Recently, I began working on a book of writing prompts based on the works of art by Denver artist Colleen Hennessy.
The intended audience for the book is creative women looking for guidance and support for their creative writing.
Following is a portion of the book’s first draft.
A terrific first step to awakening one’s creativity is to journal. By journaling, we allow ourselves to write, think, and feel without pressure to be perfect. We do not have to worry about constructing stories that will be published or even seen by others. While journaling, we can create the writing that will allow us to explore and experiment. When a person has not written or been creative in a while, journaling can be just the thing to reignite the creative spark.
The act of being creative is extraordinarily therapeutic. Many people feel better about themselves, their situations, and the world around them after they journal about a difficult scenario. And there is research to support that people who engage in creative pursuits enjoy life more.
In the last few months, several women have reached out to me for advice on how to get started in creative writing. They each felt the need to express themselves in a way that would not interfere with their responsibilities to family, community, and work. Each woman knew intrinsically that if she could add creative writing activities into her days, then her life would be a little bit more fulfilling.
Give this prompt a try:
No matter who you are, no matter where you are from, and no matter where you are going, you have a special memory locked up somewhere. We all have memories of incredibly simple events that touched us deeply. A day on the swing set in the back yard, a hike up a mountain, and a night of dancing the tango—any of these can be the spark of a terrific story.
Within these wonderful memories, there is often a single object that stands out. It does not necessarily need to be an object that holds deep symbolism or something that is personified in an intricate way.
Sometimes the least occurrence can stimulate the memory and take us back in time to an event that affected us. Have you ever touched a fabric that reminded you of baking cookies with your grandmother when you were a child? Is there a particular perfume that brings you back to a memory of your mother or aunt? How about a particular food, like strawberry pie, that takes you instantly to the first time you ate it? Does cigar smoke remind you of a blues bar in New Orleans way back when?
Tiny details can do wonders for our ability to access memories and in turn, transform those memories into stories that can be shared. Sensual details are ones that connect us to the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Every memory contains these senses, and they can have a powerful effect on us as writers and on our readers.
Paint & Ink~Creative Journaling for Women
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