Writing by association

Hi everyone,

For years in my talks I’ve described how to use a method of association to help kids find things to write about. Write a single word on a piece of paper and below it make a list of nine other words and phrases you associate with it.

Choose something from the list and use it to start a second list.

When you have ten or so items on your second list, choose one of them and start a third list.

At this point, and probably in only a few minutes, you should have about 30 potential ideas to get you started writing a poem, story, or perhaps a nonfiction narrative. And it starts with one word.

I’ve decided to put this method to work. I’m going to show you what I’m doing as I do it so we can all see where it goes. Then I intend to choose an item from the total and write something inspired by it.

Try it with me if you’d like to. Who knows what might spring from the exercise. The word I’m going to use is FROG. Tomorrow I’ll post the first list. You can use FROG to make up your own.