Quick Fix Series: From the Heart

This writing activity gives me a warm glow. I love that it comes from a place of happiness. In amongst the day-to-day, it feels important to celebrate the many wonderful things life has to offer. This activity helps me to pause, put the chaos of daily life to one side and focus on those happy things.

Follow the steps below and by the end you’ll have created your own poem.

Here’s what you do:

1. Write a list of ten things you like/love

2. Choose one item from your list

3. ‘Free flow’ your thoughts & ideas

4. Use your ‘free flow’ notes to create a list poem*

Write a list of ten things you like/love 

Without thinking too long and hard about it, jot down a list of ten likes or loves. They can be anything from sunny days to the people you most care about. This isn’t meant to be a top ten. No one else needs to see your list, so don’t worry if you haven’t included all your family and friends. In fact, it will work better if you choose a range of things. If you’ve done this activity before, then write a new list and try to include some different likes or loves.

Sometimes your list might be made up of single words or short phrases. At other times, you may feel like writing longer descriptions. Here are a couple of example lists:

Choose one item from your list 

Once you’ve written your list, read through it and choose just one item. Go with the one that most resonates with you, or ‘calls’ to you, in that moment. It will be the inspiration for your final piece of creative writing. 

‘Free flow’ your thoughts & ideas 

Now, spend a few moments thinking about your chosen item and what it means to you. How does it make you feel? What do your senses tell you? (Think about the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures the item evokes). Are there particular words or phrases that you associate with your item? Write down anything you can think of about the item you have chosen. 

Use your ‘free flow’ notes to create a list poem

Look back over your notes. Are there any phrases or ideas that seem particularly significant to you? Do any of them neatly sum up how you feel about your chosen item or offer an interesting twist on the subject? Find something in your notes that stands out to you as important. Then, write it at the bottom of a new page – this is the final line of your list poem. 

Now look back over your ‘free flow’ notes again and pick out any phrases or ideas that could be placed before your final line. Perhaps they are particularly relevant to it or they could help build up to it. Play around with their order. Add in new phrases or words and tweak existing ones. 

When you have arranged your lines in a way that you feel comfortable with, you will have created a list poem. Read it over. Do you like the way it flows? If there are any lines that don’t feel quite right, have a think about words that could be changed, added or removed. Or you might want to leave your poem exactly as it is. Congratulations! You have nourished yourself with a creative activity today.

Inspired by the phrase ‘My Girl’:

Inspired by the phrase ‘Road Trip’:

What next?

Explore my Write to Relax series for more writing prompts and inspiration.

*What is a list poem?

This form of poetry involves creating a list of things that all relate to a chosen topic. The items on the list can be anything from objects or people, to feelings or ideas. The list builds until it reaches an item that is particularly significant – one that might be poignant, amusing or thought-provoking. A list poem can be written as a straightforward list or it can be woven into a pattern that reads more like a story.

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