Life Journal Ideas: Nature Writing Prompts
Welcome back to another post in the life journal workshop. I want to encourage you to join us on Facebook and share what you are working on in your journal, whether it is writing, mixed media, creating an art journal or just doodling. The life journal is a combination of writing and using color to play. It’s time to remember how to be creative. It’s about creating time and space in your life for creativity. I will share my journal, writing prompts, books and other inspiration for your life journal experience. Read my last post on the art of practice which is about making time for creativity.
This past weekend I took my life journal concept on the road! My family went camping at a beautiful place in the San Bernadino mountains with members of our church and several other congregations from the area. We were invited to give workshops or share our talents. You can imagine what an assortment of classes and talent showed up, ending with the talent show on Saturday evening. We all had a great time! I made the collage above when I returned home, still inspired by the weekend and the joy of being in the forest.
Finding a Place in Nature to Write
I offered to lead a nature writing workshop on Saturday morning and enjoyed the people that I worked with. I also enjoyed having my own quiet time to reflect and write while in nature. The beautiful feeling of being in that sacred space was so inspiring. There was a small stone labyrinth on the property and we enjoyed walking the labyrinth in silence. We then found a tree stump or flat rock and sat down to write. I structured the class so that we would write in 15 minute increments and I shared several different optional prompts.
I want to share those prompts with you this week and I want to encourage you to get outside to write, even if it’s just into your back yard. The weather is changing, it’s cool and fresh. Perhaps the leaves are changing where you are and fields of pumpkins or pumpkin patches are appearing on the side of the road. The Dallas Arboretum is a great place to go for a morning of writing in nature, so is White Rock Lake. Dallas is fortunate to have several beautiful parks and nature preserves that make it easy to escape the city.
If you don’t like to paint or write, use magazine images to express your feelings about spending time in nature. Here is one I am working on currently.
Nature Writing Prompts
Here are 4 nature writing prompts that you can use to begin your nature writing practice. Suspend any judgement, feeling or “I don’t know how” that might come to mind and just begin to write. This is an opportunity to allow the words to flow uninhibited like snow melt over rocks. Pick one and commit to writing for 15 minutes!
1. First, use all of your senses to experience the space around you. What can you see, hear, sense, touch or even taste?
2. Have a conversation with a tree. Pick one tree and begin a dialogue. All yourself to speak for the tree and hear what it has to say. It might go something like this:
Me: Hello might oak.
Tree: Hello my child.
Me: Thank you for the gift of shade today.
Tree: You are welcome. What brings you to my forest today?
3. Speak from the perspective of an animal or insect that you see. Is there a bird nearby? A squirrel? Can you imagine a coyote or a hawk sharing your space?
4. Write a prayer or hymn of praise to honor the place where you are sitting. This could be in the form of poetry or prose. Just let go and allow the words to flow onto the page.
Here’s the pages I wrote while at camp. You can see they are not fancy, beautiful and are full of scratched out words. This is not about being perfect, it’s about paying attention to what’s around you and celebrating nature.
Your homework this week is to get outside and to really pay attention! Great writers understand the power of noticing is the key to creativity. Engaging all of our senses is a wonderful tool to remind us that we are connected to the earth and rely on the earth for physical and spiritual sustenance.
Need some written motivation? Check out the writing of Henry David Thoreau or visit this website for some beautiful descriptions of nature writing.
Go write and then come share with us on Facebook. I’d love to see what you are creating.