Sometimes I just want my writing to give me a big hug. That’s why I love this particular writing prompt. I turn to it when I need a shot of encouragement or a pep talk for the soul.
Here’s what you do:
- Choose a kind word or phrase
- ‘Free flow’ your thoughts and ideas
- Choose a writing form
Choose a kind word or phrase
Start by asking yourself the question: “What kind words would I like to hear right now?” Sometimes the words might be sitting there in your head, ready and waiting for you to hear them. At other times, they may not come so easily. In those moments, you may have to dig into the recesses of your mind and draw out whatever you can find. Try releasing your thoughts and feelings onto the page in the first instance. Write non-stop for a few minutes. Then see if you can make sense of it all. As an example, the poem below came from my jottings about how my body felt at a particular moment in time. I was aching and tired. My body was crying out for some attention. I realised that the kind words it could do with hearing were: ‘I will care for you’. They led to this haiku:
‘Free flow’ your thoughts and ideas
Once you have found your kind words, write them at the top of the page and jot down any associated words, phrases, thoughts and feelings that come to mind. What images do your kind words conjure up? What do your senses tell you about the words? Make some notes. These will be the basis for your final piece of creative writing.
Sometimes, in my darker moments, it seems hard to find any kind words at all to say to myself. Or I think I’m being kind, but then my writing turns into a rant or a stream of criticism. During those moments, I draw a line under my words so far and then imagine that I’m talking to a family member or close friend. I imagine that they’re in my place and I consider what I would want to say to them. It can be easier to find the right words when thinking about offering them to someone else – and it really does help me to feel better, once I finally say those kind words to myself.
Choose a writing form
Now, it’s time to decide what form your creative piece will take. Will it be a poem, a short story, a letter…? If you’re not sure, take a look at this list of writing forms for inspiration.
My kind words for the poem below were ‘You are enough’:
At this point, you may wish to get creating straightaway. Or, why not take a look at these writing tips and reminders for an extra helping hand?
Explore my Write to Relax series for more ideas and inspiration.