Monday, October 25, 2010

Pen Is Mightier

One of my fave writing exercises is writing freely, nonstop, for a set page count or time period. Just writing, fast, without a pattern or flow, but constantly for a page or a few minutes. Its especially helpful when there's something I need to work out. When there's an issue I've been chewing on and I can't quite move past it, I write in a big rush and see what spews out. More often than not, there's a solution or a hidden agitator or reason hidden in there. It usually becomes more clear once it's on paper. I admit I haven't employed this exercise in awhile, but I definitely plan on sharing it with budding writers at a girls' youth retreat next month.
It helps to be writing with pen. It's just more cathartic to physically write the words out, pressing hard or lightly dancing over a page in front of you. I have a bedside journal filled with call-an-answers between my psyche and I, where I can see myself working things out, voicing worries and concern, sharing good thoughts as they pass through the freeway in my head.
I love writing notes to my grama, in pen, because I know no matter what I write her, she'll love to read it. She's my grama, of course. So I start with lots of room on the card or page and just start writing. About our activities, our adventures, our thoughts. I write notes to aunts, friends and family too, and drop them in the mail slot down the street. Not as often as I did in Ross River (the capital of free time to spare!), but I still really like knowing one day soon these people will pick up their bills and flyers and see an envelope from the Yukon.
I mention all this to say, hey, revive the lost art of your writing. I know it's in there, you know it's in there. Whether its a letter or a jumble of spewed-out thoughts, I highly recommend doing some writing. It's like working out: if it's part of your routine, it's easy to keep up, and the results can be astounding.


  1. I do this weekly with Jack's great grandmother. Just today smushed between bills and junk mail was an envelope with her familiar hand writing and a letter inside on good old lined notebook paper. I send her Jack's drawings and scribbles and teach him how to do a genuine piece of snail mail.

  2. Good reminder! I mailed a card to a friend last week, but there's this other letter I've been meaning to write since last Christmas. Oops. I'd better get on that.

  3. I love that exercise-stream of consciousness writing and yes, I should be picking up my pen more often and writing to my loved ones back home.


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