Jay Kirk Reveals Source of Inspiration

on May 08 in Writing by

Writers are always searching for little exercises to warm them up and give them courage to face the blank screen. My friend, Jay, was recently tapped to contribute to an upcoming anthology of nonfiction writing exercises (joining Amy Bloom, Robert Olen Butler, Jill McCorkle, Margot Livesey, Alice Mattison, and others). Jay claims that even better than a vigorous workout or a good bowel movement, this little gem helps get him ready for another super productive day of work!

Writing Exercise, by Jay Kirk

Pretend/imagine that you are a goat. You are a goat that has been separated from the rest of your goat community. You are lost in the wilderness. As you stumble through the wilderness, in your goat-like panic, you prick yourself on the thorn of a honey locust. Don’t let its name fool you: the thorns are evil, five-inch suckers, very nasty. The puncture wound is deep, and in your best, medically unprofessional assessment, lethal. You will probably bleed to death, alone, out here in the wilderness. You quickly go through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief, and come to accept your demise. Then, in your indefatigable need to express yourself, as a writer of truth, even in the hour of your own inevitable death, you find a well-nubbed twig and dip it in the puddle of your blood. What are your final words?

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