Today’s exercises you can interchange today or tomorrow, depending on what you’re doing each day.
When I was single and lived in a small house with three other girls, I had a hard time. I was trying to figure out my life, what I wanted, who I wanted, where I wanted, all those types of things. I lived with three of my best friends and we all were a little depressed and happy and scared and wore a lot of make up.
During that time we had many male visitors (well they did, mine were much more occasional but we won’t go into that) and I found a wonderful way to entertain myself and put new life into my writing.
When boys were over, I would sit in the front room where all the flirting was going on, with my laptop and tell everyone I was working on some assignment for school. No one thought twice about it.
I would open a word document and then type as fast as I could every single word I heard in those conversations. Every stammer, every awkward attempt at compliments, my roommates equally awkward acceptance or denial of the compliments, stories being told, relationships being forged etc. etc. It was hilarious and fascinating and very very very entertaining. You can learn so much about people by listening. Watching and listening.
So your assignment is to eavesdrop on a conversation. Take a notebook if a computer won’t work, and write. It can be your family members or you can go to a cafe or a bookstore. It can be fun outing tonight while your husband or sister or someone does their Christmas shopping. Go to the mall. Hang out in Hot Topic for a bit. Then make your way to Chicos. Or the MAC counter. Grab conversations.
If you do it on Sunday, take a notebook to church or to a family gathering. We all need to take more notes these days, be more aware, right?
When you are done, go back and read through the snippets of dialogue. What do you notice about speech patterns? Where is the good material? What have you learned? Then start a chapter with one of your stolen lines. Have fun.
Today I want you to write about a complicated relationship in your life. Allow yourself to just let go and write everything. Write stories, write experiences, write dialogue, write frustrations, write happinesses, write expectations, write lost expectations, write goals, write regrets, write questions, write hopes, write fantasies, write dark things, write light things, write and write and write. Don’t let anyone see it but really explore.