07/09/2021 / Education

Inspiring Writing Connections

I recently wrote about the power of meditation and, in essence, how it helps to unleash my creative thoughts. What I never expected was the response from so many other writers who found a connection with my words. I was inspired as one writer shared how they were trying  meditation to see if it might help them break through their writer’s block. While it is understood that meditation is a practice, and that in itself reveals it not to be a “one and done” experience, it has begun to help them relax their mind and gain focus. 

Another writer shared  that they had tried meditation in the past, but decided to give it another chance. They also felt  that finding some time to simply allow them to rest their mind and break through some nonsense that may be clouding their creative thoughts was refreshing. 

These are just two of many responses I received to my blog post, and I feel amazing to know how my thoughts connected with others. So, keeping with this flow of writing energy I want to share a few more experiences that ignited my writing this week. 
I have been participating in (and encouraging you to do the same) Kate Messner’s Teachers Write summer writing experience  Each week Kate has been offering motivational thoughts to help us reflect and release through writing. She offers her own experience and process as a writer, and then provides wonderful prompts to inspire us to reflect and write on our own. Week one asked us to sit outside and think about a time when you were growing up and you felt peaceful and whole. In week two, right after the release of Kate’s latest picture book, Dr. Fauci: How A Boy From Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor, Kate shared her process in writing this book. Then, she asked us to interview ourselves as if we were writing our own picture book biography! For me, as a writer, taking 15-20 minutes to participate in this rewarding experience is a must. I have scheduled time for Kate’s Teachers Write 2021 each Monday of this summer. 

Yesterday I participated in a Teacher’s Write Happy Hour that was an awesome gathering of authors. Along with Kate Messner,  Linda Sue Park, Jen Vincent, Tracey Baptiste, and Linda Urban, shared ideas and thoughts on their creative process, inspiration, and frustrations. Linda Sue Park shared a few pages of her latest book, The One Thing You’d Save which then led to great ways to use this book in the classroom. Linda Urban briefly shared her book Almost There and Almost Not discussing the main character, “California” and the story that unfolds. Tracey Baptiste, shared a bit about her book The Jumbles (part of a series), and then talked about the inspirational work of Lynda Barry, author of Syllabus: Notes of An Accidental Professor. This discussion led me to not only order Lynda Barry’s book, but to a great writing experience 

So, as any inquisitive reader/writer might do, I did a bit of research to learn more about Lynda Barry, who is really an artist, cartoonist, and professor. What I found was a fabulous writing experience on Youtube,, "Lynda Barry Full X Page Exercise". One word- AMAZING!! This video is just under 30 minutes and worth every second! Have a notebook ready because you will want to dive right into this writing experience. Lynda brings you through a reflection and asks you about 20 prompting questions. I filled my page as my pen kept spilling out the many thoughts that were rushing to my mind as Lynda led me through this experience and asked each question. I can’t wait to use this exercise in my classroom and with my writing friends. It truly unleashes thoughts and memories I didn’t even know I had locked away in my mind! 

Now, going full circle with my thoughts on meditation to help inspire writing creativity, Lynda Barry is very much into the meditative thought process Her writing experiences begin with drawing a tight spiral on your paper to help you start to relax. As you draw the spiral you need to try not to connect to the previous line keeping a small distance between each rotation! This  is such a relaxing way to gain focus and get your mind ready to write. Here is another fabulous Lynda Barry writing experience I hope you will check out, Writing the Unthinkable. 

This week has been so magically inspiring! I hope you use the link’s I’ve provided for the writing experiences. I’d love to know what you thought about the Lynda Barry writing opportunities!  Please find me on twitter at @Kathie042500 or kathiepalmieri@gmail.com. Please  share my blog with others who may find inspiration in what I share. Subscribing is as easy as hitting the button below! Happy writing! 

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Kathleen Palmieri

Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Learning Facilitator, and a fifth grade educator in upstate New York. She reviews professional texts and writes education articles for Middleweb. As a writer with a passion for pedagogy, Kathleen's focus is on education practices and strategies, as well as her own experiences as an educator. She has presented at math conferences, writing workshops, actively collaborates in literacy projects, and networks globally. 
KathleenPalmieri.com