• The only rule is that there are no rules.

    What is expressive writing? Expressing yourself in whatever way you want to write. Examples are –
    A daily journal where you can write about what is going on for you.
    A list is an easy start for getting your pen to move on the page.

    Expressive writing is used in some writing groups in the Maggie’s Centres across Scotland. Whatever you write is right! It’s not aimed to produce or create anything; it’s to allow free rein to whatever your voice wants to say, uncensored.

    The only rule is that there are no rules.

    If you would like some guidelines, here are some you can choose from:
    1. Keep your hand moving.
    2. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling or grammar.
    3. Don’t think. Forget everything else.
    4. You are free to write the worst junk in Scotland.
    5. Go for the jugular. If something scary comes up, go for it. That’s probably where you find the power of words.
    6. Just keep writing!

  • Your own voice

    Tom Leonard’s poem, Unrelated Incidents III, or the Six o’clock news as it is known, is a door-opening script for us to own our language, our accent, our truth. It had a liberating effect when I read it aloud at a group and everyone wanted to read it aloud too!See here

    this is thi
    six a clock
    news thi
    man said n
    thi reason
    a talk wia
    BBC accent
    iz coz yi
    widny wahnt
    mi ti talk
    aboot thi
    trooth wia
    voice lik
    wanna yoo
    scruff. if
    a toktaboot
    thi trooth
    lik wanna yoo

    scruff…

    Here is a link to Tom’s pages where he speaks of the political nature of poetry, and his full poem.

    It inspires me to write in ma ain Scottish voice. Try it! It’s harder than you’d expect.

    Let me know what ye come up wi.

  • Maggie’s cancer care writing group

    Today was my first session as a shadow to Larry Butler, the facilitator at Maggie’s cancer care writing group taking place on the Gartnavel hospitals campus in Glasgow. I am fortunate that I will be learning by participating and observing the group. We were a new group of ten with a few people returning. Today we got to know each other in a lovely relaxed lounge setting.
    Our first piece of writing was a two-minute write on one of 3 options – I chose the one  “Why have I come here?”
    I wrote about  me achieving a long-held dream, here in Maggie’s practising therapeutic writing, and feeling privileged to be there. And it’s a great chance to do some writing, – which I love doing.  We shared and laughed and later we had a twenty-five minute ‘Owl walk’ , where we all went for a wander of 200 steps exactly. Then our suggested writing prompt was to stop, listen, pay attention and write!
    Here’s some of mine!

    Steps outside

    A garden intervenes

     two rocks sit,

    substantial,  sittable-on,

    ground-hugging ivy is scrawling , scrabbling,

    attaching, garlanding,

    And the fuzzy fizzy fir tree

    is right in my face.

    Seagulls bleat repeatedly

    and the rain spits at me

    occasionally.

    The snowdrops have wearied;

    their heads wrinkled and brown.

    Their spring has passed;

    will come again.