For this week’s writing prompt, I’m going to ask you to let go of your ‘home comforts’ (yes, in keeping with the National Poetry Day theme of ‘home’). What do I mean by that and what does the blog title signify? Well, the answers are to push/break free from your usual boundaries with the result that you may feel as though you are left on a surface as fragile/transparent/vulnerable as glass. (If it does, remember that most glass these days is reinforced and stronger than we often think!)

To give you a concrete example – inspired by many of the excellent performance poets I have heard this week, I decided to challenge myself to give performance poetry a try; writing and performing my own poem on the NPD theme of ‘home’.

So if you normally write short stories, why don’t you try a poem? If you have a tendency to use the first person (I), trying writing in the third person (he/she) or focussing on a piece using ‘you’. If you’re a poet, try using a form you’ve never written in before – or a piece for performance. If you’re a performance poet, how about writing for the page?

One of the important parts of this prompt is that in order to do it, you need to first identify a common (perhaps over-used/stale/formulaic?) aspect of your work, in order to break free from it. When it comes to tackling your new ‘type/’style’’ of writing, if you need further inspiration, then try using the blog title ‘breaking glass’ as an additional spur phrase for ideas. But remember that breaking glass can be painful -don’t continue if you find yourself so far out of your comfort zone that it cuts!

Hands up, at this point, I will admit that my own boundary breaking was to the extent of writing and performing my piece for video – not in public. It’s probably a piece I will never share. But breaking free of one’s usual boundaries and being brave enough to experiment are an important part of creativity – and stopping things from becoming stale, clichéd or formulaic. Plus, I found watching myself perform a piece on video was– just like listening to my poems read aloud – a useful learning tool in terms of noticing inflections of tone etc that I might want to replicate – or avoid – on the page.

So whatever your boundary is, instead of being penned in by it, see what you can make it do for you!