This is the first in a series of writing tips and prompts I am sending out exclusively (well, mostly exclusively) in my e-newsletter, “The Same Loon.” I invite you to sign up for it here. (When you sign up, you will be welcomed with the discount code for 15 percent off the recently released new edition of my memoir, The Same Moon.)
Writing, especially in times of stress, can be cathartic — and I don’t necessarily mean writing about the stressors.
I mean writing about anything.
It amazes me how many ideas and memories, concerns and dreams we carry with us, and how often they end up cluttering our minds. Writing can offer a way to process them and even help us to set them aside.
One tool that I have used to begin a piece of writing is to select something I can hold in my hand, or at least touch. There are reasons that certain objects populate our surroundings, and taking hold of one can sometimes unleash a story.
Last year I wrote about a craft project my son and I had collaborated on. I chose it because Valentine’s Day was approaching, and this project involved hearts. As I wrote about it, though, I was surprised at how much meaning this little project held for me … and what I had learned from it. Then I was surprised by what I learned from writing about it. (The piece evolved into a meditation for a Holy Yoga class I taught.)
I encourage you to give this a try:
Find an object that means something to you.
Hold it or feel it.
Slow down … take some deep breaths … and think about where or whom it came from.
Why did it come into your life? Why have you kept it?
Take notes on the thoughts that come to mind, even if they seem unrelated to the object.
What story does your mind tell you? What have you learned?
Write your story.
I’d love to hear what you find!