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Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits

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Need a Spark of Creativity? Try Annie Dillard’s Method.

June 7th, 2016

Episode 285 of 401 episodes

Of a period where she was working on a difficult book, writer Annie Dillard recalled: “Some days I read part of any anthology’s index of first lines. The parallels sounded strong and suggestive. They could set me off, perhaps.” –Annie Dillard, The Writing Life I thought this sounded like a great idea to spark creativity — loose associations, unexpected juxtapositions, suggestions of thoughts ready to be completed. For instance, here are the entries under the letter “I” in the “Alphabetical List of Titles and First Lines” from English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology. I arise from dreams of thee I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers I had a dream, which was not all a dream I met a traveller from an antique land Indian Serenade, The In London, September 1802 In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy Introduction (Songs of Experience) Introduction (Songs of Innocence) In Xanadu did Kubla Khan Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil I saw a chapel all of gold It is an ancient Mariner It keeps eternal whisperings around I travelled among unknown men It seems a day I wandered lonely as a cloud I wnated thro’ each charter’d street I was angry with my friend I weep for Adonais–he is dead! I went to the Garden of Love This list sent my mind racing — ... The post Need a Spark of Creativity? Try Annie Dillard’s Method. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

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