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Friday writing prompt

Got a cold? If you haven't, someone you know surely has. There are plenty going around at the moment. Former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, admitted to finding a cold conducive to the writing process and that he took a daily mug of Lemsip to help fool himself into thinking he was a bit unwell.

"Years and years ago, I read in a biography of A E Housman that he wrote most of A Shropshire Lad while he had a cold," Motion said. "And I thought, yes I know about that - that sort of slightly introverted, self-pitying mood that a mild illness can give. It is absolutely conducive to poems.

"I thought that if I could fool myself into feeling a bit ill then I could find that sort of introspection that can be useful when you are writing poetry." (

At least it was only Lemsip. Having a cold – the bunged up, cotton-wool feeling of detachment it can give you, sometimes a mild delirium – can be powerful for the imagination, if not necessarily for the ability to think straight. Our childhood memories of being at home with a cold are often vivid.

Write about someone stuck at home with a cold, or write a memory of your own.

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