Recently I stumbled across a 7-day writing course run by Joanne. I’m on school holidays, it was free; it was meant to be.
The 7 days were titled:
1. Dream writing
2. Keep random lists
3. Change places
4. The fire of feeling
5. The power of AND
6. Reflection, connecting the dots, finding my voice
7. Everyone is a winner
Each day, Joanne would post a video introducing the concept and then there would be a downloadable prompt designed to get the creative machine in gear. Once completed, many people would share their pieces in a private Facebook group.
But people shared more than their scribblings. They shared their stories – stories of time spent ignoring their memories and feelings, stories of accomplishment and achievement, stories of struggles and of great joy.
For me, I started on Day 1 writing a nightmare scenario that was clearly influenced by the book I’d most recently read (The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor). Day 2, I wrote this:
On the third day I wrote a letter to my mouth and wrote a reply from its perspective.
On Day 4 I wrote about the guilt that I felt when I accidentally hurt my son – we were in a car park and a car was coming, I yanked him in to my arms and the buttons on my shirt scratched his face. It was an accident but I was angry and I cannot shake the shame. On Day 5 I wrote about how I read and respond to other people’s emotions better than I do my own. These two days then influenced Day 6 when I wrote this:
Day 7 is interesting because, depending on how you look at it, it either has the least amount of work to do or the most. Technically there is no prompt specific to this day so there is absolutely no required writing BUT the completion of a form provides a link to an extensive bank of prompts which will keep any writer going for a long time. Here’s one of them:
Anyway, in the Facebook group many people are writing their praise for Joanne, her support crew and the other writers who have engaged in the process. Me, I’m writing this. It’s a review of sorts or simply an explanation of what I’ve been doing this past week.
Jo actually messaged me during the course. She’d seen one of my posts included above and a little cyber stalking revealed that I’m an established poet. She asked, as is natural, what interest I had in her course which is geared more at people closer to the start of their creative journey. I replied that I’m interested in branching into other forms of writing but also that I’m just happy to be engaged in something that has me writing every day (I think what I really need is a personal trainer of sorts, one that is focussed on keeping my pen moving). Beyond that, I really like the two poems that I wrote and have included here. I honestly believe that I would never have written them if I hadn’t taken part in this writing challenge.
If you’re a writer, beginning or otherwise, I’d definitely encourage finding Jo on Facebook and keeping an eye out for when she runs something like this again.