by Marady Owens

Although I find almost everything in life inspires me, from books to movies to real-life experiences, one of my favourite ways to develop new creative writing ideas is a little game I call Shuffle.

Though I am an avid collector of both CDs and vinyl records, I must admit to being the proud owner of an iPod. How amazing it is that one can store so many songs from so many different artists on such a small device. When I am stuck for a story idea - or even if I'm not stuck and simply just want to add a few extra elements to a current project - I simply turn on my iPod and press "Shuffle".

I listen to the first thirty seconds of each song, writing down three words or phrases that catch my attention. I continue doing this from song to song until I feel I have a sufficient amount of creative fodder to work with.

Such words and phrases I write down may be names of people or places, words that stand out from the rest of the lyrics - like "goldfish bowl" - or even entire sentences.

I have enriched my writing projects using this method of inspiration and use it whenever I feel stuck or yearn for an extra boost of motivation.

Hopefully in sharing this with you I have inspired your creative juices to get flowing and maybe, just maybe, playing the Shuffle game will work for you too.

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