Try this writing exercise: Drip words on the canvas like Jackson Pollock

The white canvas is intimidating for any aspiring writer. It taunts us with its promise on insightful, life-changing prose. The page blank with possibility.

But what if we ignored the high-stakes proposition of writing something amazing and just go all Jackson Pollock with our words — let them drip, drip, splash and plop on the page. Instead of respecting the white page so much, what would happen if we had a greater disdain for it? What if we walk all over it with gleeful indifference, letting our thoughts trickle from our heads to the page?

So let me wet this paintbrush of creative writing and drop a few word blobs on this insignificant white canvas:

A tree once decided not to grow leaves during spring. It was chopped down for thinking different. The man that chopped it down felt no remorse. That man, his friends called him “chap.” He had very few friends, however, and so he got to hear his nickname uttered very rarely. So he would “Chap” himself instead, but mostly with harsh criticism.

“Dammit Chap!” he’d yell out whenever he mess up. And by his strict standards, this was often. His wife Caroline didn’t have to tell him off ever because Chap would snap at himself before she could. “You’re so stupid, Chap! Stupid!” he’ll yell at himself while smacking his own hairless head, having just spilled Caroline’s tea all over the dinner table.

Caroline started to suspect that poor ol’ Chap was slowly loosing his mind. Perhaps from all that self-head slapping. One day Chap slapped himself and said “…now go outside and think about what you just thought!” With sad puppy eyes miserable ol’ Chap walked out to the porch to ponder. Caroline only watched, a small grin on her face as if she’d found the whole thing entertaining.

Some say Chap is still out on that porch, pondering the offending thought he’d thought that day.

The lumber he once chopped was left unused by the fireplace. Now moldy and a little damp.

— — —

This Pollock-writing exercise felt good! Now it’s your turn.