Writing Strategies

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Pyramid Writing Strategy (August 2020)

 

Are you not quite sure what to write about or how to get started ?

Try this personal pyramid strategy.

 

• Identify a general topic, something you would like to further understand. It can be specific or vague.

 

• Draw a triangle with one block on the top level. In this block place your answer to the question:

           How do I want to feel when I go to sleep tonight ?

 

• In the two blocks on the 2nd level, place your answers to the question:

          What are the two greatest obstacles that I am facing ?

 

• In the three blocks on the 3rd level, place your answers to the question:

         What sources of support are available to me ?

 

• In the four blocks on the 4th level, place your answers to the question:

         What strengths do I have for dealing with stressful times ?

 

 

When you have finished, you will have ten options for what to write about.

You can then write about any or all of them.

Be open to where your writing may take you. Your writing may or may not relate to the original topic.

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Example topic: How does the person in this example deal with their frustration about COVID restrictions ?

LEVEL 1—How does the person in this example want to feel when they go to sleep tonight ?

LEVEL 2—What are the two greatest obstacles that the person in this example is facing ?

LEVEL 3—What sources of support are available to the person in this example ?

LEVEL 4—What strengths does the person in this example have for dealing with stressful times ?

Adapted from Robert McDowell’s personal pyramid, found in – Poetry as Spiritual Practice

 

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Story Writing Strategy  (October 2020)

Think of a setting in which there is tension, adversity, or uncertainty. It can be in the past, the present, or even the future. For a few minutes write about the context. Take the potential reader to the situation. Where are you? Who else is there? What are you seeing? Pay attention to details of your senses. Notice color, shape, time of day? What if any, smells, are there? What sounds can you hear? What is happening that is a concern? What happens that changes what is expected? What twist occurs? What is it that is funnier, easier, or possible that wasn’t evident initially.

Your stories may or may not be private. If you want to share them, send them along to Prairie Wind or share them with a friend or member of your family. Invite others to share a story.

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List Strategy  (November 2020)

Lists may seem so ordinary, so mundane. Yet, writing lists can be enormously helpful in giving our lives direction, identifying targets of gratitude and recovering memories.

 

This month’s theme is “joy”. This month’s writing strategy is “writing lists”. As you experiment with one of more of the lists below, notice the interaction between the two. As you write lists about joy, past, present or future, notice how you body responds? Notice how you feel if take a moment with each item on the list. “Enjoy” your reflections on joy.

 

Answer any or all of the questions using lists:

 

What five moments of joy come to mind quickly?

What would bring you joy to write about?

What do you imagine would bring you joy that you have not yet experienced?

What photographs or images do you think capture joy?

To whom might you bring joy to today, how might you do it?

What task would bring you joy today if you re-framed it as a privilege, shifting from “I have to” to “I get to”?

If you were in charge of developing a “joy menu” for people in quarantine because of COVID, what would be on the menu for them to order?

 

If you really enjoy “lists” you might want to experiment with a journal that specifically uses “lists”. This is a link to 52 Lists for Happiness: A Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy by Moorea Seal.

 

 

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