Use Recycled Greetings as Upcycled Prompts
Before tossing those holiday cards, let’s recycle them to use as writing prompts. There are many ways to use the cards. Here are three that produce quick results. First, tear the card covers off and make a deck out of the cards. Choose one to write a theme, Second, take a card from the deck and describe the scene found in the image and write it in your journal. Finally, choose three to five cards and make a word bank to do a quick write. Let’s look at the benefits each prompt writing session can bear.
Pick a Theme from Deck
You remember themes from grade school, right? They are five-point essays, which have an introductory paragraph, three supporting paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. This structure is comforting to some folks. Pick a card, then write about 500 words on the metaphor from the image or message on the cover. For example, an image of Santa holding a decorated and lit tree with a bag of toys might convey traditions. Then, think of at least three holiday traditions your family or town celebrates annually. Or, a birch tree with cardinals on branches and the words Comfort and Joy may invoke nature’s beauty as a theme. If you belong to a writing group, then this exercise allows you to create a piece to share in a recognized format.
Write a Journal Entry on Card’s Scene
A snowy town with people shopping or a sleepy mouse resting in a bow of a present are both whimsical images. Picking a drawing on a card and writing about what is going on in the scene helps build a story. If you are ambitious, think about what happened just before or just after the scene in the card. Write that description as a journal entry. When everything else seems too difficult, this is a very quick way to get into flow.
Choose Words for Word Bank Quick-Write
Take a quick look over the cards and choose 10-12 words for a word bank. Make sure that the words are vivid. The words from my stack include: merry, bright, believe, magic, Christmas, savior, gift, adore, happy, silent, night, snow. If you kept the inside of the card, see what juicy words or phrases are offered. Then, pull out your journal and set a timer for 15 minutes and write an entry or a children’s tale. Use all or most of the words. It is a quick way to get ideas for other stories, poems, plays, and even novels.
Pulling It Together with Greeting Cards
Try one, two, or all three of these exercises. Combine them to create longer pieces. Most of all, extend the joy of the holiday season while writing!
Here’s to growing your flow,