Creative Writing: Pro Tips and Prompts to Get You Journaling Everyday | Ashley | Skillshare

Creative Writing: Pro Tips and Prompts to Get You Journaling Everyday

Ashley

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Intro to Journaling

      2:17
    • 2. The Great Big Brainstorm

      3:42
    • 3. My First Writing Prompt

      2:50
    • 4. My Second Go

      3:50
    • 5. Try a New Style Prompt #3

      3:00
    • 6. Writing Letters

      3:30
    • 7. Final Thoughts and Tips

      3:10
19 students are watching this class

About This Class

c53a242a

Everyone has a story to tell. This class is designed to help you do just that. In this class you will:

  • Explore a new writing prompt everyday
  • Brainstorm stories
  • Develop a daily writing habit that will get your stories on the page

This class is designed for anyone interested in thoughtfully capturing your stories and thoughts on the page. Beginners and advanced writers are welcome.

Transcripts

1. Intro to Journaling: Hi, My name's Ashley Keenan. I'm a published author and the producer of a lively show called Bring Your Own Diary in this class will help you build the essential skills you need in order to keep a daily journal. That's way more fun than your childhood diary of today I wore, or today we ate. So what goes into a journal journals could be anything in everything you want them to be. For some writers, journals or in the spaces where novels begin for others, they could be a place to capture sketches, feelings, love letters, observations and even grocery lists. The wonderful thing about journaling is that there are no rules. Journals have an audience of just one, and that's you so you can capture whatever your heart desires. Okay, so why keep a journal? Journals are a great place to express yourself creatively to reflected. Meditate on life hopes and dreams to offer your future self a glimpse, a glimpse into the fast, and there's about a 1,000,000 other. As long as you're having fun, you're doing it right. All right, so here's some tips for excellent journal. Take your journal with you everywhere. Right down. Anything that catches your attention. It could be a beautiful woman on the train with interesting hair or maybe the sound of a dog barking in the distance. That just seems unusual. Tip number to be rough Journals are precious. Allow yourself to do it'll take notes, make lists and complain. A lot of times, these X can inspire you to get more on the page and to be more creative. So let it all out. Tip number three. Don't cross anything out. You never know what's gonna be a precious memory down the road or what might inspire a story, So don't cross anything out. Don't tear out pages. Just let things live and breathe on the page as you wrote them. One last tip. Things that you might share on social media are wonderful things to put into your journal and expand upon things. Could be memories of childhood. It could be love letters. Um, there's about a 1,000,000 things that you could add on there. So think about that and get it on the page. All right. Without further ado, let's get started 2. The Great Big Brainstorm: Hey, guys, I'm so excited that you could join me for this adventure and journaling. Today. We're going to do a great big brainstorm and then develop a longer piece. So what is brainstorming? I'm sure most of us have done this at least a little bit in school. But if you're unfamiliar with it, brainstorming, it's just a quick and easy way to capture your ideas on the page. You want to make sure that you're getting things out without judgment or without too much planning. Okay, here's an example of what brainstorming could look like. I wrote out my most embarrassing moments, and yes, they're all true. So you can write down things like, Oh, I keep my pants and kindergarden or I accidentally said, I love you instead of goodbye Oh, God, these air so cringe E. But as you could see, I just heard out little bullet points. I didn't write the full story or paragraphs or anything, just enough so I could remember what I might want to write about later on. Another way you could brainstorm is doing a visual brainstorming like mind mapping or thumbnail sketches in story boarding. Here's an example of what a mind map looks like with mind mapping. You start with the central idea, like penguins are cute and then you add on extra components. So maybe penguins make you think about flippers. Or maybe they make you think about waddling and Watling makes you think about your daughter's for steps or that weird Christmas where Grandpa fell on the ice thinking, Is this just a way to make interesting connections and think about stories that you'd like to develop further? Okay, so here's some tips for effective brainstorming. Make sure that you don't judge yourself. You want to get the ideas on the page as quickly as possible? Uh, no editing whatsoever. So just write as much as you can and don't worry about how pretty it is. Okay, so I hope those tips air helpful. So for today's assignment, what we're going to be doing is a great big brainstorm and then a little bit of writing. So what you could do now is set a timer for five minutes and write out a list of every possible story that you might want to tell. Uh, this could be your most embarrassing moments. It could be cherished memories, literally. Anything that's taking your attention is what you're gonna put on the page. After you've done that, you're gonna go back through and circle the stories that are most compelling to you right now. Stories that make you visualize things and have this role memories. All right, next up, you're going to go through and number 12 and three. So select your top three of these stories. All right, so now you're left with three stories, three potential stories. Give yourself a second or two to look at these three stories and think about which going is taking your attention Most. What do you see? Smell and remember, What can you feel about those moments? So you're gonna pick the one that is standing out the most, and that's going to be what you write about for your first German. Okay, So select that story and you're gonna begin by writing one page or more. Hopefully more. But at least one page describing that story going right to the action, right to the interesting and important moments. If you need any help, please feel welcome to write out messages in the comments section below. And when you're done. Snap a picture and share it with the class. It's always great to share your writing and see where everybody else is at. All right. Thank you guys so much. I can't wait to talk to you again for the next assignment. 3. My First Writing Prompt: Oh, my gosh, you finished your very first writing assignment. That so exciting. We're gonna continue on a journaling adventure today by answering our very first rating prompt. Before we do that, let's take a quick look at what makes the story interesting. Now I know that I mentioned journaling is intended for an audience of one, but it doesn't hurt to use good storytelling techniques as you're capturing your life story . So good stories usually have honesty, vulnerability. There's a sense of curiosity, you or something being at stake. There's a reason why people should care about what you're writing. Okay, so let's take a quick look at what not to do. So when you're writing, don't be generic passive. You want to capture the sights, smells and experiences of your life. For example, if I said I felt the tide shimmy into my some shorts and desperation, I grasped through the water to hold them up. But it was too late. The waves left me naked in the ocean. That might sound a little more interesting than the statement. I lost my swim shorts in the ocean. Okay, So, onto our very first writing prompt, it's gonna sound a little heavy, but I think you could have fun with it. The first writing prompt is when were you happiest in life? Okay, so you can answer this. However, you like an elaborate about something that happened in childhood. Or you can talk about your wedding day. Or it could be some crazy adventure you went on in Thea Antarctic. I don't know. All right, so, um, if you get stuck, one thing you could do is just into the writing. Prompt directly. So you could say I was happiest in life when I got to hold a penguin. I don't know if you guys Comptel, but I really like penguins. OK, so what you can do now is set a timer for 15 minutes and try to write at least a page. So you want to express yourself as long as you can. If you go over that 15 minutes. Awesome. But if you're struggling, you can keep coming back to that phrase. I was happiest in life when and you might decide to answer it differently, or you might end up talking about the future as you right. It's totally okay if the top of changes or morphs. That's actually pretty natural and journaling. They're not necessarily personal essays, so they don't have to be perfect. It's just how you feel right now and how you want to reflect. All right, so that's it for Assignment one. The most fun part is sharing. So take a pic and share it below. Ask your classmates for feedback and gives feedback to your classmates as well. I can't wait to read your stuff, fiber one. 4. My Second Go: Hey, everyone, I'm so excited that you're sticking with your writing project. Great job. So this is your second go of a formal writing prompt. And what we're gonna be doing this time is really utilizing our senses even more so than in the first couple of writing assignments. So why your senses so important? Well, senses, when it comes to writing, provide clarity one of you, and they make the story relatable. So even though you're just writing a journal for yourself, it helps you to connect with your feelings on the experiences of your day to day life. Another important technique you can use your writing is something called exaggeration. So when you're writing exaggeration doesn't mean lying or bending the truth. It just means heightening the moments. So like we did in the first exercise or the one before this, we talked about the feeling of the ocean hitting us, and we described the sensory experience. So rather than just saying I went on a walk, you could say I went on a walk on a bright, sunny day and the wind was cuffing my face. So those are examples of heightening and exaggerating when you're writing all right, so here's our second writing prompt, and it might look a little intimidating, but I promise it's a really fun one, and you might even learn something interesting about yourself. So the second writing prompt is what are you afraid off? So this could be literal or figured figurative. It could be something like afraid of ghosts or being afraid of losing somebody that you care about. All right, let's take a quick look at an example. Now, please, be kind with this example. I literally just wrote this. I wanted it to feel like a diary s. So it's not a very formal piece of writing here, So I just wrote I'm afraid that one day I'll have a seizure so grand that will hit the mark pavement and had open my head. I'm afraid of leaving loved ones behind without saying goodbye. I'm afraid that I'm fighting for nothing. That no matter my effort, a final signups will flash to the wrong sector and I'll be gone. Is fastest sprinters. Breath. Okay, so here you could see that I'm being vulnerable of talking about health condition that I have on. I'm connecting with my senses. I'm trying to describe the pavement on the feelings that I'm having beyond just mentioning that they're happening. Um, but you can also see that it's not the most beautiful piece of writing, but it's something that's working towards capturing a moment or a feeling. You may also have noticed that there's repetition here. So because I was just writing this off the top of my head, I kept repeating the prompt I'm afraid of. I'm afraid of, uh, doing. That is a really great way to keep yourself writing, especially when you hit those little blocks and you're not sure what else to say. All right, so you know the deal. Set a timer for 15 minutes and just a reminder your piece could be literal or figurative. You could be silly, or you could be serious. It's your journal, and it's your choice, so make sure that you have fun. Enjoy yourself, get a cup of coffee and, you know, make it a nice little daily habit. All right, so that's the end of the third assignment and second writing prompts. So be sure to share your writing when you finish, take a picture or write it out below I know we all look forward to seeing what you've done . Thanks so much, guys. And have a great day. 5. Try a New Style Prompt #3: Hey, congrats on your progress. I hope you've enjoyed the previous writing assignments. So let's keep it going. Alright? For this next writing assignment, we're gonna try a slightly different style. So rather than just writing and open ended essay about one specific topic, I'm gonna give you a choice. So for this one, I'd like you to decide which do you think it's better being remembered as someone who is kind or someone who's honest? So you can use your eternal to explore which one of those is most significant to you? Um, maybe you end up deciding that they're both important for different reasons. Uh, this journal, you could have fun with it. You could be serious, just like all the others. Um, and it's a nice one to kind of try out a different viewpoint. So I encourage you to really explore why you feel the way you feel. There's a really cool radio program that NPR used to have. It was called this, I believe. And on this, I believe they would have people from all over the world or all over the country share their thoughts on a certain topic. So it might be something like I believe it's more important to be kind because kindness is what links the fabrics of our society. Or he might have somebody say, I believe that it's important to be honest, because without honest critiques, we can't improve and we can't build a better society. So it's a fun exercise to try out thinking about why you feel the way you feel. And, um, just having fun looking at different points of view. So go ahead and set your timer just like always on. We're going to be writing about a page at least page about, um, if you think it's better to be kind. Or, to be honest, as an example, you can say that being kind is something that you're you grew up knowing and was really important to your family. And you don't want to hurt people's feelings where you could say honesty is the fabric of of character, it of people who I don't know, people who have decency, and they want to have consistent improvement in the world. You can take it any way you want. This one is more of on analytical piece than one that's gonna be describing senses and all of that. But I encourage you to still work in those adjectives in those details because even if you're just sharing an opinion, it'll make your peace more bitch and more interesting if you have those nice little finishing touches in there. All right, well, just like always, please took a photo share stuff below. Let's see what the consensus is if you think it's better to be kind or honest, So you guys next time. 6. Writing Letters: Hey, everyone, welcome back way fit on quite an exciting adventure so far. And we're gonna keep developing a writing in this upcoming lesson. Today we're going to be focusing on writing letters, but not just any kind of letter. We're going to be writing letters to people that you can actually send them to. So why write a letter that you can send well throughout history and literary history, letters have been a powerful tool to express things that you couldn't say in person. They're compelling to read, and letters are a great way to spark creativity and give you peace. So how could you begin while the first step is to decide who you're writing to? Go ahead and picture them. What do they look like? House their hair falling. What color eyes did they have? Go ahead and keep that image in your mind. And then you come up with something incredibly elegant, like your damn. I've always loved you. I want you in my arms. It it doesn't have to be that silly. Okay, The next step is to figure out why you're writing to them to pull from Oprah sings. You want to write to them to speak your truth. Letters are a fantastic place to put confessions, to put secret professions of love or just to reflect on memories that make you feel good. All right. So I know you've been dying for it. Your is your text writing from you're gonna write a letter to someone that you've lost. Now, this could be somebody that you've lost due to an unfortunate event like death. Or it could be somebody that you've lost in a more passive way, like a friend that you're not in touch with anymore or a boyfriend or girlfriend that you've broken up with. Okay, here's an example. Don't worry. It's not too serious. But here's an example of what that could look like. Deer Joel. I can't believe it's been 10 years since our van split up. The world seems so big back then when I look back now, even through the smoke will ban the shared hotel rooms and cheap fast food. I realized that I was never happier than when I was with you, jamming in the back seat and writing terrible poetry. Okay, so it's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it's something that could make me feel better by expressing these feelings that I had the next thing. And this is true for everything that you're writing in your journal. Don't worry about grammar. Don't worry about spelling. Just get it on the page. And, you know, go ahead and relax. Relax. Don't worry about any of that stuff. Okay? So let's go ahead and prepare for arm coming through the country. You're gonna set a timer for 15 minutes, and you're going to be writing a letter to someone you've lost. However you define that. Like I said, it could be a grand parent who's passed away or could be a boyfriend or girlfriend that you're no longer with. Remember, it don't stress out. You don't have to send it. Um I mean, of course you can if you're happy with it at the end, But it's not being written for the purpose of sending. All right, So that's it for this lesson. Make sure that you share your content below and engaged. The other students twice fund to hear the different confessions of letters that are being written, even if their personal, a lot of times you'll find people connect with you and have had the same experiences. All right. Thanks, everybody. See you soon. 7. Final Thoughts and Tips: Well, that's it, guys. Thank you so much for joining my class on journaling. I hope you found it enjoyable. And I've really enjoyed reading your stories. So, um, before he finished, I'm going to share a few quick tips and tricks that will help you sustain your writing practice. Okay, so what can you do to keep a journal going? Well, the obvious thing is you could write a little bit every day. I know that's easier said than done, but keeping your journal with you and capturing those little moments is the best way to build up that habit. The next thing you could do is allow yourself to hop around two different topics. This isn't a homework assignment, so you should feel free to write about whatever is taking your attention, Whether it be something about math or a poem to your dog. It could be anything. The next most important thing is don't judge yourself, so allow yourself to write whatever it is you want to write next, to be honest, so right, your confessions write things that are real and true for you fiction and sci fi, and all of that is amazing. And I encourage you to write that as well. But start with your truth. Start with the things that are really important to you. Emotionally last to have fun. Seriously, How fun. Don't make it into a chore. Make sure you're having a good time and the topics are interesting to you. Okay, so if you're unsure of what to write, you can follow these quick tips. The 1st 1 is to interview yourself. Ask yourself tough questions is if you were being interviewed by a Vanity Fair or The New York Times, the next thing you could do is dream a little dream. Talk about things that you want to accomplish right down the dreams you have at night allow your mind to wander to things that seem a little more impossible. The next one, which I highly recommend, is very therapeutic use eternal as a place to rant. It's much safer and much more peaceful than if you do this on Facebook. I promise. After that, you contrive reviewing books, articles, art. Just put your opinions on paper. It doesn't matter what your reviewing as long as you're expressing yourself and Leslie, you can try to be silly write jokes um, right. Funny little things that you encounter in your day to day life. Okay, Um, so finally, I've included links of pdf's to some cool articles about books and journaling and the whole process of becoming a writer. So I hope you enjoyed them. Give them a read and feel free to comment below and share information with with your fellow classmates about what you like and didn't like. I'm always looking to improve myself, so I appreciate those comments. All right, so now that you've finished this course, if there's anything that you'd like to develop more, I encourage you to go back to your journalists. And so let the story that really stands out to you if you can keep rewriting and editing and develop that story so that maybe one day descended out for publication. All right, well, thank you guys so much. This has been a pleasure working with you all. And I wish you happy writing by everyone