Reflective writing looks at how your writing process is working, or not, and what you learn from it. Journaling about your writing and the process around the writing can greatly strengthen our writing practice by understanding how we write.
I have spent a lot of time reading other people’s writing to learn from it, and how they write. I can learn just as much from my own writing and writing practice.
Reflection can help you make connections between what you already know and what you are learning and how your experience, culture, background and history impacts on your writing.
I have fought the idea that I write feminist ideals into my work. I’m not trying to make a statement, not consciously. Yet most of my main characters are women, strong women behaving outside of their time or world and trying to push their way into an equal existence with the men around them. Some of those men are able to accept this change, some are not.
Whilst undertaking my Masters I found it difficult to find a link between my writing and different theories. But more reflection on what I believe in, the world around me and what I wish it was has revealed that theory does impact on my writing.
Reflection can benefit your writing without getting as involved in theory as I have. It is a process of thinking about your writing processes but also what you are writing. This will, in the long term, strengthen the writing you do.
After your next writing session take 5 to 10 minutes to make some notes about:
- How you thought the session went,
- Details of where you wrote,
- What you wrote and the development of your writing project,
- Was anything surprising to come out of your writing,
- Can you think of any connection between what you did write and your current values, beliefs, culture or emotions?
- How easily did you find the flow?
- Did you try something different this time and if so did that work better or worse?
- Were you distracted?
- What would you like to change or what would you like to try again?
These are prompts. You don’t have to answer all the questions, just think about some of them. Think about not only where and how you write but what you have written.
Try this for your writing sessions this week and at the end of the week look back over your notes. Do you feel that you have learnt more about your writing practice by doing this and has it helped your writing? Share your stories.