21-day Creativity Challenge

It’s said that it takes 21 days to break an old habit, or better yet, to break in a new one. How about making Contemplation and Creativity YOUR new habit?

An example of one of my creative collages to use as a writing prompt

An example of one of my creative collages to use as a writing prompt

What if every day for the next 21 days you created something new? It might be something you write in your journal. It might be a collage you make, add a short message to, and post to Instagram. You might challenge yourself to write a new blog post or update your Facebook page.

So here are a few personal thoughts about creating a 21-day creativity challenge:

1. Everyone needs a can opener to start new writing. I’m an experienced writer. And even so, I need prompts and visuals to get me going. Otherwise, my writing tends to be unfocused and without purpose.

2. Visuals provide excellent starting points to open both your heart and your voice to put doodles (and words and sentences and phrases and lists) on the page. When I trust my heart, and just write to visuals and prompts, I don’t have to worry about where things go. It’s freewriting, something I talk about ALL the time. Sometimes what turns up is useful for my creative process. Sometimes, it turns into product.

3. Reflections on creativity are personal. They’re part of your inner work and journaling process that may or may not lead to other writings you do.

4. The practice of freewriting increases your confidence as a writer. Opening up to write whatever comes builds your writing muscles. Every time you show up to the page and write, it becomes easier.

5. Practicing writing for 21 days in a non-judgmental way invites the muse in and creates a consistent habit. Sneaking into the flow of writing like this keeps that sweet muse alert to visit you more often too.

6. At the end of the 21 days, you’ll be a stronger writer. At least that’s been my experience. I want to keep on keeping on, and write, write, write some more. I notice that it gets easier, day by day, and at 21 days, I’m eager to put pen to page EVERY day.

So what do you think? I’d love to see your name in the comments, or on Instagram, or your blog. Please share our writing experiences (not what you wrote, but about your experience of the highs and bumps, flaws and all, of having written). I’ve already attracted many writing friends and colleagues who’ve joined the challenge.

If any of the above resonates with you, then say YES to it. Take creative action. And let me know what you did. Onward!

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World Read Aloud Day: A Message for Writers and Readers

When I was growing up as a small tot, a visit to Grandma and Grandpa Hunt’s always meant read-aloud time. The first thing I did after taking off my coat, hat and mittens was run for the book basket, grab a favorite, then settle into the nest of Grandma’s lap. I never tired of the once upon a time stories. I may have selected Runaway Kitty, Tom and Jerry, Peter Pan or Heidi from the selection of children’s story books, GoldenBooks, cloth books, and board books.

I wasn’t the only one who loved the books at Grandma and Grandpa’s. My cousins each had their favorites as did my siblings too. When Grandma read to us, she added sweet commentary, asked us questions, and pointed to the illustrations to be sure we saw the minutest details. Sometimes those details foreshadowed something good (or bad) was coming on the next page.

Grandpa, on the other hand, was a straight-forward, no-nonsense reader who read every word with a soft gentleman’s voice. A lasting impression all cousins share is how he licked his index finger prior to turning each page, something that probably was more habit than absolutely necessary.

I realize now how much I took this act of reading aloud for granted. For me, reading at Grandma and Grandpa’s was something we always did, a way to stem the long hours of waiting in Grandma’s post-Victorian home to be picked up by Mom or Dad, who’d had grownup business to attend to.

Later, as I learned to read, Grandma and Grandpa encouraged me to bring out my reading books so I could read aloud to them. Even though I was shy about it, I felt safe tucked beside Grandma on her velveteen couch, or perched on the arm of Grandpa’s wing back chair.

I can’t imagine my life without words – a life without knowing how to read and write. Where, when and how we’re born into the world, and to whom, is such a crapshoot. It’s unimaginable – unforgivable, even – that children are born every day who don’t have access to books like I did.

Learn more about World Read Aloud Day.

To honor this day, and give tribute to the many authors who gift us with their books to read aloud, I join founder and executive director, LitWorld & LitLife; author; literacy and education expert and advocate, Pam Allyn who wrote:

 “On this day, on World Read Aloud Day, I honor the many authors who write for children, for their tender care of the precious lives and understandings of children. Of their fears, hopes and dreams. Of using language to say, beloved child, you are never alone.”

World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology. (source: http://www.litworld.org/wrad)

I encourage you to visit LitWorld and make a donation.
http://www.litworld.org/wrad

Why not celebrate and honor reading aloud all year long? Author Larry Ferlazzo offers The Best Resources For World Read Aloud Day here.

When you write, do you think about how your works will sound when read aloud?

Please leave a comment on my blog at:
https://www.yourwritelife.com/books/world-read-aloud-day-a-lesson-for-writers