What is “Reflective Writing”?
Reflective Writing: A Journal Workshop for Writers
We’ve gotten a few questions about what IS “Reflective Writing” and why writers should sign up for this workshop. So here’s the instructor, Joy E. Held with some more detail than the course description listed on the class sign-up page.
I’m really looking forward to leading the online workshop “Reflective Writing: A Journal Workshop for Writers” for RWA San Diego in August. As an author, educator, speaker, and dedicated journal keeper, the idea for this course grew out of my insatiable curiosity about what makes writers tick.
As part of a graduate school module, I got to study and analyze the journals of published authors such as John Steinbeck, mystery writer Sue Grafton, nonfiction writer Anne Lamott and others. The project answered many of my questions about the writing process of well-known authors, but it also gave me a sense of peace about my own efforts and career.
What Is Reflective Writing?
Reflective writing differs little from other terms such as journaling, expressive writing, and creative journaling. What it does offer is a perspective on the practice of keeping a journal that defines the action as a way to collect, dissect, and reflect on a vast array of things. Everything from daily life to business documentation to emotional venting is fair game to go into a journal, but the sense of being more responsive to the writing and the events qualifies journal entries to be considered reflective.
If you’re already a fan or regular practitioner of journaling, you will understand when journal therapy teacher Kathleen Adams says,
“There’s a friend at the end of your pen which you can use to help you solve personal or business problems, get to know all the different parts of yourself, explore your creativity, heal your relationships, develop your intuition…and much more.”
Essentially, reflective writing differs from basic journal writing because the writer writes about an experience, writes about any feelings, emotions, or ideas attached to the experience, then moves beyond the original experience to learn more and repeat the reflective writing practice.
Plans for the upcoming workshop include scanning the journals of published authors, exploring journaling techniques specifically geared to writers, and exploring your own journaling in the context of how and why keeping a journal is helpful for writers of any genre. Please note that workshop participants will not be sharing their journals in the course. Students are encouraged to journal as part of a lesson then answer questions in a discussion forum geared to helping you see the exercise experience from the perspective of the topic. I hope that made sense!
Please join me in the workshop to learn how a reflective writing practice can support your health and career.
Send questions to: joyeheld (at) gmail (dot) com
Be well, write well!
All good things,
Women with clean houses do not have finished books! ~Joy E. Held