In the past couple of weeks-via Meetup-I have participated in Writing Sprints. It’s a pretty cool way to get things done, especially when you get sidetracked, like I do. It is not a new concept for me, but I had not participated in one in ages. A couple of writers and I were doing them consistently, but life changes and all, we departed. It’s all good, though. Recently, at a TAF Talks presentation by Donna Gephart, I learned about how she writes 25 minutes and then takes short breaks, then back to writing. So, I found the Sprints listed on Meetup and gave it a shot. They operate pretty much like that, too. And this morning, I searched on YouTube and there are live sprints. You can note in chat if you want to say something on there. I like the Zoom or Google meetings better so you can have more interaction. But, the YouTube option can be helpful, too. There’s one this month for NANOWRIMO for the summer camp version.So, thought I would share about these resources. It helped me and may be helpful to you.
Writing Raw and To Prompts Opens up Possibilities for Creativity
Many times when we write it’s to some kind of theme. It could be from a prompt or thought finding a place on paper. Have you ever written raw? Writing raw is putting pen to the paper and writing whatever thoughts come to mind. When I took the course The Artist’s Way I found this technique to be most helpful. We wrote every morning in what they called the “Morning Pages” and there were no hard and fast rules. You just grabbed your notebook and wrote by hand (yes no keyboard) and wrote a designated amount of time. Then, you put it away and went on about your other life duties. In the course, you came back to the writings and from them could find things to further write about or learn from. It was very revealing to me about certain things needing focus and other things I needed to let go. It was a revealing and healing exercise. It also helped me to use this technique in other writing.
I am in an online group call Signs. It is a slow writing group where we write to a certain theme, but it’s not rushed. You take some time to write to the theme and just let it flow. No edits. Just flow with the theme and write whatever comes to mind. It’s another way of revealing to me, my innermost thoughts. It’s not completely writing raw as there is a theme or photo prompt, but it can end up being a piece that may not have one thing to do with the prompt. So, I would call this writing “Lightly Prompted.”
Another online group I belong to also has prompts and you write six sentences to reveal your thoughts around the prompt word. I have been a part of this group for a good while now. It has opened up for me to be more concise with my words and to tell a story with fewer words. Sometimes I write poetry to these prompt words and, one of my personal favorites is to do acrostics. The group supports each other with responses and it is fun to see what develops. Some have developed longer stories from their works on this challenge.
Recently, I started writing to a haiku/senryu online challenge where we have a picture prompt which we interpret and write to in the form of a haiku or senryu. This is a newer challenge and I am loving this. It is interesting to see what others come up with and is a lot of fun.
About once a quarter the Living Poetry group here in the RTP area has a Germination Workshop in which we write to prompts. This helps generate some rough draft poetry. You can develop poems from this and some have been published. The reveal, where we all share what we write is interesting as you hear so many points of view.
What do you write to? Are prompts helpful for you or do you prefer writing raw? I like to mix it up. When you are stuck or need a warmup exercise for your other writing, thinking long work report you must get done, try to write a haiku or short, short story just to get the brain warmed up before entering the demands of life. That is what I am doing right now. It’s gonna make for a much better day.
If you would like links to the online challenges please let me know. I am happy to invite others to join the fun.
I just posted this on Medium: What if? Your Muse is Yelling at You Go take a look 😉
I posted this story in Medium today. Please take a look: Do You Use the Musical Muse?