Day 14 – Playing with words is a great way to build creative confidence

play with words

play with words

Day 14 – Playing with words is a great way to build creative confidence

My husband and I were hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park many years ago. As we descended a steep trail from above the tree line down into the pine forest, we began to play with words. The scenery is stunning and the different shades of brown and green became a bit daunting when we began attempting poetic descriptions that captured the natural glory. We soon exhausted our vocabulary of words for green – verdant, jade, fern, yellowy-green, bluish-green, olive, apple, asparagus, mint, lime… neither of us have ever forgotten the silliness or joy of that hike. Here is a picture from a hike we took last week, look at the difference in the shades of green from the grass to the trees.

playing with words

That colorful hike was probably 20 years ago, before we had iPhones and Google searches at our fingertips, which was most likely a good thing for building creative confidence! It forced us to rely on our own knowledge and think creatively! Hiking or walking on the beach always inspire me to write, creative thoughts seem to flow more freely when I am out in nature! Sometimes the adjectives come later but that’s what editing is about. The first lesson in becoming a more creative writer is to pay attention to the world around you. A couple of days ago, I asked you to play with color using crayons or pencils, today I want you to do a similar exercise but using words to play with colors.

Lesson 14 – Playing with Words

Today’s lesson in building creative confidence is to encourage you to play with words about color! For the past several posts, I have been talking about playing with crayons, watercolors and playdough. Today, I want you to work with words.

Here are two different suggestions on how to do play with words related to color:

  1. Pick your favorite room in your house and make a list of all the colors you see. In my bedroom, the bedspread is at least 5 shades of blue and gray, from silver to a blue like a pale ocean blue under a cloudy sky. Really look at the colors and be as creative as you can. What can you compare the colors to? Are their clashing or contrasting colors? Pull out your color wheel and see if you are using primary, secondary or tertiary colors. Are they warm or cold? Are they complementary? What can you say about the colors in the room. Write until you cannot think of anything else to say!
  2. Find a favorite spot and describe what you see in as much detail as possible, from the blade of grass beneath your feet to the shades of blue in the sky overhead. Think about what you see, smell, hear. Look at the texture and patterns. Write until you have described everything within your line of sight.

Happy writing!

Posted in


  1. Kathy Hadley on July 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

    This sounds like fun. I have learned many new “color” words over the years.

    I’ll have google with me to help with finding new words.




    • minette on July 14, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Happy coloring Kathy! It’s almost as much fun to color with words as it is with crayons.

  2. Sheri Kaye Hoff on July 14, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Hi Dr. Minette,
    Wonderful idea to use words to describe color- One of my favorite color words is – Azure.
    Dr. Sheri

    • minette on July 14, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Ohhh, Sheri, mine too! That and vermilion!

  3. Penny McDaniel on July 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Former English/Language Arts teacher here…what a wonderful activity to open the channels of creativity! Thank you!

    • minette on July 15, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Hi Penny, thanks for stopping by. I think once we are teachers we are always teachers! Look forward to seeing how you are sharing your teaching on your blog today!

  4. Dina Dove on July 14, 2013 at 11:06 am

    What a great suggestion. I’m sitting in ICU with a friend. And…. until you asked to pay attention to the colors in my vision path right now, I would have thought that everything in here was gray. It’s not! Thanks again. You brought color into the ICU.

    • minette on July 15, 2013 at 6:19 am

      So glad this helped you see some color, Dina. Thanks for taking time to comment. Sitting in ICU is never easy but is always important work to do.

  5. Amy on July 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I love this, Minette! What a creative idea, and it sounds like fun, too!

    • minette on July 15, 2013 at 6:18 am

      Thanks, Amy. I am sure you have fabulous creative ideas that you do with your kids, too!!

  6. Nicole on July 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Just found your blog through UBC. What a cool idea to create a challenge for building one’s creative confidence! I’m going to have to go back and read through the other posts in this series. 🙂 This sounds like fun.

    • minette on July 15, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Hi Nicole, thanks for stopping by from UBC. Have fun. I am off to check out your blog about why you should write every day. Sounds right up my alley!

Leave a Comment