This may not sound very profound to you, but…. creative writing can be a very therapeutic thing. Trust me. Even if you don’t think you like writing, try a few of the activities on this page and see if you don’t feel better, clearer and more centered afterwards.
One of the biggest complaints about creative writing that I hear at the workshops I teach is, “I’m just not good at it.”
Well, guess what? You don’t have to be!
These creative writing exercises aren’t about punctuation and grammar. They’re not even about sounding or looking good.
They are first, foremost and ONLY about…
Who is going to read what you write?
No one but you!
Who is going to care about what you write?
No one but you!
Who is going to even KNOW that you’ve written something? That’s right!
No one but you!
I remember a workshop participant I met during one of my first SoulCollage® workshops. I had mentioned a few times that near the end of the workshop we would be doing a creative writing exercise to help us interpret one of the cards we made that day.
One woman (let’s call her Colleen) made it perfectly clear that she hated writing, wasn’t very good at creative writing, and certainly didn’t want to write anything! I told her she could do the exercise with a partner out loud instead of writing and she said she really clammed up when it came to sharing with people at this kind of workshop.
Well! I was a little nervous about Colleen when we got to the part of the workshop where we interpret the cards using the I Am the One Who… creative writing exercise. She had made three cards and was especially proud and delighted with one in particular. When I gave her the choice of writing about the card, or doing it with a partner, she surprised me by saying, “You know, I really like this card so much, I don’t think I’ll mind writing about it.”
She did write about it, and she shared it with us, and what touched us all as we listened was not the words, or how the sentences were constructed. What touched us was the power of the emotions that she discovered at her deepest core of her while she was writing.
So, if you’re one of those people who “don’t do” creative writing because you just don’t think you’re good at it (or because someone once told you you’re not good at it (see the Creative Blocks article), remember Colleen. Look at your card. Pick up your pen, or turn on the computer. Write from the heart. That’s really all you need to do.
And remember this while you are practicing creative writing:
Expect nothing, and allow everything.
I think of my journal as my best friend. I can say anything to her, and I can write anything in my journal.
It is for no one’s eyes but my own, and I always feel a cathartic release when I have settled in and poured my heart out.
I like to use spiral notebooks, but you might like a loose-leaf binder, a blank art sketchbook, a word processor, or a unique colorful journal from a bookstore or specialty shop.
Journals and blank books abound…so take your time while choosing one that is just right for you.
It should feed good in your hands, and when you are holding it you should feel connected to it somehow. Here are some ideas for using creative writing in your journaling practice:
Use your journal to record your thoughts and feelings about a new card you’ve created, or to sort out information on a card reading you recently completed.
Use your journal to work with any of the exercises on this page.
Write in your journal about the questions and prompts that follow. They will help you to go deeper within your own life Story. You just might get an idea for a new SoulCollage® card!
Choose a card from your deck and allow the image on the card to do the creative writing through you. You will be amazed at what you discover about yourself by using your journal this way.
- Who do you love unconditionally? Who loves you unconditionally? Who was the first person to love you this way?
- What nourishes you?
- I am afraid of…..
- I wish I could have….
- My biggest strength is…
- My secret wish is…
- If I could go anywhere, I would go…
- My biggest weakness is…
- If my house was on fire, I would save…
- I strongly believe…
- What I know for sure is…
- I wish I was less…
- I love being able to…
- I hate having to…
- My favorite color is ______ because…..
- I wish I was better at…
- I am good at ….
- What is the best gift you ever received?
- What is your favorite season? Why?
- What do you like best about yourself?
- What did you like to do when you were a child?
- What did you especially dislike doing when you were a child?
- When I was 3 years old I…
- When I was 12 years old I…
- When I was 25 years old I…
- When I am 75 years old I will…
- What symbols, images or songs have been important to you over the years?
- Who is your favorite movie or tv character? Why?
Soul Conversations is my name for any inner dialoging that I do in my journal.
Sometimes this inner conversation happens intentionally. For example, I might know that I have been neglecting my inner creative child, so I write out a conversation with her in my journal.
Sometimes the dialog happens simply as a response to what I have been writing about. For instance, I might be griping and complaining about my weight, when suddenly I “hear” the voice of an inner parent, my authentic self, or even one of my council Archetypes who has something to say to me. Usually I just go with the flow and allow the conversation to continue.
You could also have two of your inner voices dialog with one another. Perhaps your wounded inner child could have a talk with your good mother voice. Perhaps your “heavy self” and your “slender self” could discuss your eating habits. Maybe your 2nd Chakra Dolphin Companion has something to say to the overachiever voice within you.
All you have to do is pick up a pen to get started. Let go of any preconceived ideas of what you should be writing about, or of what the voices should be saying to one another. Allow each voice to be as loud or angry or nasty or loving or funny or shy or sad as it needs to be. Remember, this writing is for you.
I have never done this and not found some part of myself liberated in some way when the Soul Conversation was over.
Try writing a story about one of your cards. Who is this person? Where does he live? What does he do every day? What kind of family members and friends does he have? Where has he been and where is he going? What is good and right about him? What needs changing? Write a story about a day in his life. Send him on an adventure, or a journey, or give him a mystery to solve.
Choose 2 or 3 of your cards at random, and write a story that includes all of them.
Look through your cards and choose one whom you’d like to make the hero of a story. Begin writing about him or her. In a short while (you decide when- two minutes, two paragraphs, an hour…), randomly draw a Committee card and work this voice into your story. In another short while, randomly choose a Community card and continue. Then draw a Companion card, and weave it into the storyline. Finally, draw a Council card and add it to your narrative. A story like this can be lots of fun to do in a SoulCollage® group as well.
Free Verse- Simply write a few words on each line, expressing your feelings about a SoulCollage® card or group of cards.
Haiku- Haiku is one of the most traditional forms of Japanese poetry. It has only 3 lines: the first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, the last line has 5 syllables. Go ahead and try it with one of your SoulCollage® cards! Use one of your Community cards to begin, and you’ll be writing about someone you know. Next, try writing a Haiku with a card that you haven’t yet worked with. Note: if you add an extra syllable or two, no one will really care! Here are two examples:
A giant firefly
That way, this way, that way, this-
And it passes by
First summer morning
The mirror I stare into
Shows my mother’s face.
Limericks- Go ahead and be silly! Limericks were created in London in the mid 1800’s in direct opposition to everything that was so proper and reverent about Britain. Which voices inside of you need a little humor to make them bearable? Write a funny limerick (5 lines) about one of them. Or have the card write a limerick about you, from its point of view. Here’s an example, in case you’ve forgotten what limericks sound like:
There was a young lady from Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside
And the smile on the face of the tiger.
Found Poems- A found poem is an original poem that is created of words and phrases from another piece of writing.
After you are done with one of your I Am the One Who … exercises, go back over it and circle powerful words and memorable phrases from your writing.
Then simply write these down and weave them together to form your “found” poem.
You cannot add anything that wasn’t in your original writing, but you can change the order of any of the words as well as their context.
Feel free to repeat key words and phrases for emphasis.
Here is an example of a found poem I wrote after interpreting my very first SoulCollage® card which I call “Choice,” pictured here.
Pulled in two directions
Turning to hear who is calling her
Listening to that other voice
She has a choice.
Writing music and song lyrics is an excellent creative outlet for some people. If this is your “thing,” try some of the ideas below to enrich your SoulCollage® experience:
Choose a SoulCollage® card that you are currently working with. Rewrite the words to a familiar song (Skip to my Lou, Yankee Doodle, On Top of Old Smoky, Auld Lang Syne…) to express the card’s meaning for you.
Choose two or more SoulCollage® cards and write a song that shows how their energies work together in your life.
Write a song about your life’s Journey.
Imagine that you are 90 years old. Write a letter to yourself at your present age giving yourself advice on friends, family, diet, appearance, spiritual quest, work, and/or play.
Look at yourself in the mirror for a few moments. Look into your own eyes. Put down the mirror and write a letter to yourself. What do you admire? What do you applaud? What encouragement do you have to give?
Choose a SoulCollage® card. Write a letter to the image, expressing your feelings towards its place in your life.
Choose a SoulCollage® card. Using your imagination, write a letter to yourself as if you were the image on the card.
Choose two SoulCollage® cards from the same suit. Write a letter from one card image to the other. Write a reply letter back.
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