Today’s 5 Minute Writing Warm Up was one of my favorite sorts of writing: contemplative, “looking out the window” writing. It is quite simple and so effective it is ridiculously fun.
You might be able to note that since today I was inspired by… a garbage truck. When was the last time you were inspired by a garbage truck? Try this out today – look out the window and write what you see. Set your timer for five minutes and then allow your words to flow out without forethought, planning or editing.
This will prepare you to do your “serious writing” by warming up and stretching your “writing muscle.”
For now, enjoy the reverie of the graceful dancing and figure skater-like prowess of… The Garbage Truck on Alta Vista Drive:
I watch through the leaves of the mulberry tree, the hum of the garbage truck gets closer. Once it is in view, I notice it is a new garbage truck. Its arm works the same as always, reaching out, grasping the green garbage can, lifting it up and over and upside down.
Like a figure skater as far as grace in construction but much more squat and utilitarian.
The truck moves along down the street to repeat its movement over and over and over all.day.long.
No wonder it’s graceful.
We learn and grow and improve through repetition, however tedious and tiresome that may seem.
Yesterday we ended our opening weekend for the One Act Festival I am participating in and when I left I was exhausted and thrilled to be done for a few days and sad, too. I have been away from theater for more than eighteen-months and didn’t necessarily want to return, but I take it all with great seriousness and love.
When I leave the stage, it is with the awareness I may not return.
I get frustrated with the tediousness as well, but I also know, as I said to Lee yesterday, “I really know my lines and I know them well… and now that I trust this to be true, it is amazing how fluid and fun it is!”
I wonder if the garbage truck driver believes it to be fluid and fun to grab and lift yet another trashcan?
When I was a little girl I used to be afraid of the swarms of men who would leap off the trash truck and rush up the hill to fetch the three or four garbage cans that lived alongside our house on the north side: metal cans that seemed huge to a preschooler. I vaguely recall loud clanking lids.
Our window in the corner of our living room and a favored place to play was on the inside of where the trash cans waited outside our side door. The house was elevated so that the first floor windows were at the perfect height so that the trash men would appear as strange disembodied floating heads early on Monday mornings right beside where I would be playing alone or with John after our older siblings left for school.
I am sure I probably got very emotional and loud and was probably an amusement to the trash collectors when I screamed in fright when their disembodied heads suddenly appeared right at my window unexpectedly even though it happened every week, the same way.
It is a marvel – and sort of sad – that those three or four men are now replaced by one person driving the truck using the mechanical arm that does a marvelous interpretation of a figure skater, only now in taking the time to write for five minutes about it – my views have shifted and changed and morphed and appreciate the renewed view, the metaphors and the warm up of language this practice brings.
= – = – =
Today I am choosing to remember moments of love and focus on creating more of them.
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people’s creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in soon!
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session or to request she speak at your next event, call or text her at 661.444.2735