free the pen, a blog for writers

April 7, 2017

Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 1:23 pm

giraffes  The love and care animals give to their young should be a lesson for people. What is your favorite animal and how do they care for their young? How were you cared for? Would you have changed anything if you could? What memories stand out the most?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

April 1, 2017

Thunderstorms

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 2:09 pm

two brothers play in rain outdoors Thunderstorms are memorable for many reasons. Sometimes it’s the loud cracking sounds in the sky. Sometimes it’s the bolt of lightning that hits too close to home. Sometimes we get to use our new boots or new umbrellas. What memories do you have?

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

March 17, 2017

Words

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 1:05 pm

Take these three words: stilettos, scarf, broken heart. Write a 500 word story including these three words.Be wild.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

March 7, 2017

Childhood

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 7:03 pm

eveglasses Sometimes we forget the imagination and creativity, not only of our own, but of our mother’s. Look at this photo. This is my sweet nephew and his wife’s second child. Her name is Evelyn, and she has a very creative mother. This photo wreaks of it. Write about your mother’s creativity, or lack of. And, as always,

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

 

 

March 6, 2017

carnivals

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 1:52 pm

bigstock-fragment-of-wheel-reviews-4705326 How many times have you gone on carnival rides, fair rides, boardwalk rides, or other places where they have such activities? What is your  favorite ride and describe in as much detail as you can what it felt like to be on that ride. Write about the day, other things you did at the event, what you ate, who you were with, what you might have won at certain booths.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

March 1, 2017

Bicycle

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 2:02 pm

bigstock-bicycle-with-basket-lille-15360068 What childhood doesn’t have bicycle stories? What’s yours? Where did you like to ride? Do you remember the first time you rode without help and left your parent standing on the sidewalk praying for your safety? Did you like to ride alone or with friends? Start writing and see where your memory, emotions, and creativity take you.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

February 28, 2017

Hands

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 2:24 pm

hands  Today’s topic is hands. Use your imagination. Are they your hands? A parent’s hands? A lover’s. Write about how these hands feel, what they are doing, what you think they are about to do. Write fast and wild, let your imagination have its way.

Photo is compliments of Jeanne Simonoff, a friend, a colleague writer, and a former Santa Fe neighbor. In case you haven’t heard of Jeanne, let me introduce you. Jeanne wrote
Saving Myself, sving myslf a Los Angeles Childhood. This is a fabulous memoir, in case you are looking for a good read.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

February 27, 2017

Food

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 3:34 pm

As far as writing prompts go, food is a wonderful, full-bodied prompt with its many aspects such as smells, textures, tastes, colors, and visualizations, i.e., the way food can be designed on a plate to make a beautiful presentation.

And what better way to bring up family memories than write about a relative’s favorite dish or holiday meal. So, if you can’t think of anything to write about, think of your favorite home-cooked meal. I bet you won’t have any problem with that. If you do, then you can always write about its opposite: the meal I wished I had or the meal I never got to taste.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

Jun photo compliments of Jeanne Simonoff, Santa Fe, NM

 

February 25, 2017

Prompts to Get You Started

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:11 pm

anduze2004    For decades now, whenever I meet someone who knows what an avid writer I am, he/she will ask me how to get started on writing stories about his/her life. I always ask what memory provokes the most emotion. When I suggest that his/her writing start there, I watch as his/her head shakes, resisting any direction to enter that place of pure honesty. I hear instead, why can’t he/she start with something that doesn’t bring up emotion. I say he/she is free to start wherever he/she wants, but just start! I make it clear that to start writing where there is heightened emotion is to start with what holds energetic memory inside the body. The body is great at holding experiences in its memory, it will reveal where lessons were abundant, or where the juice of the experience resides. Writing is a tool for healing, resolving, amending, exploring, and dropping into the true self.

If you are still mind-boggled about where to start, try “firsts” because they usually hold enough emotional and life-changing power in them to get you kick-started. So here are some prompts to take your pen to paper:

  1. your first kiss,
  2. your first date,
  3. the first time you had sex,
  4. your first job interview,
  5. your first baby,
  6. your first trauma,
  7. your first, and
  8. your first heartache.

These are some good places to begin. I do suggest that you not type your written work. Studies indicate that writing activates a different part of the brain that allows healing when you use a pen versus typing on the computer.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

September 19, 2016

Daily Writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 8:41 pm

writetohealDo you have trouble sleeping? Are you in a stuck place with a person you love and can’t figure out what to do? Would you like to get something off your mind?

Then, I suggest you start keeping a daily journal. Studies show that writing daily about problems of an emotional nature increases sleep. Studies show that writing out confusions and upsets in relationships and writing emotions to get something off your mind, increases health, serves to resolve, and helps you to understand yourself better. Those with Rheumatoid arthritis and other painful ailments describe that their physical pain decreases after writing.

You do not need to write for hours on end. A simple 15-20 minutes a day, for 3-5 days helps. I’ve been writing at least that long since 1972 and daily journal writing has changed, supported, and led my life in a dozen ways.

My book Write to Heal is a 78-page primer on the power of writing for creativity and wellness. Order on Amazon.com or JanMarquart.com

Try it and let me know how it works for you.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan

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