So, yesterday I was speaking to my father about life experiences and writing. He proposed that I complete the task which he found to be the most useful writing aid that he has ever encountered. He explained it to me and I jumped to the idea, realising the wealth of poetic-prompts and potential short story characters which this task provided. May I present to you, The Experience List.
Step 1. Write down every skill/job you have ever done in your life.
Anything. If you once cut a friend’s hair for a joke, write that you are a hairdresser. If you once fixed a hole in your dress, write that you are a seamstress. Because if you’ve tried something once, and someone has never done it at all, then you are an expert at that skill compared to them. Add everything from the paper round you did when you were 12, to your current career. We are all chefs and professional dreamers.
Step 2. Write down every place you have ever lived and visited.
All of your addresses, the place you lived at when you were 2 months old and don’t remember to university halls to your first apartment. And all your holidays, day trips, school trips, work trips, national and international. Write them all down in a list, next to your skills/jobs list.
This is your personal Experience List.
This is everything you have experienced in your life, spread across several pages of A4.
And this list provides so many possibilities for your own writing. The Professional Heartbreaker from Bristol. The Shallot-Peeler from Manchester. The Gardener from Republica Dominicana. The Glove-Mender from Paris. So many possibilities, so much potential, all stemmed from your own magical and precious life.