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.