Experimenting with Metaphors

As I noted in my post Working with My Writing Style, I’m a linear thinker. I’ve been looking for ways to get my creative juices flowing so I can be a better writer. Metaphors have always been hard for my literal brain to write, so that seems like a great place to start.

In this post I’ll take lines from some of my poems and rewrite them as metaphors.

Original lines:
Like a colony of ants, strong as one,
the statue was dismantled.
Metaphor:
They were a colony of ants, strong as one,
dismantling the statue.

Original lines:
Like inverted goose bumps, alive against the flesh.
Metaphor:
My memories are inverted goose bumps, alive against the flesh of my past.

Original lines:
Timing never right, we shoved our feelings into the recesses.
Like patchwork quilts stored for the summer.
Metaphor:
Timing never right. Our feelings were patchwork quilts
shoved into the dark corner of the wardrobe for the season.
Another Metaphor option:
Timing never right. We shoved our patchwork quilted
feelings into the dark corner of the wardrobe for the season.

Original lines:
Treading lightly so as not to disturb
the delicate balance of my life.
Metaphor:
I am a tightrope walker, treading lightly
through my life.

Original lines:
They drift apart
then come crashing
back together.
Metaphor:
They are locked in a
Rom-Com that has overplayed
the meet/cute story line,
waiting for the writer to
release them.


These are obviously primitive and need work, but it was a good exercise for my brain to see, and use, words differently to convey the same ideas.

What exercises or experiments do you do to improve your writing?
I think we can all learn from each other. How would you rewrite some of my original lines as metaphors?

Ⓒ 2019 Lisa Shaughnessy

2 Comments on “Experimenting with Metaphors

  1. Pingback: Embracing Rejection | Lisa Shaughnessy

  2. Pingback: Writing Personal Essays | Lisa Shaughnessy

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