Tag Archives: change

Friday Reflections: A Year Ago & Letters

Good day, folks, hope you’ve had a great week so far! This holiday season always gives me a chance to wrap up my year with quality time with family & friends, catching up with overdue reading (especially since I have time off) and, of course, loads of writing 🙂

I’m just going to give this a try — two reflections topics in one post. As a celebration! The first topic is A Year Ago, which was incidentally inspired by the fact that it’s the one-year anniversary of The Horse’s Fountain  😀 and I also thought of it because of one of my November PAD poems I’d been re-reading today.

A Year Ago

This thought always hits me whenever I sit myself down to write my Time Capsule letters, or just reflect on my New Year’s Resolutions every January 1st. It’s amazing how much your life can change in a year. How your habits have changed, friendships perhaps, or maybe even something as big as your job or where you live!

You could reflect on all the big and little changes in your life over the past year — why or how did they come about? Do you like these changes? How many of these changes were your own decisions? Were any forced on you? Would you prefer how things used to be, or are you very comfortable with how things are at present? How drastically do you think things may change over the next 365 days? And how many of these coming changes are going to be under your control?

Perhaps you don’t like controlling things much at all! I know people who love going with the flow and taking life a day at a time! 🙂

Perspectives

I mentioned that this reflection was prompted by one of the poems I wrote in November. That poem was, in fact, prompted by a news item. One that occurred a year ago. My poem was a reflection on how that incident has impacted the country and the mindset of the people — and of course, me personally. You could always take something like that as a prompt.

A news article or any incident from around a year ago.

You could write from the perspective of someone who lived ten years ago, writing about something that happened eleven years ago. Perhaps something that, at the time, seemed small, but became a revolution.

Political situations change a great deal over the course of a year; and in wars, so very many lives are lost in that same span. Personal perspectives on public matters make for powerful poems!

As for fiction–there are plenty of novels whose stories take place over the span of a year, and it’s more than obvious that things have changed a great deal by the end! It’s the how of it that could make it interesting. How will your character journey through it? How will it be different? How will that make a difference?

So go ahead, start with: a year ago… and let your experiences and creativity lead the way. Perhaps you’d prefer “one year later/a year later” (which is what I chose for my poem). 

Reflections: Letters

The second topic for today’s reflections is letters. A glance at the dictionary tells us that there are several meanings for, and usages of, the word.

Letters of the alphabet (The letters in someone’s name, or initials; you could have fun with palindromes, even). The relation between letters and their phonetic equivalents!

Letters — those ol’ things we (once used to) communicate with, sending them off in envelopes stamped with loved ones’ addresses.

The letter of the law.

Men and women of letters.

Letter size paper!

A name lettered on a plaque.

And more. Take your pick at any meaning and try to write around that!

Letters, for me, first mean–those long personal messages (or communications) written in longhand on quality stationery 🙂 They could be letters exchanged by pen-pals who’ve never met, or ones sent by distant family members or friends, or love letters. I’ve often given letters to friends for their birthdays, or if we’re parting ways. And I’ve written poems about writing letters to people!

They make for great symbols in stories (think Poe’s The Purloined Letter, in which we never know the contents of the letter!). The success or failure of communication could be implied through letters. A packed, unopened mailbox could say so much about a character. As would a mailbox that always remains empty (perhaps the character checks it every day), or a mailbox that has a regular letter every day/week/month!

You could write a novel in epistolary format – i.e., in the form of letters, as Alice Walker has in The Color Purple and Stephen Chboksy has in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Or write a poetry collection in epistolary format, but in verse, of course.

Whenever you write in letter format though (unless it’s actually a letter meant for someone) whom do you address? Do you think of any particular family member or friend? Or that Dear Diary kind of personality? The person you choose to address would make all the difference. If the poem is about your father and you address your grandmother (father’s mother) throughout, that’s going to sound very different compared to how you’d talk to your other grandmother, or your mother, even, about your father. How is the piece most effective? (The form of the poem/text is a part of its meaning, after all.)

Thank you for stopping by & Happy Writing!

Before I sign off, I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by my blog -read a post, to like a post, to follow- everybody! Thank you so much!

I hope the prompts have been helpful! Wish everyone a great weekend, a merry Christmas, and a wonderful end of the year! And, of course, happy writing! 😀

Friday Reflections: Change

This Friday’s topic: change.

Brainstorm

Before I put my thoughts into your head, go ahead and brainstorm on the topic change. Dish out as many words and phrases as possible about “change”!

Change

The word has several meanings. Perhaps the first thing you think of is the most common meaning: “to become different” (definition courtesy: Merriam-Webster). One could also be talking about petty cash. Or one could mean “change” as in, a change of clothes. You could extend the word to say changeup (like in Baseball), or even changeling.

Maybe you could create a new word compounding “change” and something else, to suit the needs of your poem or narrative!

What about common phrases or statements with the word “change”? Like “winds of change” or “be the change you want to see.” And they do say that the only constant thing is change – however much it sounds like an oxymoron.

Try writing a creative piece (poem, short story, anything!) that takes one such cliché phrase and gives it a fresh perspective or new meaning!

You could run a google (image) search and use some of the results as prompts!

More on Change

Ten years of writing, and I still try to tackle the ideas of change and changelessness in a lot of my poems and stories. And every new writing experience offers a fresh perspective on how the world works. Perhaps it’s because the very way we write and the things we write about also change with time.

The Writer in You

One of the things you could write about is how much you may have changed as a writer/artist, across the years. If you happen to save most of your work (I do; truly unique is this experience of reading your younger self after so many years!), you could go back and review some of your oldest stuff. My time capsule letter exercises serve this purpose: my changes as a writer become clear to me.

Depending on how far back you go, there may be obvious external changes while drawing comparisons between then and now– in your handwriting (the difference was…too great, in my case) or grammar. Your style may have changed significantly. The themes you cover in your writing may have changed. What had you given importance to then? What do you give importance to now?

Your preference in writing forms and genres may have also changed! Perhaps you use different literary devices now compared to then!

Obviously, we also experience change on a psychological level.

What had you expected of yourself as a writer all those years ago? What drove you as a writer in the beginning? Is your motivation the same?

Of course, we change not only as writers, but as people.

Are there things about yourself you wish wouldn’t change, even five, ten, or twenty years from now?

Perhaps, on the contrary–there is something in yourself that you wish desperately to change?

Don’t forget to explore the reasons behind all of your answers!

The Changing World

Apart from reading and writing, writers constantly have to observe the world around them. Great literature has acted as a mirror, faithfully reflecting the way the world worked; it has also acted like a lamp (think M. H. Abrams’ The Mirror and the Lamp) – as Wikipedia says:

In a powerful contrast, Abrams shows that until the Romantics, literature was usually understood as a mirror, reflecting the real world, in some kind of mimesis; but for the Romantics, writing was more like a lamp: the light of the writer’s inner soul spilled out to illuminate the world.

How does your writing reflect the world around you? How do you capture the changing world, or perhaps the changeless world, in your work?

Happy Writing!

Before I close, I’ll just share a link to this blog post, in which Mr. Brewer questions what it means to be a writer in this day and age. The publishing industry has changed drastically over the past decade thanks to the ebook revolution; being “published” has a whole new meaning, now. So these changes within our field of work are something else you could journal about!

With that, I’ll sign off! Happy writing, folks~ 🙂