Alicia says that voice begins with worldview and ends with word choice. Today's exercise gives you a chance to reflect on your worldview in a simple, black-and-white manner.
Use a kitchen timer so that you don't dawdle over this one. It can be very tempting to dwell and ponder and explore trains of thought, but this is just an exercise. The end result should be a bit of enhanced clarity of your personal worldview.
Take a pad of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of the page. On the top of one column, write "Yes." On top of the other column, write "No."
The Yes column will be for things that make your creativity hum in a positively energized way. These are things that wake you up. Things that excite your curiosity. Things guaranteed to make you stop and look twice. They might not always be pretty or charming or nice. But they will always call out to you, and you will always be drawn to them.
The No column is for things that raise your hackles. If you want to write a letter to the editor about it, it goes here. If you want to slap your Congressperson over it, it goes here. If you want to stop total strangers in public and let them know why they shouldn't do it, it goes here.
Set your timer for ten or fifteen minutes or so. Write quickly. Don't stop to think about whether anyone will approve of your choices. Nobody but you ever needs to see this list. This is personal self-exploration, for your eyes only.
List items in the Yes column until you can't think of any more, then switch to the No column. When you get stuck in the No column, switch back to Yes.
Don't worry about why a particular item makes the list. It can be irrational -- we all have pet peeves, after all. It can be mundane -- there's a reason we all cringe to see someone pick their noses and wipe it on their shirts, right? But the underlying reasons or values aren't important. All you really want is to write a list of things that make you buzz with emotion.
This list represents part of your worldview, the part that taps into your emotions and creativity. It's worth a few minutes to get all those things down where you can see them together, isn't it? Leave a comment about this exercise to be entered into the drawing for the Closing Ceremonies!