Be Creative! Fun : Brickstorming Writing Exercise

Be Creative! Writing Exercise


What will you write on your legacy brick?

By Chris Dunmire | Updated 9/6/15

After I had the creative opportunity to write a playful message on a brick for a Celebration Garden in my community, I wondered how challenging others would find the idea of writing a legacy brick message of their own with the same limitations I had from the brick engraving company.

Want to try? Let's do some brick storming! Your message has to be contained within 3 lines with 14 characters each (spaces and punctuation count). Look familiar? Now you know where Twitter got its inspiration!

As you can see from my humor brick above, here's what I wrote:


What will you write on your own legacy brick? Let's make this a fun activity. Get ready to brainstorm, er, brickstorm!

Brickstorming: 21st Century Wisdom Bricks Writing Exercise

Brickstorming TemplateA prestigious museum is creating an entirely new wing/exhibit out of 21st Century "wisdom bricks" featuring unique quotes and bits of wisdom from 10 million people from all over the world. You've been chosen as a participant in this legacy-making exhibit — you get to make your mark! What will you state for the cause and impart to future generations?

The brick engraving company has parameters you must follow in order to fit your message onto the brick. Your message must be contained within 3 lines with 14 characters each (spaces and punctuation count). What will you write?

Download and print the brickstorming template to write your legacy brick (PDF 136 KB, 1 page).


What did you learn? That less is more? More is less? Did you have to use all the spaces? Did you limit yourself to one or two lines instead of three? Can you do something fun with your initials like I did in my "1 BRICK FROM THE TON THAT HIT ME — C:D" example above? (I made a two-way emoticon smiley face by putting a colon in between the C and D.)

Sometimes set parameters and limitations in our projects can provide us with some surprising results. What did you notice about yourself when you worked with the challenge of crafting a meaningful message with limited characters and spaces? How can this translate into a writing project with a specific word count? An art project on a small canvas? A craft project for tiny hands? What else can you do with engraved messages on bricks? With emoticons and letters?

Dawn Goldberg, chief writing officer at Write Well U really liked this activity and asked for permission to publish it in a book. She writes:

"I'm a long-time fan of Chris Dunmire and Creativity Portal. As a writer, coach, and trainer, I've been researching creativity and how people process information for years. There isn't just one way to be creative; there are countless ways. And that's what Chris and Creativity Portal bring to the world.

"When I saw the Brickstorming creative strategy, I knew it would be perfect for my Ready, Set, Write Toolbox, an 87-page manual covering creativity and 46-and-counting strategies to help people create, whether it's for writing, art, or any creative pursuit.

"I'm so thrilled to add Chris's Brickstorming strategy to the Ready, Set, Write class and manual. We're all better off for it!"

© Chris Dunmire 2009, 2015. All rights reserved.

ChrisChris Dunmire is the founder of the award-winning Creativity Portal community. She's studied creativity coaching with Eric Maisel, PhD, and Kaizen-Muse founder Jill Badonsky, MEd, and inspires artists, writers, and creatives at every level to find and express their unique voice. More »
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