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New Year's Pick & Mix

Hello, Happy New Year, and welcome back to Thursday Pick & Mix, your low-pressure, just-for-fun creativity kickstart.


(1911) W.H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

Yes, you are allowed to snigger at the squirrels and their nuts, but only if you also absorb the meaning of the poem, which is beautiful regardless of any inadvertant double entendre. What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to write - just for ourselves? Not much of a life, is the answer. So finish slinging your Christmas jumpers in the wash, rinse the glitter from your hands - and let's write.

The Rules:

You own the next ten minutes. Set your timer, pick up your pen or open up your word processing programme, and look at the inviting blank page with anticipation.

Pick a prompt, any prompt - or two, or three - or, if something else occurs to you, go with that instead. Whatever makes you want to write.

Don't waste your imaginative energy editing or revising what you're writing. Put your palm or a piece of paper over the lines as you write them, or set your font to the same colour as the page so that it's invisible. Who cares about spelling, grammar, awkward phrases, punctuation or typos? This is just for fun.

When you've finished, save your work, close your notebook, and walk away. You don't need to re-read this writing, assess it, fix it. That's not what it's for. It's about joy, not results. Come back later, much later... and only if you want to.

The Prompts:



"There is a monster in the forest," whispered the trees.

Write like the wind! I wish you joy.

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