Creative Writing

 At the Writing Studio, we will play with creative ideas and immerse ourselves in the delights of the creative writing process. We can play games like ‘exquisite corpse’ where everyone adds a word to a single ongoing sentence and collectively writes a sentence by letting their creative juices flow. We can perform interesting ‘thought experiments’ beginning with imaginative possibilities such as ‘what if I were a Coke can lying low at the Atlantic seabed and I see a huge shark coming my way.’ Creative writing can be supremely entertaining.  

  

“By choosing to act, by writing on that page, we are creating another version of time; we are playing out a new version of existence, of life even. We are creating an entirely fresh piece of space-time, and another version of yourself.”

– David Morley in The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing

Writing in its creative avatar is all about sharing feelings. When we are happy, we pour out our happiness in writing. When sad, writing becomes a way of dispersing the clouds of sadness through expression. Creative writing is determined to make new worlds. There are worlds in words. Creative writing is a way of bringing worlds out from behind words where they hide. A poem, a story or any other creative writing has the special energy of crafting new ways of expression. Language is there before us. We simply pick it up with learning but with creative writing, we can get back to language and make words do what they do not do otherwise. Creative writing is a play with words to make them into worlds. There is an intense intimacy of self-communication in creative writing. We create for ourselves and for the anonymous others who would become our readers in an imagined future. Writing has the power to change individual and social lives. It can address something that is not working well for us and make it work. Let us look at a list that traces this therapeutic function of writing:

 

Writing For Healing

Why?

Writing is 

  • fun, stimulating, exciting
  • helps you explore and express important things
  • helps you remember memories allows you to sort out your thoughts and feelings
  • enables you to create something beautiful, like a poem
  • can speak to other people
  • leaves a record of children/grandchildren/friends.

In what way?

  • Whatever you write is right. You can’t write the wrong thing!
  • This writing is only for you to read, at first. You might even want to tear it up. You might keep it to read again later. You might share it with a relative, a friend, or some with your nurse/doctor. Because this writing is for you, it doesn’t have to be in proper English, write it like poetry is written – if you like – not in sentences, and with your own spelling.
  • You may think you have nothing to write. When you start, you will find your pen has a great deal to say. It may seem odd at first, sitting on your own, scribbling something that isn’t a letter, list or report.
  • You do deserve the gift of some time – just for you.
  • Be relaxed about it. Enjoy it. Watch it grow.

How? When? Where?

Write when and where you feel like it

  • day or night
  • in bed, in a cafe
  • (difficult on a bike)

Write only two lines or lots

  • in a notebook
  • on scraps of paper
  • perhaps in a folder.

Write when and where you can be on your own if that feels right for you. It doesn’t matter if someone is in another room. Sit somewhere comfortable, warm, yet airy. Make sure you have a cup of tea if you want one.

What to Write?

You may feel you know. If you don’t:

Scribble whatever comes into your head for 6 minutes

  • don’t stop to think
  • it might be a list, or some odd words and phrases
  • spelling and proper sentences don’t matter.

Now:

You may want to carry on with some ideas that have started in this writing. If not, write about

  • a dream
  • a memory from a long time ago
  • a memory of a Christmas or birthday
  • something that happened last week/year
  • a time you were told off
  • a time of great happiness
  • a time of loss
  • a poem
  • anything else that occurs to you;

Or:

Make a list of all the important people in your life, or draw a family tree (including friends). It doesn’t matter if they are alive or dead now. Choose one. Describe them. What kinds of things did they say?

If you wrote a letter or talked to them, what might you say to them now? How might they reply? Write as if you are writing those letters. The best things in life are free! But the more you put into this the more you get out.

 

Good luck – learn a lot – enjoy it.

 

– Gillie Bolton in The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing: Writing Myself

Creative Writing Tips

University of Vermont Writing Center

The Center for Creative Practice

The University of Adelaide

More Resources

For a huge Brain Dump of all the resources that we could find click away

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