Friday, 29 January 2016

Book Review | 642 Things To Write About Me

Last month I treated myself to a copy of the creative writing journal 642 Things To Write About Me, and I've been looking forward to telling you guys all about it ever since. It's a book which I think you're going to love as much as I do if you enjoy creative writing, and also if you're a lifestyle blogger who likes to share a lot of personal posts about yourself with your readers.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know how much I love the Things To Write books. I've blogged about them so many times! I own the three other books in the series that are aimed at adults, and I've lost count of how many hours I've spent happily writing away in them. The number grows by the day. I enjoy these books so much that I was excited to hear that a new book was joining the collection. Amazon had the release date down as March, so I was amazed and excited to stumble up on it last month when I was Christmas shopping in Waterstones. I bought it there and then, and left a happy little camper.

So, like the other books, 642 Things To Write About Me is filled with hundreds of fun and inspiring creative writing prompts that should challenge your creativity and writing skills whether you're new to creative writing or an old pro.

You don't need to be blessed with a wild imagination to work your way through this book because unlike the others books in the series, every prompt in 642 Things To Write About Me is personal. Every single one is about you. You; your life, your memories, your dreams, your past, present and future, your family and friends, your thoughts and feelings, your hobbies and interests, your experiences and milestones... every little aspect of life you can possibly imagine has been covered- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Unlike most creative writing work books, almost all of the prompts are non-fiction, but there are a few fiction tasks mixed in for good measure that ask you to imagine what you would do in certain situations or how your life could be different if you hadn't done x, y, and z.

These are some of my favourite prompts from the book:

Name the person in life who's least like you. How did you meet? What kept you bonded?
Was there a moment when you began to accept a part of your body that you had never liked before?
What's the nicest compliment anyone's given you?
What job would you have been most suited to 400 years ago?
How did the way your parents felt about their bodies or physicality affect you and how you feel about your body and physicality?
What would you put in a personal time capsule and how do they represent your life?
Imagine someone describing you to a blind person. How would they paint a non visual portrait of you?
List five favourite songs. Describe what you were doing when you became hooked on each one.
What's the meanest thing a stranger has ever said to you? How did you react?
If you could go back to one moment in your life and live there for the rest of your life, what moment would it be?
What was on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
What mistake would you gladly make all over again?
What do you do when noone's looking?
Write about an evening at your home from the perspective of your cat.
Describe the outfit that is most characteristically you and why.
The entire book is filled with fantastic thought-provoking prompts like these and all kinds of other fun, interesting ideas which should keep even the most eager writer busy for months or even years.You can work through them from front to back or choose prompts at random, it's totally up to you. You're free to work at your own pace, by your own rules.

The great thing about this book is that it gives you plenty of room to complete each task in the book, so there's no need for a separate notebook. All you need is a pen or a pencil, and your imagination. With one to four prompts per page on plain or lined good quality white paper, there isn't room to write lengthy memoirs, and answers need to be fairly brief, but this also means that each task can be completed in a relatively short space of time. It's a great book for creative writer's who don't have a lot of time to spare for writing because many of the prompts could be finished in minutes, and you can pick up the book and complete one or two whenever you have a spare five minutes- say on your coffee break or commute to work.

I find that the biggest challenge I get from this book is writing about myself. They say that to write well, we should write what we know, but it isn't always easy to think back to the past and write about certain parts of our lives or expose our personal thoughts and feelings on paper for all to see. (Says the blogger)! That said, it's really fun to work on and a good learning curve, and it would be an interesting read for family to discover in a box in fifty years

I also think 642 Things To Write About Me can be a fantastic source of inspiration for lifestyle bloggers, as there are so many interesting and unique prompts that would translate well in the blogging world, including many about fashion and body image!

As somebody who has enjoyed creative writing ever since I learned to write, I bloody love 642 Things To Write About Me! I've barely gone a day without writing in it since I bought it last month! The Things To Write books are the ultimate creative writing companions- no other books come close, and in my opinion, every creative writer needs at least one of them in their writing arsenal.

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1 comment

  1. These books always look so fun, I really need to buy one sometime! Also this one appeals as its non-fiction, creative writing has never been a strong point for me!


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