Well, I just got home from my writing class. It was fun. A little harder to get into than previous classes, but it was still a good class. Tonight’s focus was on breaking though our writer’s blocks and overcoming our inner critic.
The first exercise she had us do was to write a paper giving a name, face, gender and personality to out inner critic. It was either that or be super descriptive in a paragraph format about any sensory image. I chose to go with the inner critic. That one just kinda grabbed me. Mine didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would, nor the way the teacher intended, but I did get good reviews about it. Shortly after that, while on break, one of the ladies told me I have a gift for writing. Yay! I’ve always loved to write, I just don’t believe in myself enough to continue on with it once I come to a block. I lose faith in myself too easily.
But, that is the reason I’m taking this class. I want to get past all that. I want to improve my talent and see if I can live my dream of being a writer. I may not ever be super famous, but I do want to get something published someday. I haven’t been gifted with much presence and interpersonal aptitude, but I can reach people with my words. I may not be eloquent or decisive when speaking, but when I write, I have power and precision. I really hope this class can help me master my craft and help me be able to expand on the gift that I have been given.
I will show what I wrote about my inner critic in another post. Right now I’ll go on to the next area we discussed. The teacher had us throw out different ideas for why people develop writer’s block. This is the list we came up with:
- “Why in the world would you want to write?” – inner criticism
- Lack of imagination
- Where is the beginning? – not being sure of where to start
- Where do you go from here? – not sure what to write after having a great idea
- Transitioning between ideas (that was the one I threw out!)
- Finding the voice
- Distractions – too much going on to be able to sit and organize ideas
- Feeling overwhelmed – too many ideas and not knowing where to start
- Where to put it (i didn’t really get this one)
- Physical limitations
- Wondering if anyone cares what you write
- What’s next? – what to do when they story is finished
- Shifting from past to present tense
Then we went on to discuss ways to overcome our writer’s block. These are some of the things she suggested:
- Write something, anything – just start putting things on paper and the ideas will come
- Try something new – a new style or genre
- Learn your craft – take classes, read books on writing, get input from other writers
- Heal old wounds – come to terms with and try to get past negative criticisms
- Wait it out – don’t stop trying or writing
The teacher wrote a quote up on the board and I really liked it. She couldn’t remember who made the quote, but that’s okay. I still like it.
“Our greatest enemy is not a badly written page. It is an empty page.”
Another one of the suggestions the teacher made was to write 3 pages of anything first thing in the morning. I so wish I had time to do that. lol. I’m a fairly fast typer, so that wouldn’t be a problem most days, I just don’t have time in the morning. I already get up at 4:30 so I can do my physical therapy stretches, read my scriptures and get ready so I can be to work by 6:00. I really don’t want to get up at 4:00. Tuesdays and Wednesdays I don’t have time at all because I run straight to the gym after work, then run home to shower and change and eat some food before I run off again to Institute. So, if I do decide to do this exercise, I’d most likely skip those days, at least until Institute ends. But then I’ll start another Institute class. I really like Institute.
Anyways, I seem to have gotten off the subject. lol. The next thing she suggested is to have an ‘Artist Date’ just by yourself. That’s where you take 2-3 hours each week and do something to stimulate your creativity and promote creative thinking. Examples would be: walking around the lake, going to an art gallery, going somewhere to take pictures, wander around a new shop, take a hands-on art class, etc. Those things will ‘fill the well’ of creativity and give birth to a plethora of ideas for your writing.
After discussing all that, we ended up doing a word association exercise. It’s where you put a word in a bubble in the middle of a page and then make branches of that bubble to bubbles with words that associate with the previous word. I remember doing this in middle school. It’s pretty fun. My bubble tree was rather lopsided. I only ended up with one branch off the main word, so it’s more like a long, meandering line. haha. Afterwords I tried adding more bubbles to go in a different direction, but couldn’t really come up with anything. It was weird. lol. Here is a picture of my meandering bubble line. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.
My root word was Versailles. Don’t ask me why Queen Elizabeth was the first thing I thought of. lol. It just popped into my head and I went with it. I was pretty surprised my list went as long as it did. And the direction it went. lol. I guess this is what happens when you spend a lot of time reading scriptures and learning about them. haha.
That’s pretty much most of what we did in class tonight. It was fun and definitely a learning experience. She did give us a bunch of homework ideas.
- Write something with your non-dominant hand
- Write a conversation between your two hands (each with their own hand)
- Write a paper about people coming off a bus, first the people who criticize you and then the people who encourage you. Include the words they say, their mannerisms, what they look like and what they are wearing.
- Write a litter to someone who has had a negative affect on you as a writer and tell them how it made you feel. (do not mail it)
- Write a letter to someone who has had a positive affect on you as writer and tell them how it made you feel
- Write all the reasons why you have writer’s block and refute them
- Try writing using things you don’t normally use – unlined paper, colored paper, colored pencils
- Draw the things you are writing about
All in all, I think it was a fun and informative class tonight. I’m glad I went.
Well, it’s past my bedtime, so I’m off to bed. I hope this was helpful and entertaining.