Readers, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain when you let your mind go on paper. There are no wrong answers when it comes to Wordshop assignments. Try one and see if you end up having fun with unexpected turns. Choose a sentence and finish it in at least five (5) minutes. Try not to think too much about possible endings, just let the words come from your heart and your spirit and keep in mind that grammar, spelling and construction are unimportant, unless you choose to publish your experiences.
Please date each assignment for future reference. Try assignments again in six months or so; compare them to your previous reflections. Any changes, coincidences and new information?
Create a Wordshop in your area and meet where and how often the membership decides. For an hour long meeting, the optimum number of participants would be between three and twelve. Use Wordshop assignments as a launching pad to create new assignments.
If you would like to join the Mental Health World Wordshop, please send your completed assignments to: Wordshop, c/of Independent Living Center, Buffalo, NY 14214-1384 or to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing from the heart is a proven healing practice that isn't limited to people who experience trauma. Writing is fun, it's rewarding, it's enlightening. Writing about our feelings is a direct route to self-fulfillment.
1. "Write down every nickname you remember. Choose the one you like most, and the one you like least. Describe how they make you feel about yourself, and about the person who named you."
2. "Paint a word portrait of someone close to you, giving detail to eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair and shape of face."
3. "Describe your favorite room and why it's your favorite."
4. "Paint a word portrait of yourself, paying more attention to your face than your body."
5. "Paint a word portrait of three family members and describe why you chose them."
6. "Where do you want to be next year at this time?"
7. "Create a conversation between yourself and a friend, family member or therapist that made you really happy or very angry."
8. "Write about your most vivid memory of a positive or negative incident from the years before you were ten."
9. "Write about five colors you love, and five you dislike, and why you chose them."
10. "Write about a holiday weekend that was terrific or one that was terrifically bad and why."
11. "Write about the first thing you can remember."
12. "List your accomplishments."
13. "What does the end of the rainbow mean to you?"
14. "How old were you when you first fell in love, and how did it feel? Describe the person you fell in love with."
15. "Write about three situations you can change, and how you would change them; and three situations you want to change, but cannot, and how you live with them."
16. "Write a dialogue between two imaginary people who are very happy or very angry. How do they speak to each other, and what do they say? What tone of voice do they use, what do they look like, what are they doing? What are they thinking versus what they are saying, if anything?"
17. "Monday mornings make me feel like . . . "
18. "Word Game: Breathe deeply and slowly, close your eyes, count to ten, and write down the first word that comes into your mind:_______________. Please write about the word for at least five minutes."
19. "When I feel joy I feel like I'm . . . "
20. "When I feel fear I feel as though I'm . . . "
21. "When I feel hope I feel like I can . . . "
22. "When I feel anxious I feel like I'm . . . "
23. "When I feel peace I feel like I'm . . . "
24. "When I feel hopeless, I feel like I'm . . . "
25. "Contentment makes me feel like I'm . . . "
26. "When I feel helpless I feel like I'm . . . "
27. "I can relax when I . . . "
28. "Pick two strong emotions and use them in a true or fictional story."
29. "Write about a turning point in your life."
30. "What is the hardest thing you've ever had to do?"
31. "How did you get through that hard time? Was anyone able to help you?
32. "What memory shines more brightly than most?"
33. "The day changed into its brightest many-colored coat as night approached and I . . . "
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