Writing your story
I feel like there are thousands of stories inside my head. Some of them are mine. Some of them are yours. Some are real, some feel real, and some are so different I don’t know what they are. I want to write them down, really, I do. It’s just that staring into a blank page seems to make me forget that I have anything to say at all. I truly believe that writing is a conversation we have with our own soul, but the hardest part is starting. If you want to write here are some of my suggestions for getting started.
1. Journaling — I have more than 10 journals that I write in regularly. One asks questions, another is a DIY memoir, another is a book that asks me to make lists. In one journal I simply record quotes that I have found and I try to draw them beautifully. I have journals for each of my children — they are not elaborate or long, but I try and write down interesting things that I hope they will value someday. (like their favorite TV show, their favorite outfit, etc). All of these provide an outlet for my thoughts and reflections.
2. Goodreads book reviews — I have always loved reading and even enjoyed the required reading from school. I found that as an adult I would read a book and then walk away at the conclusion without ever discussing the ideas or the things I loved or hated about it. That is when I decided to force myself to write a goodreads review for every book I read. What a difference this simple exercise has made. I am a more attentive reader; I underline and mark favorite passages to find again. I ask myself about the characters and the themes and then I put it all into a mini-paper and publish it on goodreads. For movie fans, you can write reviews on IMDB.com about movies. Give this a try and see if it doesn’t change how you read and how you watch and how deeply you think about the literary and cinematic elements. Also, you will remember what you read and watch so much better by taking a few minutes to write down your thoughts.
3. Creative Writing — I have a book of writing prompts that I love (there are many, many of these at any bookstore). I love to pull out a spiral notebook, choose a prompt and write for 10–15 minutes. Sometimes I post them on my personal blog, most times I don’t.
4. Join a writer’s group. Find one online, check the library, or start your own virtual or in real life group. Having a deadline seems to bring out the creativity in some.
View all of these writing activities as a valued part of your personal growth and expression. I love going back and reading my thoughts from when I was single or when I only had 2 children. So much has changed and yet so much of me is still the same. Viewing me through the lens of my writing helps me see what really matters to me and how even though some things change, some things will never change.
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