10-week plan for a ward writing group

A few weeks ago I decided to create a rolling 10-week plan for my writing groups. As this is working pretty well so far, I thought I would share it with you.

Link to plan: Ten week plan for ward writing group

The first column in the plan indicates the week number within the plan. Week 1 is the first week of the first 10-week course, but when I get to week 11, week 1 will actually be week 11 (counting from the beginning).

The plan for most weeks has 3 writing exercises described. The exceptions being weeks 7 and 8, which are about published poetry.

I have briefly described the writing exercises in the Core Exercise column and indicated some variations for both less and more able/well participants in another column.

The Resources column lists what I plan to bring along to each session for writing inspiration – prompt words, pictures, objects, and so on.

The plan initially covers 10 weeks but it is intended to then restart for weeks 11-20, and again for weeks 21-30, etc. For each new start of the plan I will choose different photos, poems, objects, etc. The numbers in brackets indicate resources choices that I plan to use in later weeks, i.e., (1) is for weeks 1-10, (2) is for weeks 11-20, (3) is for weeks 21-30, and so on.

Feel free to use the plan, and to reblog this if you wish, and do let me know if you find it useful, or want to share any of your writing exercises or session plans, or just have any comments you want to make.


About Carol Ross

Interested in therapeutic writing.
This entry was posted in session plan, therapeutic writing, ward writing group and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 10-week plan for a ward writing group

  1. authorgym says:

    What conditions are involved? A condition – such as brain injury or ME – may affect the ability to write so, when you say ‘options for the less able’, would these options be appropriate for these conditions?

    • Carol Ross says:

      Thanks for your question. The people I work with can have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, PTSD, anxiety, depression or another mental health problem. They might be in the early stages of recovering from a mental health crisis or be further along the road to recovery. So they might have disordered thoughts or delusions. Some participants have mild learning difficulties, and some cannot write for one reason or another, e.g., they never learned, they have no reading glasses with them, their arthritis makes writing too difficult or painful. Some people have allowed me to write for them, with them dictating to me, and then I read their words back to them. This has been a lovely experience for some. Another thing you can do is to note down everything they say and then turn their words into a poem. I haven’t worked with anyone with brain injury or ME so I don’t know whether my alternate options would be suitable. However I have successfully used some of the alternatives with people with disordered thoughts for example during an episode of psychosis or mania. I’ve found Mindful Descriptive Writing works well in those circumstances. I hope that helps, Carol.

  2. Ann Branson says:

    Hi Carol Please could you say how long your ward sessions last? Do you find mornings or afternoons better for participants (if you have the choice)? (I helped with some sessions in a memory café a while back and may be interested in doing more at some stage).

    • Carol Ross says:

      Hi Ann. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. My ward sessions last from 30 minutes to one hour depending on how well the participants are feeling and how their concentration lasts. All my groups start at between 2pm and 3.30pm because afternoon seems to suit the wards better. I haven’t tried a morning group in a ward setting as yet. Best wishes, Carol.

  3. authorgym says:

    This is such a generous ‘share’, Carol. I often use all these exercises with community groups such as carers or the brain-injured or creative writing groups but it is so useful to see them drawn together into someone else’s ‘course’. Thank you.

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