As things wind down for Christmas, I’ve been having bit of fun creating a word cloud from my debut poetry collection, How to Lose Your Home & Save Your Life.
The idea came via Jo Bell – UK poet, Canal Laureate and creator of the poetry and writing blog ’52’ – who recently shared a word cloud of her forthcoming collection, ‘Kith’, on Facebook.
It’s a bit of fun but also a great way to get a fresh perspective on existing writing. The cloud allows me to see the entire collection in a snapshot – the more prominent words tell me if I’m hitting the mood and tone I’m looking for and also give me a sense of which words or literary devices I may rely on a little too heavily, eg. if the word ‘Like‘ features prominently, then it may be time to cut back on the use of simile. We all have a go-to writing toolbox and a good way to hit the refresh button on our work is to kick away a few of those verbal crutches!
What I didn’t expect – and am really enjoying – is discovering little mini poems in the juxtapositions of the cloud’s random arrangement:
– Think blue drumming words;
– Tree’s hands fold half-beat whispers;
– Old wind-eyes walk shadow morning;
– Ghost years ground skin, beginning bodies wings;
– Sea silence, speak yellow.
These conjour strange and curious images – perfect as idea prompts for new writing!
If you’d like to try this writing tip, check out word cloud creators Wordle and Tagxedo. I liked Tagxedo because it offers a choice of shapes and pretty colours PLUS whenever I changed the font, it created a completely different arrangement, with lots of new mini poems waiting to be found.
2 thoughts on “What I Learned By Turning My Writing Into A Word Cloud”
Reblogged this on Barbara O'Donnell and commented:
Interesting insights on the creative process from Angela T. Carr. Off to check out some of these myself
It’s a great way to see writing through new eyes – thanks for sharing, Barbara!