Prairie Wind Blog

Junior Pilgrim Writers

The Junior Pilgrim Writers is a program we love. First, we introduce you to the idea of “life as a pilgrimage”.

What is a pilgrimage? It’s a journey. In the case of the Pilgrim Writers, it is an imaginary journey.

When you become a Junior Pilgrim Writer you are asked to see life as a journey, a pilgrimage, a challenge. First, we spend a short time quieting our minds in preparation for writing. Secondly you explore your reactions to part of the journey.

There are no right or wrong answers. And no one reads your writing. There are no punctuation, spelling, or grammar police. There is no minimum or maximum number of words you have to write.

From studying students who have become Junior Pilgrim Writers we know that this kind of writing is helpful. For example, the Pilgrim Writers we studied felt they were more committed to finishing school, could handle their feelings better, and their Language Arts skills improved

Writing as healing


Ask readers, “What helped you through your divorce, or through the loss of a loved one, or what inspired you to go for your dream?” Commonly, they will tell you about something they have read. The self-help section of a bookstore is a well-browsed array of advice written by distant healers. Say to a writer, “You are a distance healer” and the response would likely be a puzzled frown.

What have you read that spoke to you at a deep level? It could as easily have been a poem as a novel, an essay, or a play. What touched you may have been in a book, in a magazine, or on a poster. It might have been fiction or non-fiction. Literature can touch our souls. As a young person, Dr. Hudson’s Secret Journal was the impetus for me to start the life-long practice of journaling. I am sure that Lloyd Douglas had no idea that he would change my life.

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Taking time to reflect

Photo by P. Jevne

A reflective life takes time but so does repeating the stupid moments of our lives. New tears inform. Tears of repeated errors torment. If life is a series of teachable moments, I prefer new lessons.

When I am 80, I want to feel 80. I want to have earned the wrinkles, enjoyed the peace, known what my life was about. I want to be endeared to my errors and unrepentant for the adventures that went wrong. The stories I tell will have morsels of wisdom and an abundance of humor. The characters will be complex and their motives, on occasion, still puzzling. Those who read my memoirs will be perplexed at how little of me they knew, and I will delight in them being mystified.

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Entering life as a writer

Photo by S. Holzer

I always knew that there would be another era to my life, a time when the obligations would recede and the call to the creative would draw me to the longed-for solitude of the life of a writer. The moment of transition has come. With the dedication of the scribes of a cloistered monastery, my fingers slip across the keyboard in deliberately chosen stillness.

In anticipation, there were moments I had envisioned writing pages longhand while nestled into the old, yet classic slider rocker, the one piece of furniture that I know will be among the few artifacts of my life. The original outrageous purchase price has long since affirmed the adage, “You get what you pay for.”

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