Sunday Shape-Up: Spiral

July 6, 2014  Prompt #63

Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson

Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson


For this, the final Sunday Shape-Up prompt, I turn to the spiral.  As this long holiday weekend included for me both an unexpected funeral and an unexpected wedding, the spiral, with its nod toward the cyclical nature of life seems appropriate.




  1. On a blank piece of paper, draw a spiral with generous white space between the lines.
  2. For 5 to 10 minutes, write along the spiral line. Turn the paper as needed. Write freely about whatever comes to mind without too much forethought.
  3. Re-read what you’ve written and circle a phrase or sentence that stands out.
  4. Write the phrase or word on the top of a new sheet of (lined) paper.  Write in response to it for 15 minutes.

Further Writing

Write in response to one of these spiraled phrases: Spiral-bound notebook. Spiral Staircase. Spiral galaxy. Spiraling in and out.

Variations for Writing Groups

Read about Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Look at photos on the internet or, even better, check out a library book about this land form art. Write in response to it.   Even, even better, take a field trip to the jetty! Walk and write. Walk and write. Sit and write. Write some more, then walk back. Bring water.


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