Just occasionally, in Slouch to 5k, there will be a weekly activity that directly proposes writing. This week is one such week. This writing exercise involves writing a dialogue. It’s a simple exercise that can often lead to a deeper, unexpected insight into a writing project. Please follow the format below, writing in your Project Journal, and see what emerges. Dialogues are often used as a journaling technique to give voice to parts of yourself that are currently unvoiced. In this exercise, we give a voice to the project itself. Try to do the exercise soon and not think for a long period beforehand.
1. You’re walking through the area where you live, or in a location that’s significant in your life. Start by describing the setting for a paragraph or so.
2. Now, unexpectedly, you meet your project. (NB you can imagine your project as an object or as a person.)
3. You’re allowed to ask your project a question. What do you say?
4. How does your project respond?
5. What brief conversation then unfolds? Write this out as dialogue.
6. During this conversation your project is doing something / interacting with the landscape / some aspect of their environment in some way (it may just be a small physical gesture that you observe). Build this is in at some point.
7. Continue the dialogue until both you and your project have spoken at least three or four times each.
8. After you end the conversation, return to description of the setting – landscape, buildings, features of the environment, wildlife, objects etc. You notice some element of this setting that seems either resonant, profound or poignant in some way. What is it?
After you’ve written this dialogue, write a short note to yourself: When I read through this dialogue, what I notice is…/what surprises me is… In particular, see what unexpected meaning there is to be found in the relationship/interactions between the two speakers and with their setting. At a symbolic level, what bearing might this have on how you develop your project?