Write Right Now (Body Language)


As Maurice Merleau-Ponty observes, “The body is our general medium for having a world.” In the medium of writing, or whichever art you prefer, try out this week’s creative prompts, focused on what is most physical, most human.

  • Describe a moment of realization that a bodyyours, someone else’s, that of a fictional characterhas changed.
  • Write a letter of gratitude to a bodily part or function that works well.
  • Write an elegy for a bodily part or function that has ceased to work as well as it once did.
  • Pick a few vehicular body parts and relate them in writing to your own body.
  • Use your non-dominant hand to perform a 5-minute handwritten free-write about your earliest memory.
  • From memory or your imagination, compose a scene in which someone’s body incites a strong reaction in someone else.
  • Give your writing some legs to stand on: use a leg idiom (or a pair!) to inspire some writing.
  • Find or have someone take a (non-selfie) picture of you, ideally in a natural and unposed state, and then describe your face in great physical detail, as literally or metaphorically as you like.
  • Using a diagram, select a part of the brain to focus on in writing. You could write an ode to its function. You could write a persona piece in the voice of the body parts or capacity that brain area controls.
  • Rather than reading your palm, read the inside of your arm at the wrist and below it. What do the lines and marks tell you about the future?

Did you miss earlier prompts lists? Here they are.

Like what you’ve written? Put it away for a week, then revisit, and revise, revise, revise. When it’s ready to go, submit. If you have feedback, or ideas for prompts, please get in touch.

Image from “Repose” by Morgan Irons.