One person’s rubbish is another person’s creative writing project

 On occasion, when I was working at my BIG GOVERNMENT JOB at Buffalo Harbor State Park, I was giving the task of walking the grounds of the park and picking up and discarding litter. It was a fun task. I got to take a walk all day. The litter collection turned into a few fun treasure hunts. As I was collecting the rubbish one day, I was thinking that I could write a story about the litter that I found.


That day, I found a whole bunch of liquor bottles. I also found a pair of shoes in a very large size. They looked like they could have fit Big Foot. And later on, I found one flip flop in about the same size. Poor Big Foot was having a real problem keeping possession of his footwear. Probably because he had too much to drink. It addled his brain. Well, there were all of those bottles.

And then I found a sock. Just one sock and it was very small. Definitely not big foot’s sock.

Then there was the hubcap. I was pretty startled when I found a hubcap, but there it was, looking abandoned on the trail.  Before long, I had quite a collection of rubbish. And it weighed a lot. Aha, storytelling potential and weight bearing exercise at the same time. So much fun!


So, the creative writing project. Take a walk and record the rubbish that you found along your path. You might be surprised by the things that you find.

Then choose a few of the objects (maybe three or four) and use them as props in a story. Or, if you prefer, a poem. Or a graphic novel style. Or even a journal entry. What about a technical writing style? Well, I would find that difficult but some people are very adept at it. The style of writing is definitely up to you. For my story, I would choose the very large shoes, the small sock, a bottle or two, and the hubcap. 


If you’re writing a story, you might want to brainstorm the setting, as well as characters in the story. In my story, there would be Big Foot, a bartender, and a woman with small feet. The setting would be a bar, late at night. The lights are low and the music is loud and tinny. There’s just one bartender, and he is busily refilling drinks. So now the story has a place and people, and it’s starting to come to life.

And then, sit down and create a story, using the objects that you chose as props in the story, as well as your characters and your setting. Let your imagination go, and you never know where the story will take you.

How would you create your story? 


2 thoughts on “One person’s rubbish is another person’s creative writing project”

  1. What an exciting idea!This could also be done on a hike but if no trash, find interesting objects. I'm going to see what I find when we go on our hike next time!

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