AARP Wyoming To Host Creative and Reflective Writing Course

Posted on 05/13/22 by Tom Lacock

write to thirve

AARP Wyoming will host a four-week creative writing course in June aimed at helping participants live fully, more joyfully, and elegantly, using reflective and creative writing to foster new growth and self-nourishment. 

This is a brand new course, called “Write To Thrive,” and AARP members and their guests will have first access. There is no requirement to be an AARP member, or over age 50 to participate. To register for this series, go to:  https://aarp.cventevents.com/writetothrive.

This four-week online program incorporates expressive writing practices, as well as practices from the fields of gratitude, mindfulness, self-compassion, and the science of stress and burnout, all with the hope of helping you flourish, even in the midst of challenging times. 

The course will be taught by Matt Daly and Lucy Flood. Daly has enjoyed teaching creative writing all around the state, primarily in school settings, although he has worked with writers of all ages that can put a pencil to paper.  As a writer, Daly publishes poetry. He loves to fly fish and to sleep on the ground in high country. Daly is the author of Between Here and Home (Unsolicited Press) and the chapbook Red State (Seven Kitchens Press). Lucy has written for The Atlantic, InsideClimate News, and The Jackson Hole News and Guide, in addition to other places.

Flood grew up on a farm in Kentucky, where she spent much of her childhood playing in creeks with her brothers and dodging flies on horseback. As an adult, Flood has lived in the West where she has spent a great deal of time writing and teaching writing and learning about what makes people and ecosystems flourish. One of her favorite writing haunts is still on her family farm in Kentucky on an early summer evening when the fireflies are blinking the night sky. Flood and Daly co-founded Write to Thrive to help people and teams ignite their creativity and use reflective and creative writing practices to flourish in their work and life contexts. 

“This course is for anyone with an interest in writing,” says Flood. “Previous experience is not necessary. All sorts of participants have enjoyed writing with us, from novices to internationally-recognized and published authors. Our writing guidance combines a lively mix of reflective prompts to generate writing about our experience and creative prompts to craft our observations into language to share with others.”

The course is offered each Tuesday evening in June at 7 p.m. Each session has a focus. Those focuses include:  

Session 1 - Sensing the Significance of the Everyday - In this session we will use all of the senses to get to know more about how we engage in the world around us and what unique observations and feelings we bring to our day-to-day lives. It is from this uniqueness of experience that we will begin to craft writing that feels lively.

Session 2 - Gratitude Poems - In this session, we will focus on the little moments in a day that we are grateful for. Our practice with sensory writing from the first session will infuse our observations of gratitude with a sense of individuality. We will then use brief and uncomplicated poetic forms to shape our expression of gratitude into a message we can share with others. 

Session 3 - Sharing Your Wisdom - Wisdom might sound serious, but this session is playful and fun. We will follow a regular writing practice of the American poet, William Stafford, that generates short, dynamic phrases to express our wisdom using images and metaphors. Once we generate several wise sayings, we will craft short poems or narrative statements with that wisdom at their core and infused by their imagery.

Session 4 - Leading the Way - In our final session, we will focus on vital moments in an experience of personal emergence, growth and transformation. We will look at the skills and talents that came to the forefront to guide our transformative actions. Then we will imagine ourselves leading others through a similar transformation, and we will write a “prow of the ship” inspirational speech to be offered to others setting out on their own journey.

For more information, contact Jennifer Baier at jbaier@aarp.org.

This story is provided by AARP Wyoming. Visit the AARP Wyoming page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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