Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots
We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and writing styles.
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At a concert. Snap. At a restaurant. Snap. Watching the sun set. Snap. These days, everything feels like a Kodak moment. What happens when you stop taking pictures, and use words to capture a moment instead?
During an early-morning commute last week, I found myself at the train station enamored by a group of birds chirping along a telephone wire. As I paused to appreciate the warm, late fall air coupled with the glint of pink sun creating a series of beautiful silhouettes of the sing-song birds, I noticed myself reaching for my pocket in search of my phone. “I need a picture of this. Better yet, a video,” I thought to myself.
For some reason, I stopped. It suddenly felt like a cop out. Rather than savoring the beauty of this simple morning, I wanted to save it, store it, and revisit it later by taking a picture. With the ubiquitousness of cameras and, more importantly, camera phones, it’s suddenly become much easier to snap a picture and process the moment later.
In the early days of photography, it took hours for enough light to shine through on the light-sensitive paper to leave a remnant of the image being captured. Fast-forwarding past the 1950s, Kodak, color film, and disposable cameras, we’ve moved into iPhoneography and the uncanny ability to snap a picture wherever we go at the tap of a virtual button. How has the ability to capture a moment at any point in time affected our ability to write about these ephemeral moments?
This week, I challenge you to mark your phone as off limits. Instead, the next time you reach to take a photograph, pull out your trusty notebook, open your favorite note-taking tool, or fire up the WordPress app. Rather than giving into the urge to take a picture, write down your impressions of the scene. Who’s around? How does the air feel? What sounds do you hear? What emotions are you experiencing?
Using words only, take a snapshot of the experience. We’re looking forward to reading your imaginative scenes, sans photographs!