Molly Ovenden

Leaning on God's understanding

Why and how do you write?

The following is the first lesson of my six week course for developing creative writing and making it a healthy habit in life: Creative Writing: Making it a Habit. Let me know how you get on.

Week One of Six: Introduction: Why write? How to write?

Before officially beginning, establish why it is that you are here, writing or wanting to write.

Write 5 minutes with this prompt: “I write because…”

It is important to follow some guidelines when writing: get your first thoughts out on paper, do not read or anything till you have finished writing, keep your hand moving (I believe that writing first by hand works best because it is a more natural feeling with pen and paper than with a computer), date and title each piece of writing you do.

Freewriting is how many writers begin writing; it can be described as putting every thought on paper regardless of its merit or relation to the initial prompt just to get a start. Simply, it means to: write freely. No judgement. Just write. This is how most of the prompts in this course will be completed.

Freewrite 5 minutes with this prompt: “I like…”

Be sure to write down the first thoughts that come to your mind, and keep your pen moving.

Freewrite 10 minutes with this prompt: “I don’t like…”

Have a look at what you wrote for these last two prompts. How did they make you feel? It may feel vulnerable at first, and perhaps for a lot of the time, but with practice, it will become a habit to write freely and honestly.

Freewrite 10 minutes with this prompt: Barriers to writing, “I’m stuck when…”

Have a look at what common themes could be in what prevents you from doing what you want to do (i.e:What keeps you from writing?). Often it can be negative thoughts or lies believed about ourselves. These negative need to be countered by positives by restructuring our minds and praising ourselves, thinking of good things and hopes or goals for the future to set our gaze upon. Writing affirmations, or positive and encouraging things to ourselves can be really powerful to practice in order to overcome obstacles.

Spend 10 minutes writing affirmations (come up with at least 5); you may choose to write the same one several times to really let it sink in.

Some examples of my affirmations:
I write well and breathe life through my words.
I have original and interesting ideas.
I am a successful and prolific writer.
I will never run out of ideas.
I am free to be myself entirely.

Homework:
-Freewrite 5-10 minutes with this prompt: “Wearing that ring…”
-Write a draft of 250-500 words of flash fiction (a very short ‘story’) using the first 6 or so random words that come to mind (my group came up with: sea, dentist, panic, rubber dingy, stripy shorts, thoughtful, passionate, intricate).

How did it go? Leave a comment for me–I would love to hear from fellow writers.

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