Monday, November 02, 2009

weekly writing coach: mash it!

 It's always easier to practice on someone else's writing if you want to learn editing. But the same may be true if you want to stretch your creativity. This week, try finding some content in the public domain and use it as the basis for a writing project. This great post from the Mashable! blog offers you ideas for how to mashup public-domain content to create new works of all kinds, from photos to tweets. The author notes:
Creativity is a skill. You want to be creative? Read a lot, write a lot, and edit more. Public domain material gives you an excellent starting point....And when you’re done, there is nothing stopping you from, say, taking The Picture Of Dorian Gray, editing it down into 140 character bursts, and tweeting it. Or if you want to re-cut Duck And Cover featuring Burt The Turtle or make a soundboard, go for it. It’s the practice of doing this that will get you ready to produce better work of your own.
So do it. You can find lots of public-domain material to download on Amazon, Google, the Library of Congress and other sites. Choose one free item and edit, rewrite or otherwise mash it up to make it something unique. Then take the time to figure out what ideas that process gave you for your own work. New angles? New formats? A respite from that pile of assignments awaiting you?

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