Welcome to my 2020 Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Each day, I will post a brief Journal On! Daily Writers’ Workshops lesson and prompt. Teachers, parents, and students may use the material to encourage daily writing practice, spark insight, and embrace mindful reflection.
Nature is an incredible muse. The earth, sky, and sea have drama, action, beauty, danger—everything. Journaling nature gives us a chance to take a breath, be still, and lets us appreciate the moment. Brown leaves spin on their desperate grip when the wind blows. A squirrel scurries across the yard with a severe bent to its tail. I wonder how he hurt his tail?
As journal writers, we capture images and paint with words. We can write about the tiniest detail of a sparrow’s feather to the grandest magnificence of mountainscapes. Writing nature gives me an appreciation of my surroundings. Journaling the natural world around me is my favorite subject.
- Primary Prompt: Find a spot to journal outside of your home. If you can’t go outside, sit by a window. Pick one thing that is outside to draw and write about. Is it a bird feeder, a flower, or the grass around a tree? Take a good look at this one thing. Try to draw the details. What does the bird feeder hang on to? How many leaves are on the flower stem? Does the grass grow just around the tree, or are there little tufts on the tree trunk. Label the parts of your picture. Now write about your beautiful drawing.
- Intermediate Prompt: Find a cozy spot outside, or sit comfortably looking out a window. List five things you see outside. Now write a descriptive sentence for each thing. Use color and action words. Puffs of white clouds blot the sky. Fat blue jays squawked at the squirrels.
- Upper-Intermediate Prompt: Go outside. Take the time to sit and be in the observable moment. Consider the temperature and the sounds surrounding you. Feel the grass or stones. Are birds busy? Is your cat stretched out on the patio soaking up the spring sunshine. Write down all of your impressions. Don’t worry about the sequence of your sentences. Create a stream of observations that paint your nature picture.
Until tomorrow, Everyone.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.