“…if the imagination is to transcend and transform experience it has to question, to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at that moment. You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate; nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is renaming.” – Rich
Based on this idea, I’d like everyone to re-imagine their essay as a means of opening up possibilities.
1. Think about what words you could use to sum up the major theme of you essay. What is it fundamentally about in a word or two? For example, is your essay at its core about fear, grief, love, hate, success, failure, etc? Alternatively, if you don’t feel like your essay has a central theme, you might try to identify what the main argument is.
2. Try to decide what the opposite theme or argument would be.
3. Suspend disbelief for a moment and try doing some freewriting imagining that your essay is about this opposite theme.
4. Look over what you just wrote and see if there’s a way that you can qualify it to make it actually true. So, whereas in the last step you were pretending that your essay was about something completely different, now I want you to see if you stumbled upon some kind of seemingly contradictory truth that you could incorporate into your essay to complicate things in interesting ways.