Writers often say that your brain is a bit like a muscle—the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. It’s good to give yourself some regular mental exercises to help build your creativity over time, so your poetry will keep developing and improving. (The good news is that brain exercises don’t make you ache as much as push-ups!)
A great exercise that doesn’t need any special equipment—and that you can do anywhere at any time—is to describe the color of the sky.
Sounds really simple, right?!
Well, it can be simple to begin with, but the reason this exercise works so well is because your descriptions can become more and more elaborate as your creative muscles get stronger. The idea is to make sure every description is different!
When you start, you might just be able to come up with one word at a time. Luckily, the sky is always changing, so even if you do this exercise every day, you will still have lots of different colors and moods to describe.
A bonus is that, as well as strengthening your creativity and imagination, you will also be working out your powers of observation. You will start to be able to see and pay attention to the difference between one blue sky and another; to notice when one gray seems gentle and one seems hard; to spot all the different shades of pink, orange, purple, yellow or red (or even green!) that appear; to recognize similarities to other objects.
Some of my favorite skies have been:
- The sky that was yellowish-gray like unwashed sports socks
- The sky like fields of dandelions
- The sky like the opening credits of the Simpsons
- The sky like clouded dark chocolate
- The sky that was racing away
Don’t worry if you sometimes feel like you’re stuck! That is the moment to keep searching for a description. When you find the right one you will feel like you’ve made a real breakthrough! You will find some tips on using similes and metaphors here.
If you want to write down your descriptions in a notebook so you can use them in the future you can, but the most important thing is to flex those creativity muscles, and stretch your powers of description!