Writing Exercise: Swimming Lesson

photo credit: via photopin (license)
photo credit: via photopin (license)

The following is a simple writing exercise I tried on Saturday. It’s no more than a 10 minute effort at observing my surroundings and writing them down (tapping it out in my iPhone notes). This is a 200 word attempt to really see, feel, smell, and emote with the environment around me, to be present in the moment and try to translate it into meaningful text.

There is no plot, no movement, little to no action; it is a tiny slice of life captured in a short stream of conciousness writing.

Light playing on the water, children playing in it. Dancing oscillating sparkles stretch out in a line from a point. Under the water the lines on the pool floor distort, rippling and twisting. The sound is deafening, a cacophony of voices, laughter and tears – no distinguishable words, just noise and energy. A faint chemical smell, not overpowering and not unpleasant; a clean scent of chlorine. Humid; just past comfortable; a mild annoyance.

Not particularly busy today, but most seats are taken; I sit on the floor to maximise the distance between myself and others parents. I see people I know, friends, ten or fifteen metres away. I stay where I am; I have no wish to be social, to talk. I  am enjoying my introspection.

The boy is playing, talking to the other students. I see more distracting than learning going on. He doesn’t really listen to the instructor. I’m irritated (why am we paying for this again?) and amused (I was exactly the same, probably worse).

It’s nearly over. I’m glad because I can stand up; sitting cross legged on the floor is hurting my back. I’m disappointed because I’m enjoying the solitude in this busy place.

He flicks water me.


It might not seem much but this was actually a bit of a challenge. I started easy – what could I see, what did I smell, and then tried to work into how it made me feel, what it made me remember, how I reacted to it. The aim? To learn how to really see things, and hopefully improve my writing from it.

I’m well aware that this is not that interesting; but I realised recently I’d strayed from my original purpose for this blog as a writing improvement forum. So here we are again…let’s see how long this lasts :).

On another note, a quick mea culpa. I’ve been really bad at updating, doing book reviews, writing, reading other blogs…I’ve loads of excuses, but no good reasons. I’ll do my best to correct this going forward.





Published by: wildbilbo

My name is Kristian Thoroughgood, alternately known as KT to my friends, or @WildBilbo on twitter. As of August 2015, I am forty years old. Australian. My blog is intended to be both a place for me to polish my creative writing muscles (not a double entendre) and for others to read and comment on my musings. Expect short stories, articles, essays and other brain dumps. My opinions are my own, and whilst I take care to be at least moderately informed about any topic I speak or write about, these opinions are subject to rapid change in the face of passionate arguments and greater evidence. Please note - on my blog, Evidence beats Passion.

Categories Experiment, Non-Fiction, Toolbox, Uncategorized, WritingTags, , , , , , 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Writing Exercise: Swimming Lesson”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s