I thought, when I started the creative writing class, that ever week or so I'd be sharing what I was learning. Has it really been 16 weeks already? It has. And last night was our last night together. Last night we took our "final."
This class wasn't about reading a textbook, answering questions 1 through 5 and writing a 500 word personal essay or short story "due next week." This was about each of us experiencing something new. It was about each of us discovering an area in ourselves that perhaps we were afraid to expose, or shy about sharing. For some it was overcoming an unwillingness to read their stuff out loud in class. For some it was discovering they were better writers than they thought. For some (like me) it was stepping out of old habits and expanding boundaries. Each of us was basically asked to dig for gold when we stumbled.
The biggest thing I learned is the value of journaling. I've journaled off and on a good portion of my life, but I've been haphazard about it, not faithful to it. I thought journaling was about writing about my very wonderful mundane life. But that's not true. Journaling can take myriad different forms. Journaling is more about, stimulating the muse, keeping the creative gears well oiled, or priming the pump, than about writing "what I did today." This opened up a whole new world to me.
Consequently I have collected pages of different prompts I can use to activate the right side of my brain and to still that nagging editorial voice.
I shared about Abstractions early on. I have continued to write up one a day. Here are a few.
Fashion struts the catwalk
masquerading as clothes we'll wear
and laughs all the way to the bank.
Bliss, wearing melted chocolate
and dripping as she comes
leaves the taste of love on our tongues.
Dressed in gold and jewels Dogma
parades in hallowed hall
spouting empty platitudes.
One exercise is to take five or six random words and write for two and half minutes. Here's one I did in class that speaks to the pain I feel about the oceans.
The words I pulled out of my hat/heart/head were:
plastic, ocean, light, hope, eternity.
Abandon all hope ye who enter here. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The ocean is a floating island of plastic. Our eternity has come to an end.
Another group of words, rising, full, soul, illuminate, moon, produced this poem.
My soul is illuminated by a rising moon,
full and round and whole.
My soul in being illuminated
is made full
is made round
is made whole.
And I rise
as the full moon rises
and I illuminate
the world around me.
I'll share more prompts from time to time and I hope you'll try them out.
(Oh, I got an A+)