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Be Creative! Projects : Brickstorming Creative Writing Exercise


Brickstorming: A Creative Writing Exercise

What would you write on your legacy brick?

Brickstorming Testimonial
"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 issue after issue.

"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!"

Dawn Goldberg
Chief Writing Officer
Write Well U
January 10, 2010

By Chris Dunmire

After creatively crafting a playful message on a brick for a Celebration Garden, I wondered how challenging it might be for others to write a legacy brick message of their own using the same limitations I had from the brick engraving company. The message had to be contained within 3 lines with 14 characters each (spaces and punctuation counted). As you can see from the image above, here's what I wrote on my brick:


What would you write on your own legacy brick if you had the chance? Want to give it a try? Read on for my creative writing exercise and get ready to brainstorm, er, brickstorm.


Creative Writing Brickstorming Exercise (Hypothetical)

A world museum is creating an exhibit of "wisdom bricks" featuring unique quotes and bits of wisdom from 1,000 people from all over the world. You've been chosen as one of the people to participate in this legacy-making exhibit — you get to make your mark! What will you impart to future generations?

The brick engraving company has some parameters: Your message must be contained within 3 lines with 14 characters each (spaces and punctuation count). Using the template below (download and print), write your legacy brick.

Creativity Tips:

Less is more? More is less? Do you have to use all the spaces? What about limiting 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.)

What You'll Learn:

Sometimes set parameters or limitations in our creative 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?

The NEXT Creative Step...

What else can you do with engraved messages on bricks? With emoticons and letters? •

© Chris Dunmire 2009. All rights reserved.

DunmireArtist and humorist Chris Dunmire inspires others through many imaginary things. More at

Updated 12/20/13