Creativity Today

A Different Way to Live Life

The Power of Writing Workshops

Last summer, I attended my first writing workshop at Writopia Lab. It was literally magical. I had been having writer’s block frequently for about three months, which was so frustrating. It had used to be so easy to become inspired and write a poem or a story, but, it had since become extremely difficult, and I didn’t understand why.

But then, I went to Writopia, and, suddenly, I could write again. I wrote plays, poems, and short stories in a warm environment full of people who loved writing just like I did. They all gave me feedback on my writing, and, because of that constructive yet informative criticism, I am a much better writer.

The Writopia logo.

The Writopia logo.

Although there aren’t Writopia classes everywhere in the world, there are certainly writing workshops everywhere. And I encourage you all to go to one if ever you find yourself without inspiration and even if you do have inspiration, so you have the opportunity to share and improve your work.

And if you can’t go to an official writing workshop, there is always another option: Talk to your friends who are interested in writing and create your own workshop! It will have the exact same effect as a professional writing workshop, with the added bonus of being with your friends.

Creative challenge:

This leads me to today’s creative challenge: write a story, short story, poem, script, essay, article, blog post, or any other genre you enjoy writing. It doesn’t matter if you are inspired or if you’re in the midst of writer’s block. Just write whatever comes to you. Bring it to a writing workshop near you and watch magic occur before your very eyes.

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Have you ever been to a writing workshop? If so, do you love writing workshops as much as I do? Do you feel they add to your writing abilities? Why or why not? Comment below to discuss.

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Is Journal Writing Really Effective?

I have a love-hate relationship with journals and journal writing.

My personal Moleskine journal.

My personal Moleskine journal.

On the one hand, journals are a great way to keep your thoughts and observations in an organized place where you know you will be able to easily access them later. Accessibility is something I have always loved about journals – after all, in our hectic daily lives, it is important to have some aspect of organization!

I’ve read that creative people with imaginative ideas always jot down their thoughts so they won’t forget them. British novelist and journalist Will Self is an example of this – he has said, “[a]lways carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” I agree with this philosophy, as thoughts are easily lost and I wish to remember as much as I can of my own personal musings and inspirations.

But, on the other hand, journals can be counterproductive, in my opinion, for two reasons:

  1. Sometimes my thoughts are simply too complicated to be organized into a journal. I find journals especially appropriate when I am traveling and documenting my vacation because my writings are full of concrete thoughts, so everything is much less chaotic.
  2. It’s often much more convenient to scribble away on a piece of paper or type into a word document or onto a phone (and with all the new technologies today, there are even apps to use as journals!) than to take out a journal, open it up to a blank page, and start writing. I often find that by the time that is complete, whatever thought I had in my head is gone!

Whether or not journals are the best way to document thoughts, it is still important to document them for future reference, as well as to make sure you retain all of your creativity and imagination.

Creative challenge:

And so I present my creative challenge of the day: Write down, or type (in a place where you know you will be able to find it later), any interesting thoughts, sentences, or phrases that come to your mind that you don’t want to forget. If someone tells you something funny, write it down. If you overhear a thought-provoking conversation (or any fascinating conversation, for that matter), write it down.

Use this collection of writing to inspire you in the future so you won’t easily be debilitated by writer’s block. Try to form some of your writings into a story, poem, or any other genre of writing, or perhaps try to create a piece of art based on them. I frequently use this method, and, I can promise you, it is both enjoyable and effective.

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Do you like journals and enjoy keeping them? Why or why not? Comment below to discuss.

And please feel free to share some of the phrases you have written down either in journals or other places. I always love seeing what kinds of ideas interest other people.

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