Tools For Writers
On the 28 of March a group of would be writers gathered at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education to attend the second in a series of workshops hosted by Rape Crisis in order to learn about writing on the topic of rape. The workshop was facilitated by Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust Director Kathleen Dey who held the space to enable us to explore our creative side.
Many of us have stories that we would like to share but not all of us consider ourselves to be writers or journalists. And even for some experienced writers difficult subjects such as rape can be hard to approach. When tackling a difficult and painful topic such as rape or gender-based violence the first question is often; how do I begin?
To assist in solving this challenge, Kath introduced us to a series of different writing techniques and tools that are aimed at helping anyone to approach writing more easily and confidently, no matter the subject. Here are some of the tools that both full time writers and novices can use to practice and approach their writing:
The Morning Pages:
The Morning Pages is a practice whereby the first thing you do every morning is write three pages of free form writing. This means that you do not have to write about anything in particular, you just need to sit down and write whatever thoughts and feelings come to you. Not only does this practice help you get into the habit of writing daily, it is also said to be an effective tool to help you clear your mind before you start your day and can even be an effective tool for personal growth. Find out more about the Morning pages by downloading this document: Morning Pages
Free writing is a practice that you can do anytime, anywhere. Set yourself a time limit (e.g. 3 minutes) and then put pen to paper and write whatever comes into your head. What you write about is not important as the main idea here is simply not to stop writing for the allocated time. You write in any language and do not worry about spelling or grammar or making sense. This technique helps you get into the flow of writing, it gets you to exercise your creative brain “muscles” and most importantly it is designed to help you “destroy your inner critic”. Find out more about free writing exercises by downloading this document: Free Writing
This is called the head, heart and hands approach. The head focuses on the facts, the heart focuses on feelings and the hands focus on action. For every article you write think about what the facts of the story are and how you will incorporate them into your piece, how you feel about the story (or your opinion) and what is the call to action – what do you want readers to do after they read your story. When these three things come together you have all the elements you need to write your story. Find out more about crafting content by downloading this document: Crafting Messages Crafting Messages
Do you have a story to share? We are constantly looking for articles for our blog – if you have a topic you would like to write about let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about sharing your stories with us or to sign up for the next writer’s workshop.