Make a list
of people and pets and objects you remember from your childhood
and make entries from time to time in the form of ten- to
twenty-minute free writes(where you keep writing without
editing or stopping yourself) about a person, pet or object
on this list.
Sometimes unloading professional worries
and goals into a journal clears space for the writing self
as well as relieving unconscious stress! Allow at least
one day a week or a month for this kind of entry. Choose
something you have already written in your journal. Begin
to revise it, imagining an editor has asked you for a specific
kind of piece -- a memory piece, a poem, an essay on bus
riding -- and you have gone to your journal inventory to
find something to develop further. Don't worry about perfection.
Instead, try to make the revision into something that will
interest the editor. Meet with someone who shares your interest
in something --gardening, fishing, knitting, reading, baking
-- and then write about your meeting with the person and
the person's knowledge of the topic.
Become sensitive to the weather and try
describing the weather in your journal entries. Put your
eyes and ears – as well as your fingers -- to work
to describe how the weather affects the landscape, sky,
people, animals, buildings, and vehicles. Write it so that
when you reread that entry, you feel as if you are really
there. Write entries that describe where you are as you
write. Even if you write from the same place every day,
describe it as it seems to you at the moment. Things change
-- what is on the desk, what you see outside the window,
under your feet -- and you will become a more keen observer.
Challenge yourself to write using a prompt.
- The last thing I ate before I sat down to write this
entry was _______ and the next thing I might eat is______.
This is because _______.
- When I look up from the page, the first thing I see
is_____. I like/don't like this because_________.
- If I could describe the place I am sitting to a set
designer for a movie or play, here is what I would say:
- Here are five things I should not have put in the trash
- Here are five things I ought to put in the trash and
- When I go to the White House for dinner, I always wear
my __________ and take along my _________. That way _________.
- When the nightly news director put words under the shot
of me to identify me to the people, the words were ________.
This is what had happened: _________.