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Roberta AllenOn my Resources page I’ve listed one of my favorite books to work with, The Playful Way to Serious Writing by Roberta Allen, a creativity coach and a writing instructor. I’ve done practically all the exercise from that book. They’re scattered in spiral tablets all over the place in my little library. I recently realized I’d missed a similar book she’d done, The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself, so I bought it. This is what Amazon has to say about it:

The Playtful Way to Knowing YourselfWith The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself, the creativity coach Roberta Allen at last reveals a practical method for changing, or simply enhancing, the way you look at yourself — and others. Employing her signature combination of verbal directives and visual cues, Allen has created a dynamic workbook that prompts you to look at yourself from angles and perspectives you would not otherwise see. When traditional barriers are broken down through these refreshing, unpretentious, and gently probing exercises, the results can range from subtle to astonishing. At the very least, you will get surprising glimpses of yourself. At best, you will have deep insights that lead you to action or to accepting yourself just as you are. Allen’s “playful way” approach has elicited praise from all corners — from graduate school professors to best-selling authors to therapists to high school teachers to hundreds of former students. Whether used as a journal or a keepsake or a serious self-help tool, The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself will take you on a delightful, illuminating, and inevitably fulfilling personal journey. In the end you will know yourself better than ever before.

Now that I have the book, I’m going to tackle it head on, and I wanted to invite anyone who’d like to explore Allen’s “energized” way of writing to come along on their own excavational journey. I’ll be posting the exercises (in my own words so I don’t get in trouble!) on Thursdays and posting my own response on Tuesdays. That’ll give me a weekend to mess with it. Please feel free to “play” with me. If you post something from an exercise, just leave a pingback so other’s can read what you’ve written.

There are no right or wrong answers, btw. This is all about YOU and ME and everyone of us is different. There are some loosening up exercises in the first of the book that are basically just lists to be referred back to later in the text. I’m including them below so you can get them out of the way if you’re interested in playing along. If you do, have fun! I will put my list up later today. How candid you want to be is certainly up to you. You may not even wish to post yours (or leave some of them out), and that’s perfectly fine. But here they are to get you started.

If you were asked to choose seven words to describe yourself, what would they be?

If you were asked to choose seven objects that have meaning for you, what objects would you choose?

If you were asked to choose seven colors that have meaning for you, what colors would you choose?

If you were asked to choose seven places that have meaning for you, what places would you choose?