How to: Inspiring Writing

“…smell the sea, and feel the sky

let your soul and spirit fly…”

Jim Morrison

With the end of the school year and the beginning of the SDAWP Invitational Summer Institute beginning next week, I find myself with a small window of unstructured time. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of “work” to do…but I am determined to play this week and the CLMOOC is helping me.

This week’s “make” is to make a how-to.  You might notice that I tend not to follow directions in a literal way, but as I headed off to join the SDAWP Young Writers’ in Nature campers on a field trip to the Scripp’s Coastal Reserve today, I was thinking about how to write under the influence of nature…and science…and children.

As we headed off on our walking field trip, I already felt inspired.  There is something about kids with notebooks and their innate curiosity that sparks my own learning.  The kids had been learning about native plants–a favorite topic of mine (see this blog post) and Janis (their teacher) encouraged them to explain what they had learned to me as we walked.  I loved listening to them describe coyote brush and its adaptations and watching their keen eyes on the lookout for lemonade berry.

I love the earnestness of young writers at work.  This little guy caught my eye…and I love that he is framed with the gorgeous blue of the Pacific Ocean behind him.

Young Writer

And I decided to push out of my comfort zone and make a video of today’s experience.  I suppose you can loosely define it as a how to write under the influence of nature (and science and children) video.

Here’s a few lines from my own writing under the influence today:

Sitting on the cliff looking out into the vast endless ocean I see clouds crouch on the horizon, retreating from the blaze of the mid-morning sun.  Relentless breezes dance with my hair and with the natives on the cliffs.  Children hunch over the words that pour from their pencil tips, inspired by the sights, sounds, smells, and touch of this visit to Mother Nature’s living room.

And here is my video capturing the experience of writing under the influence of nature and writing and kids.




8 thoughts on “How to: Inspiring Writing

  1. Jose Rodriguez (@coordinatortwo)

    Last school year I had the opportunity to take a group of kids to Science camp at the Los Angeles Crest National forest. On our nature walks we used journals to sketch and take notes on the plant life we saw. Now next time I go my focus will be more on journal and reflective writing. I love the way you put you video together. I am thinking of taking pics and making a video for our Writer’s marathon on Friday as part of the Los Angeles Writing project. We are taking the light rail on a tour through the city stopping at different points to write.

  2. Pingback: #beachpeople: a documentary | Thinking Through My Lens

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