Words + Pictures: A KTC Creative Writing Challenge | Christie Glascoe | Skillshare

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Words + Pictures: A KTC Creative Writing Challenge

teacher avatar Christie Glascoe, Creative Champion + Content Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Welcome + Introduction

    • 2. The Inspiration

    • 3. The Project: What You'll Need

    • 4. The Project: Directions

    • 5. Challenge Yourself

    • 6. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


WELCOME TO WORDS + PICTURES… a class in my Kick the Cobwebs series of Writing Exercises for Creative Inspiration!

Every writer experiences the doldrums when practicing our craft. The tsunami of creativity has reduced itself to nothing more than a toilet ripple. It feels less like writer's block and more like "Writer's Great Wall of China!" 

In this series, I share some fun writing challenges that will kick the cobwebs from the vacant attic space of your brain and let creative inspiration move in! 


As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and we will be putting it to the test with a fun visual writing challenge.

Life begins outside your comfort zone and so does creativity. Hopefully, this exercise will help you stretch beyond the boundaries of your “regular” writing.  In the end, I hope this activity becomes a part of your writing practice to keep the doldrums at bay. 


  • Welcome + Introduction: A little bit about me and a quick overview of the class.
  • Inspiration: I do practice what I preach so I share with you how I personally use this exercise for creative inspiration. 
  • The Project: What you'll need and the steps to complete the Words + Pictures exercise.
  • Challenge Yourself: Ways to take this exercise up a notch to challenge your creativity. 
  • Final Thoughts: Share your work with us and your thoughts about how this project worked for your creativity. 


  • You’re a professional or aspiring writer working on a project you plan to publish but the once full well of ideas has run dry.
  • You’re just starting your writing practice and you need a creative boost.
  • You’re not currently experiencing any creative blocks, but you’d like to be ready to kick the cobwebs when you do. 


  • A new (and fun) way to jump-start your imagination when you experience creative blocks.
  • How to use imagery to help you develop stories, characters, themes, settings, etc. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Christie Glascoe

Creative Champion + Content Creator


{also known as "ChatterBox Christie}

I'm a creative, clever, candid, curious, and heavily caffeinated creative content collaborator, wanderer, film/tv junkie, and professional life-lesson-learner trying to make adulting fun.

With nearly two decades of experience in wrestling words into willful submission, I use my passion for storytelling to champion creatives to find and pursue what sets their soul on fire. 

I've worked with entrepreneurs, aspiring authors, filmmakers, speakers, and other creators as a supportive second pair of eyes, a creative accountability partner, and I help them find the best combinations of words to tell amazing stories.

I'm excited to share my customized techniques for ideas, inspiration, and creative self-care. 

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1. Welcome + Introduction: Welcome to Words and pictures, a class and My kick, the cobwebs, creative writing Siri's to spark ideas and inspiration. Hello, I'm Christie. I'm also known as chatterbox Christie Online. I'm a professional writer and editor, and I've been making mounds and verbs play nicely together pretty much my whole life. But doing it professionally for the last 10 years. I'm so excited to be here presenting some of my fun ways of getting and staying inspired to write on skill share. Every writer experiences the doldrums when they're practicing their craft. You know that once huge tsunami of creativity that was washing over you at one point is now nothing more than basically a toilet ripple. It feels a lot less like writer's block and a lot more like writers. Great Wall of China. It's not fun, but it happens to all of us. Over the years I've discovered, and mostly by accident, some pretty unique ways to break the monotony, to cleanse my creative palette and to gain some inspiration by using my senses and my surroundings and let some of that creative energy come through in unique ways. I've turned these happy accidents into a series of classes so I can share these techniques with creative writers at any stage of their craft. This class is for you if you're a professional or an aspiring writer working on a project that you plan to publish but that once full well of ideas has completely run dry or you're just starting your writing practice and you need a little creative boost or you're not currently experiencing any kind of creative blocks. But you'd like to be ready to kick those cobwebs. When you dio as that also mangoes, a picture is worth 1000 words will be putting that to the test. With this very cool visual writing challenge, life begins outside our comfort zones and sodas creativity. In the end, I hope this activity becomes a regular part of your writing practice to keep those doldrums at bay. So are you ready to go? Let's do it 2. The Inspiration: before we get started with this exercise, I wanted to give you a little insight into how this words and pictures activity became a regular part of my writing practice. It was completely by accident as all the classes in my get the cobwebs. Siri's were born of happy little accidents, things that I just stumbled upon that worked and became a regular part of what I do as a creative writer to just keep the inspiration, the creativity going. So this was way back in the dark ages of the late nineties when I was finishing my degree, my second attempt at a degree on my dad, and I knew it was a decent writer, and I loved to write. I've been like I said in my introduction, I have been writing my whole life, but I pretty much kept it to myself. I never really I thought of myself as a true creative writer. Everything I ever wrote either had to do with writing something for school or writing something for work. I never really just I just imagined or or I did that. But it was more like I did it in my journal. I never did it out loud. Let's just put it that way. So I just so happened to be flipping through a magazine. And this ad, it was a I believe it was a raft Lauren Polo ad. It was just a man, uh, an older gentleman, very attractive, just smiling. And the minute my eyes fell on that image, this story just just poured into my head without warning. And I remember I was being I was at work what happened, and I had to just write it down. I just had to follow that muse and it would not let me go. And I wrote out this whole basically made him a character and wrote about him as this character, not even as myself as someone else seeing this. It was almost as if this character overtook my body and talked about the man in this photo . And when I was done, I had this almost poetic piece that I was like it was a complete out of body experience. Like I wrote that me don't do this sort of thing. That was my first glimpse at me being an actual creative writer, a storyteller. I've always had stories inside me I've always wanted to do these things. But way back then, and even up until recently, I never really gave myself permission to explore that as something really. I looked at it as just something I did as a hobby and my journal. Nobody knew about it at the time. Again. I was finishing. I was working, but I was also finishing my degree and I was taking a literature class at that time, and I got the guts to share it with my litter. My literary professor and she read it and said to me, You have a gift. You are a true creative writer, is writing something you want to do and I just signed away because I never at that At that point, I was like, No, I no writing. Writing is not a real job, you know, You have to go get a real job kind of thing. So I didn't really pursue it until later. Much later, you know, a good almost 15 to 20 hater. I finally saw that this was something and this exercise started to become a regular practice of me either. Seeking out photos too illustrate what I'm thinking or actually using them to spark creativity, too. Jump start myself, give myself toe. Get myself a prompt to go on. And that's what I'm hoping that I will do here for you with words and pictures. Not only is the words and pictures exercise something that I do for myself when I'm in a rut, it also has become a source of income for me. I have worked with artists and photographers who have commissioned me to put words to their pictures. I have shared one of my commission pieces with you in the class projects. Of course I did my own class project. I'm one of you. After all. My first time doing this was obviously an accident. But now I'm going to show you how to do it on purpose. Are you ready? Are you in your comfortable space? Do you have the writing tools you need? Well, let's get going 3. The Project: What You'll Need: Let's get started with the words and pictures project. Here's what you're gonna need first your favorite writing tools. Elektronik or analog. If you're a fan of writing by hand, I highly recommend it for this exercise. It will limit the distractions that you might experience. If you're using a computer or iPad or your phone, the second thing you're gonna need is a comfortable writing environment that's pretty self explanatory. You want to be in a place that will help you be ready to write. The next thing you're gonna need is some time to write. At least 20 minutes is my recommendation for this particular exercise, but any time that you can give yourself less than 20 more than 20 your choice. But as a part of being dedicated to your craft, you owe it to yourself to take this time. The next thing you're going to need is the word bank from our class. Resource is, you can download that and you're gonna need access to the Internet does for short amount of time. Last, you need an open mind and your creative spirit also open and ready to receive inspiration. Remember that comfort zone we talked about earlier? It's time to step out of it right now, 4. The Project: Directions: now that you have everything you need to get started. Let's gather up these muses and get ready to right, shall we? Great. Step one. Pick a number from 1 to 12. That's pretty easy enough. Now that you've got that number, let's go to Step two. Choose a word from the word bank that you download it from our class. Resource is choose the word that really jumps out at you. There's a bunch of words there, but one of them is going to grab you, and that's the one that you want to pick. Write that down and Step three. We will find your inspiration. Photo. How we do that is using the Internet. Open up a browser and go to unspool ash dot com. Unspool. Ash is a free stock image sight, and in my opinion, it's the best one out there. The images on this site are less stock image e and way more soulful, which is why it's my resource of choice for this particular exercise and for any time that I need an image for something. I goto unspool ash, mostly because it's free. But again, for the reasons that I mentioned, it's pretty awesome type your chosen word into the search bar and Walla The photos that have been tagged with that word should appear. Remember that number that you picked? Count the photos from left to right until you get to your number. This photo is your inspiration Photo. Download it again. It's free and save it to a place where you can easily access it. If you're planning to write by hand, your phone is a great place to have this photo readily available. Or you can print it out. If that makes it easy to you. Definitely wanna have in handy to study before you start writing and to reference it as you continue to write. Hopefully, the moment you lay eyes on your inspiration photo, the words will start to come immediately. Most of us writers know that writing can often begin before the pen even hits the paper, and it's okay if you need to take some time with the photo before the word start coming. Study it again. Look at it, um, every inch of it. The color, the light, whatever is drawing your eye. So take your time if you need to, but start to write as soon as possible, right? Whatever comes to mind while you're looking at that photo, right? What you see, write what you think, right? What you feel then matter if it's fiction, nonfiction, poetry or just mindless ramblings doesn't matter just right when the word stop coming. That's when you stopped writing. Do you need to write 1000 words? Of course not. The idea is just to write. But wouldn't it be a great challenge for yourself and also to see if that Kodak slogan is actually true? A picture is worth 1000 words being the creative, free spirit that I am and also a rebel. I don't like rules. However, for this particular exercise I only have two rules that I really want you to follow. The 1st 1 don't cheat. You land on a photo and you don't like it. And your instinct is ago. I don't like that one. Let me pick another one. No, actually, if you land on a photo and you don't like it, that's good. This is going to stretch you beyond that comfort zone we spoke about. Remember, you are to write whatever comes to mind so you can even write about how much you don't like this particular photo. Just start writing. You'll be surprised at what happens. The second rule is Don't edit or censor yourself. If you like it enough to publish, you can clean it up later. But for now, don't disturb your muses groove with formality just right. Raw, right, unfiltered When you and your muses air done having fun, we hope that you will share with us to share your project. Upload your photo and what you wrote to the class projects. If you want to edit before sharing, it's completely your choice. But it's not required. Personally, I'd be more interested in seeing the uncut version of what you come up with. 5. Challenge Yourself: if you'd like to take this exercise up another notch here, some additional ways to challenge your creativity one we already spoke about and that's trying to assign 1000 words to that photo. Another is to actually use the word that to put into the search bar for a splash. Usually, it's pretty obvious why the photo is tagged with that word, but sometimes it isn't. And that's another reason why I love unspool ash. The photographers are like artists and leave the meaning of their photos up to interpretation and how they tagged them. So if it's not an obvious meaning, find a way to work that word into what you write. Lastly, set a timer for yourself. If we're trying to develop a habit of daily writing, it's kind of a good challenge to set your set a timer for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. I recommend 20 30 is my sweet spot, but twenties often good and see how far you get with that time that you're given. Maybe that will help you with your speed. It will help you be more focused if that's what you're looking to do with this. Setting a timer can be a good way to challenge yourself in that respect 6. Final Thoughts: Hopefully, you'll have fun with this and want to do it again when the going gets tough. It's a fun way to combat creative blocks in general, but it can also be a way to inspire inspiration and ideas for projects that you're already working on by using your own keywords. For example, say you're working on a project that requires you to talk about a quiet place. Well, go toe on splash, type in the word quiet and see what comes up. Something's gonna grab you. I guarantee it. Earlier in the project steps I shared with you some ways to take this exercise up another level. Well, you can also do that by not being in front of your computer. There are tons of images out there that you confined for inspiration. For example, an art gallery or a museum. Maybe even take yourself on an art walk around your city and use those images as ways to conjure up some creativity, and it gets you outside a little bit more to I hope that you'll also be moved to share your project and in your sharing not only just share the image and the words that you wrote with it. I would love to know. And probably your fellow students would like to know this too. What was your actual experience? What did you think? What did you feel? How did it move you emotionally? How did it move you physically? How did it move you mentally to do this exercise? Did it help? Do you? Did you find some inspiration with it? Share all aspects of what you've learned about yourself about your writing. Were you out of your comfort zone? Was it easy? Was it hard? Were you tempted to cheat a little bit? Share with me as an instructor and and with your fellow students, the up the good, bad and the ugly about the experience because I think it will help us all learn from each other and to grow creatively. If you like kicking the cobwebs with words and pictures, there's more where this came from. Be sure to follow me on skill share form or installments of the kick, the cobwebs, creative writing, Siri's and for more ways to spark creative inspiration. See you next time.