Four Ways to Spark Your Writing

Here are four scenarios to encourage you to write from your heart:
1. You walk into a gallery and start reading 800 handwritten stories that are hung on clothespins along lengths of twin affixed to the wall. Someone then steers you to a bench, pen and clipboard to write a story of your own, with a sign saying ”What’s Your Story?” What do you write?
2. You then go to a gallery that features Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree where visitors are invited to take a paper tag, write a wish, and hang it on the branches of a tree. What do you write?
3. You walk into another place and someone gives you a postcard and encourages you to write a ”secret” and mail it back; some of these anonymous secrets will be posted online. What do you write?
4. At another location, visitors are encouraged to send a letter to someone in need, or encouraged to write letters to the future. What do you write?

All these are wonderful ways of reaching into yourself and then expressing what is important to you or in your heart or mind. Take a moment to let things swirl in your mind and chose one of these scenarios to do some writing. You’ll be happier for doing so!

A 1,000-word Sentence

An author has just written a novel that consists of a 426,100-word sentence that stretches over 1,000 pages. (Her novel, written by Lucy Elimann, is titled ”Ducks, Newburyport.”) We’re not asking you to write a 426,100-word book, too. But, instead, how about beginning a book with a 1,000-word sentence? Yes, you can write 1,000 words, whether it’s stream of consciousness of things going on in your mind over the course of the day, or just about any idea that comes to you and which others may want to read and enjoy. Your words can be funny or serious, happy or sad, or all of these; just let the words flow from your heart.

Isn’t it hard to imagine a 1,000-page book consisting of one sentence? But the book was nominated for the Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious book awards in the world.

Writing can be anything you want it to be. Don’t be afraid!

How Do You Want to Develop in the New School Year?

The new school year is always a new beginning. Forget about how things were the previous year — now you have a fresh slate to resume your educational career. So, what would you like to accomplish this new year? What would you like to learn most? Which skill of yours do you hope to strengthen? What major accomplishment do you want to achieve? How do you want to develop as a human being? Write about your hopes for the new year to help you keep track of your progress over the next 10 months to get to where you want to be.

Good luck with all that you hope to achieve!

What Are Your Life Goals?

It is important to have a vision for your future. Having one helps give you focus on what you wish to achieve in life and helps you figure out what kind of life you want to have. As we get older we tend to look back to our earlier selves and remember what our hopes and dreams were.

So, take some time to write down your own life goals, print out what you write if possible or store safely in a digital file you can access. Take a look at your list each year to see how far along you are in achieving what you set out to do, and it’s okay to change your goals or modify your vision to reflect what you are learning in life. It is likely your goals will change as you move through life, but at some point, you will want to look back and see what you have accomplished with your precious life. The important thing is to have no regrets.

Now, take some time to reflect on where you want to go — it’s a good exercise because doing so will make you more self-aware and give direction to your life.

What Jolted You and Changed You?

What jolted you and changed your life? Often in life, something hits us like a bolt — it may be loving someone or losing someone, it may be a change in our health, a disappointment, a happy moment — or just something else we never anticipated. And, boom, we begin to change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

What life event changed you? How did it do so?

Your Message to ‘Them’

One afternoon, as you listen to your favorite music, a sound boom is heard and your radio begins receiving and transmitting extra-terrestrial radio signals. You realize that someone, something ”out there” has contacted you.
Speaking on behalf of all humankind, what first message do you transmit back to those out there. What impression do you think your message will have on ”Them”?
Thank carefully, for in many respects you are speaking on behalf of all of us on Earth.