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ENLARGE THE FIRE: A Writing Exercise from The Write Time

February 26, 2010

Canassatego, the 18th-century chief of the Onondaga people, was a man greatly admired by Benjamin Franklin. His Haudenosaunee principles of governance created the framework for the U.S. Constitution (despite what our U.S. history textbooks claim!. He said, “You said you would enlarge the fire…add more fuel to make it brighter.”

Let us enlarge our passion and fire for writing today by adding fuel, giving us more to write about. Look around you and find something in your home, office, study or yard that you have never described in writing. Or, if that doesn’t work, grab a book off your bookshelf and read a few pages, prompting your mind beforehand to be ready to jump at the first idea, insight or experience that grabs it.

For the next hour, enlarge the fire. Write it out. Use your life experience as the fuel to breathe expression, substance and perspective into the journal entry, story or essay. Build and build until your piece has the energy of a bonfire.

If you’d like all 366 exercises at once, order The Write Time — and be sure to enter The Write Time Writing Contest and have a chance at some of the $500 in total prize money, plus publishing options!

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