Welcome to Day 2 of the Bringing Imagination to Teaching workshop!
Unlike yesterday where I gave you all three exercises to write about, today we are all going to free-write! There is no structure to this. I am giving you total creative freedom to write whatever you want.
Does my mention of doing a free-write completely freak you out, or does it excite you? Whenever I was told we were going to do a free-write in college, I would be filled with excitement but also a little bit of dread. Though I tended to have a lot of ideas for my writing growing up, sometimes I would worry that I would be asked to share my writing, or worry that I wouldn't serve the pictures rolling around in my head justice on paper. Though I did have a lot of ideas to write about, during free-writes I tended to come up with something else on a whim, and usually hated it.
Whatever your relationship has been with free writing in the past, I hope that you use this time to 1) write with excitement, 2) let your imagination run as wild as it can, 3) write on paper and be colorful, and 4) write for as long as you would like (I was going to give you 20-30 minutes to do this originally when we were going to do this workshop in person, but now you can take advantage of the extra time if you so choose).
If you have a project you are currently working on, you can work on that, but I ask that if your project is on the computer that you pick up where you left off on a separate piece of paper.
However, I would like to encourage all of you to leave your other projects in the background for a little while and to try and write something new. I am going to be participating in this free-write with you and will share my writing with you in our discussion on discourse. To be completely honest, I have no idea what I am going to write, and I'm excited to see what will happen.
Feel free to write fiction, poetry, non-fiction, lists, etc. If you'd like to write something professional or academic, go for it. Whatever you write, please try not to put yourself inside of a box. Write naturally, without stress, without care about if people will read it, without doubt, and with love for yourself and your abilities.
Writing without self-doubt will be my biggest obstacle, and I'm ready to try it out. What will be your biggest obstacle? If you feel yourself being critical of your writing or having issues writing creatively without stress, take a minute to breathe. Write down some self affirmations to help you. Some of mine are:
You are a great writer.
You are worthy of writing.
Your writing does not have to be perfect on the first go.
You are allowed to write without doubt, without stress, and without worry.
You are allowed to write freely, you are allowed to write without bounds, and you are allowed to write things just for yourself.
It can be challenging to just write. And to some, it can feel overwhelming and maybe even a bit scary. Like yesterday, find a comfortable writing space. Sit down with a beverage and/or a snack. Get comfy and break out whatever colorful pens or pencils you have. Take some deep breaths. Maybe even put on some music in the background.
If you have absolutely no idea where to start, I recommend listing things. List animals, list things that you love, list movies or TV shows, list whatever you come up with. If you find that you just list things for thirty minutes, that is more than okay.
It might take some of us awhile to get used to writing freely and imaginatively again. I know it's going to take me some time, too. And that's okay. Just like it took practice and repetition when we all learned to read and write, the majority of us might find that it takes time and practice to let go of structure and planning and whatever insecure or bad thoughts we have in the back of our minds about our writing.
Try and imagine you're just a kid again, and you're just writing to write in class, and you don't really know anything about writing.
And just write.