This post is based on a handout I produced for a one-hour workshop for Adult Learner’s Week:
Workshop exercise 1: Freewriting
Freewriting means writing for a timed period without stopping to think, punctuate or correct your writing in any way. The idea is to just keep writing whatever comes into your head, without stopping. If you stop and don’t know what to write next, just write: “I don’t know what to write” a few times and more thoughts will come.
The workshop exercise: one by one for each of a set of 5 words, do some freewriting for 2-3 minutes per word. The words are: castle, house, cottage, garden, door. [10-15 minutes]
Workshop exercise 2: Fictional characters
Choose a piece of fabric. [Note: I have a selection of fabric squares for group participants to choose from. You might get your inspiration for this exercises in a shop that sells fabrics on the roll, or a charity shop.] Imagine who might own something made of the fabric, for example, an item of clothing, curtains, a tablecloth, a cushion. Write about the person, and write about them wearing or using whatever the thing is that is made of the fabric. [15-20 minutes]
Workshop exercise 3: Mindful descriptive writing
The workshop exercise (mindful writing about something in the real world): (1) Write for about 5-10 minutes to describe an object in detail – how it looks, smells and feels (this is the mindful writing bit). You could choose a favourite ornament, a piece of fruit, a tree – whatever catches your eye. (2) Optional second part: write for another 5 minutes about any thoughts, memories or associations that spring to mind. This second part of the exercise is not mindful writing – so let the writing take you where it will, and write from your imagination if you wish. [10-15 minutes]
This workshop provides a taster of three types of writing that can be therapeutic in different ways.