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Posts Tagged ‘guided writing’

Journaling Prompt – Borrow An Opening

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
Writing technique: Borrow An Opening
[Photo by: Eduardo]

The beginnings are the most difficult step in journaling (or any type of writing). Staring at a blank screen, a blank paper or an empty journaling tag can be very frustrating.

After the first sentence is drizzled onto the paper, the rest usually follow in a potent stream.

Having said that, the beginning is many times the most important part of our journaling. The opening words are like a welcoming committee, inviting the reader to keep on reading.

I have a great technique that solves the “opening-syndrome”.

Instead of desperately looking for the right words to come out, borrow the opening sentence from your favorite book, or the book currently on your nightstand, and go on from there.

To help you with this technique here is a list of the 100 best first lines of novels.

Now let see if you are up for a challenge – try to write a complete entry in your journal (or a short story, or journaling for a layout) using ONLY opening lines of other books.

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Have you tried this technique? Was it helpful for you?

Have you challenged yourself with the extreme version of this technique? I’d love to read it, so please share by replying to this post.

Journaling Prompt – Hone Your Writing Skills With Colors

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Colors
[Photo by: Steven Fernandez]

Most people are blessed with all 5 senses: Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. I am constantly using all five senses throughout my creative journey and cannot imagine what would I do if one of my senses was impaired. However I have come across very creative people who were unable to see, hear or taste, so I know that creativity can for a certain extent compensate for the loss of one of the senses.

One of the things I cannot imagine how can one compensate for is the ability to see colors (which is funny as my father is color blind). The broad spectrum of colors, the different tones and shades, the richness, the effect of combining different colors together. I find those very hard to explain verbally. Which is why I think it will make the perfect creative writing exercise.

For this week’s journaling prompt try to describe colors to a blind person. How would you transcribe the visual record? Clearly it is going to be futile to use the color’s name, so how else can you describe it?

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Do you think colors can be described to a blind person? I am interested to hear your thoughts on that matter and would be delightful to read your colors description!!! So please leave a comment and share.

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Journaling Prompt – Exercise your Journaling Muscle

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Hone your writing skills Every bit of journaling that comes from the heart is a good journaling. Saying that, many times we have such a precious memory to keep or a thought to treasure that we feel stumped. We don’t seem to find the right words to write. We just feel like our journaling muscle is a bit rusty and ragged.

My initial advice is to just write. You can either write everything down on a scratch piece of paper and edit select the highlights later –or– to go ahead and just write (which is what I usually do).

However, if you insist on honing your writing skills then I have the perfect exercise for you – it will stretch your journaling muscle and will make you sweat words and sentences like there’s no tomorrow.

For this week’s journaling prompt we are going to exercise our journaling muscles by putting our words through a mood swing.

Start by writing down a single paragraph. Write about your day. Write about a recent vacation you’ve had or about the fact you haven’t been out on vacation for a lo-o-o-ong time. Write anything (even a one-paragraph-short-story).

Now write this paragraph down, again-and-again, each time with a different dominant tone:

  • Dramatic.
  • Romantic.
  • Humorous.
  • Journalistic (newsworthy…)
  • Sarcastic.
  • Sad. (Think obituary)
  • Happy.
  • Mad.
  • Hopefull. Zen induced…
  • Childlike. (riming?)

Have fun at the word’s gym :)

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Do you struggle with your journaling sometimes? Did you find this exercise helpful? Share your thoughts and share your work by leaving a comment on this post.

These prompts might be helpful as well:

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Journaling Prompt – The Key To The Kingdom Of My Dreams

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
Dream
[Photo by: Keven Law]

Guided writing is a great way to explore the boundaries of your imagination and the depth of your thoughts. With guided writing you know where are you starting from but have no idea where are you going to end up…

I really love this type of writing exercises and no matter how the end result looks like, I am always happy because of the process.

This week’s journaling prompt is going to be slightly different. This week, I want you to complete the sentence: “The key to the kingdom of my dreams is…”

You can take this sentence anywhere.

Go fiction –

Describe: Where is it? What is it? How does it look like? How can one find it? What does one have to go through while searching for it? Is it easy to find or is it dangerous and weary? go with the flow.

Go non-fiction –

Engage in some healing journaling. Where do you see the key to the kingdom of your dream? Is there a ‘fix-it-all’ solution? Is there one thing in which you trust and to which you aspire? How is it going to help you in fulfilling your dreams?

The key to the kingdom of my dreams is… hidden in a secret crevice inside the wall, just below the window’s pane. You can trace the exact spot by following the first ray of light during the winter’s solstice. After finding the key you must gently lean it against your left ear and listen to it whispering the directions to the lock it opens. Follow your heart and you shall not fail in finding the secluded hiding place from which you can enter the kingdom of my dream.

Share –

(what, where) is the key to the kingdom of your dreams?
How do you feel about guided writing?
Where does your heart and/or mind takes you – fiction or non-fiction?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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Journaling Prompt #12 – Summertime

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

This prompt begins with a magical song by George Gershwin, the first thing which comes to my mind when I think about summertime:

George Gershwin, Summertime

Summertime,
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky

But till that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With daddy and mamma standing by

Summertime,
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

Gershwin’s summer is laid-back and tranquil. The summertime scene is so comforting, as a matter of fact, that it is used as a calming lullaby. Needless to say this song portrays much more than what is on its surface, but still it uses the summertime as the epitome of peace of mind and relaxation.

The warm weather evokes special emotions. It brings a promise of recreation and of taking time off the daily routine and into togetherness. The children are out of their schools. The parents are taking their yearly vacations and everyone seems to be on hiatus at a certain point during the summer.

Summer can be rainy in some places and smoldering hot in others, but it always brings along with it a shimmer of leisure and pleasure, entwined.

This week’s journaling prompt is all about the summertime. What does it mean to you? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment to this post or link to your blog.

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Journaling Prompt #7 – Write a Fairy tale

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

One of the best ways to spruce up your writing and boost your creativity is by coming up with a fairy tale. A fairy tale has no limits because it is created in an imaginative world in which you are making the rules. As the ruler you can do anything in it. The farther you go with your imagination, the better the fairy tale is.

Think about fairies and magicians and little-people and giants. Think about a completely different species, like J.R.R. Tolkien‘s hobbit.

A fairytale can be very short in scope, therefore suitable as a journaling prompt, an exercise for polishing your writing. You don’t need to write a full length novel (like Tolkien), even a one page story is enough for stretching out your imaginative boundaries.

To get inspired and jump start your own fairytale, you can visit these sites:

  1. Read from a collection of the Brother Grimm’s Tales;

  2. Try out this fun fairytale generator;

  3. Browse an assortment of fairy tales by different authors;

  4. Look through a compilation of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories and fairy tales.

Enjoy and share your fairytale by leaving a comment to this post.

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