Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Challenge

Did you know that Theodor Seuss Geisel used only 236 first grade vocabulary words to write The Cat in the Hat?


His publisher Bennett Cert certainly wasn't.

“I bet you can’t do it in 50,” was all he said.

Well, the good doctor accepted Bennett’s bet —

“Fifty bucks says I can, Sam I am!” 

And the rest is Green Eggs and Ham history.

I hear that Bennett never paid up.

But considering that Green Eggs and Ham has been one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, Teddy never complained.

Obviously, there are two lessons here…

First of all, restrictions lead to higher levels of creativity. In fact, research has shown that imposed limitations boost creative thinking because they force folks to work outside of their comfort zones.

And second — never make a bet with your publisher and expect to get paid.

Consider yourself enlightened on both counts.

PROMPT: What if you gave yourself a Seussical challenge today? Pick a limiting word limit, 50 or 100 words say, and create a complete story.

And because I’m sure you’re dying to know, Seuss’s 50 were: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

Write on!

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