Start Write Now is new Nourishing the Soul series that invites you to step into the practice of using the written word as a form of self-expression. Maybe you already journal regularly, or maybe Mrs. Brown’s third grade poetry assignment scarred you and you haven’t picked up a pen since except to write a check. If it’s the former, great! Hopefully this series will offer you some interesting directions for your writing, and help you to reflect in new ways. If it’s the latter, great! Hopefully this series will heal your broken writing spirit and help you see just how powerful this medium can be.
As I delve into writing a book, I’ve been doing even more thinking on the practice of writing. My own early years were spent with pen in hand, dreaming up stories, writing articles for my made-up newspaper, and waxing poetic about all my pre-adolescent woes. I even loved writing essays for school and was the girl that everyone stared down when I smiled smugly that our page requirement was changed from ten to fifteen.
I recently started participating in an online writing course, and have been trying to keep up with the various exercises assigned. The other day I was required to write a villanelle (a nineteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter with two repeating lines and two refrains, in case you’re interested) , and I struggled through the entire thing. When I finished, my husband asked me to read what I had written and I got self-conscious. I couldn’t bring myself to read it out loud! When did I go from Ms. Bloggy to shy?
Well, let me tell you something about this series. There will be no structural requirements. There will be no grades assigned. And you get to decide if it’s something you want to share or not. The point is not to judge your writing, or even to be a “good” writer. It’s simply to help you develop another way to express what you’re feeling.
If you’re not convinced, I’ve created this top ten list of reasons to start write now:
1. It promotes self-reflection and can help you identify your values.
2. It’s cheap as far as therapeutic tools go.
3. It can help you build self-confidence.
4. It’s a chance to practice sitting with yourself.
5. It can help you develop a coherent narrative of your life.
6. It shifts your perspective on events, others, and yourself.
7. It helps you identify patterns in your life.
8. It helps you clarify what you want and need.
9. It can disentangle thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
10. It can help you let go of what’s keeping you stuck.
If you’re ready to take part, here’s what you do. Use the journaling prompt however you wish. If you want to type a response on your blog, that’s great. If you’d rather keep it to your leather-bound journal, write away. If you want to take the concept and build or create something totally different (like making a vision board or writing a song), go for it. Think about what works for you and where your soul is telling you to go. Feel free to adapt the prompt itself as well until it’s something that resonates with you.
Once you’re done, feel free to share what you’ve come up with on the post. If you write a post based on the prompt, leave the link in the comment section below. If you wrote it elsewhere, you can leave an excerpt in the comments as well. Or, if you prefer to keep it on the down low, that’s cool too.
So, here’s the first prompt:
Start Write Now!