English 251: Introduction to Creative Writing: Exploring the Genres
Instructor: Bryan Fry
Office: Avery 371
Office Hours: MWF 10:00-11:00 am

Journal Assignment
This assignment is an adaptation of some of the ideas in Dorianne Laux and Kim Addonizio's A Poet's Companion.

Assignment: Keep a journal and write in it every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes. What most writers lack in abundance is time. Our lives are so busy. There are so many things that need to get done in a day and they are all much more important than writing a poem. But think of it this way: if a good friend called you and said, “I know you’re busy, but can I have ten minutes of your time?” you’d probably oblige and settle in for fifteen. We all have a few minutes a day we can spare for something we care about. It’s a reasonable amount of time. Give yourself ten minutes a day and don’t just wait for it to appear. If you drink coffee in the morning and stare out the window for half an hour, give yourself twenty minutes to stare and ten minutes to write. Or ten minutes before you go to sleep, or ten minutes around lunch time. Figure out a time during the day that you generally have to yourself and mark it in your calendar. Make a date with yourself. Now you want to know, What do I write about? Keep it simple. Write down an image that struck you the day before, or one from memory. Expand on it for a few minutes. Or write down a number of images, briefly: the boy at the gas station, the stunted tree in the backyard, the man who dropped his suitcase at the airport, notes for possible poems. This is “no fault” writing. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to get done. Think of it as a program to get you back on track. Do it for one semester and see what happens.

Due Dates: I will collect these journals periodically throughout the semester so make sure you bring them to class every day

Here is a list of prompts to help get you started

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