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Monday, June 22, 2009

How many words is that picture worth?

I love photography almost as much as I love writing. This weekend I finally convinced my family to let me take family photos. The young ones don't care - they love to smile for the camera. But it was a feat getting the older ones to let me take their picture. But I think it's extremely important to get pictures, whether in their natural element at a party or posed.

As I was looking through these photographs last night, I actually came up with a few story ideas completely unrelated to the actual person in the photo. I remember my first creative writing teacher in college used this technique to give us a writing prompt. She had us bring in a photograph and trade with someone else. I brought in a picture of one of my Buddha statues. I think I ended up with a picture of a squirrel or something. It was one of the best prompts I had ever used.

My advice to anyone stuck in a rut with their writing is to get out of reading words on a page or from a computer screen. Immerse yourself in another medium such as photography, art, or film. It will help you to better visualize and you just may get that spark of inspiration that you need.

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