Panning for Gold

"Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you've never imagined."
 Oprah Winfrey

I can't believe it's Saturday and more importantly that I haven't posted anything since Tuesday! While I didn't do very well on my desire to post every day in February, I did post more than I usually do so I'll give myself a little bit of credit. Sitting down to write everyday is a commitment whether you're writing a novel, a short story, or a collection of poetry. Finding the time isn't usually the problem, I think we all can carve out 15 minutes a day to write, it's more about making writing a priority in your life if you want to be published. Having a plan, scheduling the time and creating a positive writing habit will result in publication if you set your mind to it. It's persistence that creates published writers.

 Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink: Everyday Creative Writing

Although this book was published more than 14 years ago, it has become one of my favorite for writing prompts and general instruction on the tools a writer needs to establish a creative writing habit.

For a beginning writer there are valuable tools to learn such as focused free-writing, brainstorming, listing, free association i.e. clustering and using a thesaurus. Filled with prompts and instruction on every part of the creative writing life chapters include ideas from "Around The House," "Down The Street," "In The Gold Mine,"  and ends with "Assaying: How Do You Know It's Gold?" Is there freshness and originality in your writing? Written by professional educators Michael C. Smith and Suzanne Greenberg, this book really bring the fun back into the creative writing process. Using both student examples and examples from published writers and poets they show the range of creativity a good starting point can generate.

For todays prompt let's use "listing" and Oprah's quote as a jumping off point.

Prompt: Reasons I keep a journal (or a blog) List every reason you blog or journal. After you write your list, brainstorm on the one reason that seems the strongest. Start a poem or an essay on why blogging or writing in a journal will "change your life." Or maybe you think it won't. Answer Oprah back in a poem or an essay on why blogging or writing in a journal is a waste of time. Now get back to work!

Lovingly,
The Writing Nag