Though the ways we celebrate may look a little different at the moment, there are still ways we can share in celebration.
Whether it’s a little ritual after a job well done or a big party when we reach milestones, we all have our own ways of celebrating. This writing exercise is a way to write your own celebration methods in functional writing. Functional writing is writing that serves a practical purpose, such as recipes, adverts or instruction manuals.
Your piece could be a to-do list of actions you do leading up to a celebration, a map of all the places you’ve celebrated or a recipe noting the ingredients needed to celebrate your way. Whichever way you want to celebrate, we want to hear about it.
Warm up: Objects
Look at the space around you and consider the objects that you can see. Think of the function of these objects. What do you use them for? When you are ready, write a list of 10 objects and note what their functions are. You can do this in a purely practical sense or add some personality to the objects. When you have listed 10 objects and their functions, think of the functions of objects that are not near you currently. Write 5 more objects and functions down.
A pen – for writing a great story.
A cup of tea – for drinking when I can’t think of what to write.
Brainstorm: Sensory celebration
Think of a moment in your life that was celebratory. This could be as simple as making a train you thought you were going to miss, brewing an exceptional cup of tea or finding your perfect item on sale. It could be a moment that was personally huge like a wedding or globally significant like the Moon landing.
When you’ve decided on your moment, write a list of all the sensory aspects you can remember of that celebration. How did you feel? What could you smell, see, taste or touch? Think of who else was in the room. What colours could you see? Was it loud or quiet? Be as thorough as possible.
Write a recipe of the ingredients needed to celebrate. This could be an actual recipe for a birthday cake or special meal, or a list of items or people always needed to celebrate your way. Write how you bring all of these things together to create something special. Remember that recipes need specific instructions.
e.g. Now add the pinch of the unexpected. Fold it through the mix of planning and excitement until fully amalgamated.
For inspiration, have a look at these two opposing relationship recipes(this will open in a new window) from the Blue Horizon Counselling and Mediation website.
Write an invitation for a celebration. You can include time, date, location, dress code or any other features that you like. This could be an invitation to a special moment in history or a personal moment in your life.
For inspiration, have a look at some of the most inventive wedding invitations(this will open in a new window) ever!
Lonely hearts advert
Write a lonely hearts style advert for a person you would like to celebrate with.
For inspiration, remember the lyrics from Escape by Rupert Holmes, they are very specific and about attitude rather than looks:
If you like piña coladas
And gettin' caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like makin' love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for
Write to me and escape
Write directions to showcase a journey you have been on, which you’d like to celebrate. This could be capturing key moments during a relationship or practically documenting interactions that took place across a space.
e.g. Start your relationship in Glasgow, where you first met. Walk 2 years down the road to 123 Book Street, the first flat you shared together. Take a left after you get the cat.
You could also draw this as an annotated map or you could map the most significant places for your relationship on google maps and tell the story that way.