Fall into Writing!

Fall into Writing!


Fall is here and my latest series of writing classes for all ages have begun! Back to back workshops tonight at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library were filled with creative minds just clamoring to get their ideas across. Sometimes it takes some prodding, but once the flood gates open, there’s no telling what they will come up with.

We talked about how important it is to figure out what a character loves and wishes for the most. Once that happens, then establishing a fear comes next. As a writer we want to place our character in the midst of their fear on their way to getting what they love. That is where the conflict occurs and keeps someone reading.

This creative group came up with some interesting combinations in addition to the usual physical descriptions. Their characters are coming alive!

The second workshop was journaling with middle school students. They were exhausted from a day of school, so sometimes it’s hard to spark their interest. Those who were there wanted to be. They wrote about their day and one girls said her day was boring. But when I asked her about something that interested her during the day, there was an incident. Then everyone remembered something and wrote about how they felt and how it affected them. Sometimes writing it down is all that’s needed, but if the incident caused anxiety or fear, then it might be worth figuring out why, so a change can be made. This is the deeper more therapeutic side of journaling.


Then it was time for the creative, fun stuff. They shared some of the activities they like to do in the fall. Then they made their fall pages and marked with bullets everything on their list. Sometimes when it’s right in front of us, we are reminded of our priorities. Otherwise fall is over, and we never spent the time doing what matters, like playing football or baseball with the family or picking out pumpkins.


Sometimes journaling is just creative fun, and Emily definitely enjoyed the washi tape! So many choices of what you can do in the world of journaling.


Journaling for Healing & Self-Awareness

Journaling for Healing & Self-Awareness


I’m very excited for my next adult journal writing workshop that starts January 19 at 6:30pm at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library. This past fall 18 people ranging from ages 18-post 50’s attended and found their voice and healing through the written word.

Journaling isn’t only about healing, but it can be a fantastic tool to release the power that trauma, loss, pain, and sadness can have on you. It distances you from that emotion and creates a safe space to explore how you are affected and what you can do about it. Sometimes you aren’t ready to do anything and the writing is there to give you a reprieve.

Anyone can journal about anything. It’s not graded, examined, or even shared if you don’t want to express your feelings to the world. It’s personal and that’s what makes it work. By not having to share with anyone, you can be completely honest with your feelings. It’s a practice and the more you do it, the more you find to write about.

We cover many topics and one is journaling from your dreams. One participant, Steve, found that he couldn’t remember his dreams. I gave him and the class suggestions. The following week, Steve came in very excited and shared his experience:

“We all dream, every night, but we just don’t remember what played out in our mind while we sleep. I was on a dream drought. I never realized what I was missing until I woke with the memory of a dream, so real I couldn’t let it go. I started a new class in Clifton Park on different kinds of journaling, one of which was keeping a dream journal. I didn’t think much of it because other than the one dream I remembered that was it. What good is keeping a journal with nothing to write about. I was given a few tips and that night gave it a try. Nothing, no recal, a blank mind when I woke. OK I will give it another try. I put a notepad and pen on the night table. Put a card with the words, ‘I will remember what I dream tonight’ under my pillow with Carole’s stone on top and as I drifted off to sleep I repeated the words on the card. I woke up 45 minutes later with a  full recall of a dream. I wrote what transpired and was totally shocked. Was it a fluke? Was I finally about to remember my dreams again? That morning I had my answer. As I woke there was a new dream ready to be recorded into posterity. …The nightly adventures I’ve been on leave me refreshed when I wake. I have given my adventures names: self-destruct, fast food, plane sighting, starship, walkabout and many more…This opens up a new chapter in my life. This dull and dreary nights are now replaced with a  glamorous nightlife.”

There is so much more to journaling. Sign up today for the 4-week workshop. More information can be found at my website, www.janinedetilliocammarata.com.