At the school I attended, the clergyman who ran the cathedral school in Shanghai would give lines to the boys as a punishment. They expected you to copy out, say, 20 or 30 pages from one of the school texts. But I found that rather than laboriously copying out something from a novel by Charles Dickens, it was easier if I made it up myself.
I only realised why I keep living in Shepperton when I returned to China. All the people who moved there had come from places just like Shepperton, and so they built and lived in houses exactly like these. I now know I was drawn here because, on an unconscious level, Shepperton reminds me of Shanghai.