July 20, 2009

How is Writing Like a Flash Mob?

Let’s have a little fun this week.

Have you ever seen a flash mob in action? A flash mob is a large group of people who show up in a public place, perform an unusual act for a short period of time and then disappear—sort of like a 21st Century Chinese Fire Drill. They often dress to blend into the crowd adding to the element of surprise.

Take a look at this flash mob video, and then guess how it’s similar to writing.

Did you answer “writer’s block”? Think about it. You’re working on a novel, short story, or whatever, and suddenly—BAM!—there you are frozen in space unable to think of the next sentence. You stay that way for a while and then, just as fast, an idea comes and you’re on your way. See? Writing is like a flash mob.

Here’s another one:

How often have you been doing something ordinary when an awesome story idea pops into your head? It starts with a single voice. Before long, the voice becomes a choir. Words swirl and dance in your head. You rush to get them down on paper, and then— only then—can you go back to whatever you were doing. See? Writing is like a flash mob.

And then there’s this:

All writers, more often than not, feel like Waldo, lost in a sea of other writers, all hoping that a publisher finds them and singles them out. See? Writing is just like a flash mob!

So, here’s your writing prompt for the week: Imagine that you were chosen to organize a flash mob of writers. Where would your mob go, and what would they do?

Don’t be shy. Tell us what you think.