WRITING EXERCISES MODULE ONE: FREE WRITING

WRITING EXERCISES MODULE ONE: FREE WRITING

WRITING EXERCISES MODULE ONE: FREE WRITING 1

A note about the writing exercises:

Each module, I suggest two writing prompts. Start with the first and then move onto the second. There is no need to do more. 

But I also give a roughly 7-9 other writing prompts. 

These can be used if:

*you have more time and want to go deeper with the module

*you are working on a longer project and want to find a prompt that will support your longer project

*you want more inspiration and perhaps one of the other prompts speaks more to you. It can be interesting to look at all of the prompts and see what calls out to you. 

*you are going through the course a second or third time and want to use new prompts

If any of the prompts seem particularly unappealing, please don’t do them.

My goal is to give you a variety of options so that your own creativity is sparked.

Align Your Story isn’t about following someone else’s directions; it’s about following your own inner intuition and creativity. I’m a guide giving you scaffolding on this journey. But ultimately the journey is your own.

Align Your Story can also support you if you are already working on a larger/longer project and need some support and creative encouragement. If this is the case, I suggest that you look through all the writing exercises and see what speaks to you most. Often there is an amazing synergy and at least one of the prompts in the module will get you moving in the direction you need to go. If you need help doing this, please reach out to me, and we can talk about how best to use the course in this way.

WRITING PROMPTS (TEXT; CLICK TO OPEN AND READ)

MODULE ONE WRITING EXERCISES:
You can think of the writing exercises this week as warming up the spine, becoming more flexible as a writer, and getting in touch with your own energetic system as a writer.

*1) Where does your writing come from?
Is it coming from your reading? If so, what reading? From your body? If so, what parts of your body? From your responses to the people in your life? From your silence? From your anger? Your fear? Your discomfort? Your joy? From your inner songbird?
These, of course, are impossible questions to answer, but try to answer them anyway; listen deeply, be curious and also be playful, if you want.
Write from your responses—turn your response into a poem, a short prose reflection or a short story. Being aware of your responses to this question will help your writing for the rest of this course and for the long term.

*2) I encourage you to try to find a regular time for a regular writing practice, but each person is different and the routines that work best for you will also change over time. So this week see what happens when you experiment with writing after and during different experiences:
write after yoga
write after meditation
write when you first wake up
write just before sleep
write after a bath
write after a walk/ run
write when you are angry
write when you are happy
write while listening to a variety of different kinds of music
dictate *while* walking—see what happens
write after doing something unusual—you choose what

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3) Use the following collections of six words to write from:
a) winter, instruments, body, gift, survive, mouth
b) earth, poetry, eye, rejoice, curse, dog
c)bronze, swan, summon, wind, ask, hurt
d) secrets, doorway, sleep, awake, people, walk

4) Write an elegy, either in the form of a poem, a reflection or a short story, for someone who was important to you and who had an influence on you who has died. This person can be a person that you knew personally or not.

5) Open the dictionary at random and write a poem or a short story or an essay or a reflection about the first simple noun you see.
Write an ode (a poem of praise) to:
your socks,
the piano
x…
(see Neruda’s Odes in the suggested readings as an example)

6) Take two things that you think have nothing to do with each other and connect them somehow in a piece of writing—see what happens.
monkeys and the piano oranges and hammers balloons and beards

7) JUST WRITE without any agenda.

8) Write your WORST WORK—just see what happens—this can be a fun exercise.

9) Write in response to these quotations—feel free to argue, be humorous, irreverent or reverent. Find your own quotation and write in response to that.
“Life is about fulfillment. If your life isn’t fulfilled, your stomach can never supply what’s missing.”—Deepak Chopra
“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”—Hannah Arendt
“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way” –Thich Nhat Hanh

10) Take a line from one of the suggested readings or from Auden’s Elegy for Yeats and write a poem, nonfiction piece or short story that responds in some way to that line.

11) Have a good time. DON’T WORRY. DON’T JUDGE. Just write!
We’ll work on revision in upcoming weeks. This first week, just explore. And write as much as you can.

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