Answered By: Paul Lai Last Updated: Apr 30, 2021 Views: 5
© Walden University Writing Center 2019
This bonus episode contains just the follow-along activity from episode #61, "Restorative Writing." We recommend listening to the "Restorative Writing" episode first to learn what restorative writing is, how to practice restorative writing, and how to use it as a vehicle to understand and process individual and/or community trauma. Then, follow along with this bonus episode for just the activity. You can participate in the activity as many times and as often as you'd like!
CLAIRE: Welcome to Write Cast: A Casual Conversation for Serious Writers, a monthly podcast by the Walden University Writing Center. I’m Claire Helakoski,…
KACY: and I’m Kacy Walz.
KACY: In this bonus episode, you can listen to just the activity portion of our previous episode on restorative writing.
CLAIRE: In episode 61, we discussed restorative writing with our colleagues Ellen and Miranda. Restorative writing is the practice of linking events with feeling as a way to heal, better understand yourself and your community, and cultivate empathy. That episode includes discussion about what restorative writing is, why it’s beneficial, and how to participate. As well as a follow along restorative writing exercise. This bonus episode just includes the exercise. So if you haven’t yet listened to the previous episode, we encourage you to do that first. If you’ve already listened to that episode and just want to do another restorative writing exercise, get out your laptop or a pen and paper, and follow along.
MIRANDA: So, for our activity, I want to make a quick note before we get started. And the first thing I wanted to remind listeners is that restorative writing often starts with the self and it’s meant to be an open space that’s free from judgment. So, when you are writing restoratively, you don’t need to worry about what you say, or how you say it. It’s really for yourself. And it’s really just a matter of allowing yourself the opportunity to put those feelings and ideas down into words. So that’s one really important piece that I always like to keep in mind in writing restoratively. So, let’s begin.
Now I always like to start these types of exercises with a deep breath in and deep breath out, just to clear my mind.
Ok, great. Thanks for indulging me there.
So now, if you can, take a moment and consider a struggle you’ve faced as an individual, in your community, or perhaps it’s a challenge your community faces as a whole.
Once you have that challenge in mind, I want you to try and visualize the first moment or significant moment when you recognized this challenge as impactful on you or your community.
Where were you at that moment?
What was around you?
What were you doing at that time?
You may also think about what emotions you were experiencing, how you would describe your feelings at time, whether you were stressed, anxious, afraid, frustrated, motivated to create change…
Ok. Great. Now that you have that challenging issue or event in mind, what you want to do is consider what you can make or do with these emotions. So here’s where the writing comes in. Now if possible, we’d like you to take out a pen or paper, as Claire was saying, or you can open your computer to blank screen. If not, you can always listen along and continue to visualize your response, it really doesn’t matter, but I’ll give you a moment to have those materials if you need them.
Ok. Are you ready? Great. Let’s get started!
So to finish our restorative writing exercise, we’d like to ask you to consider two main questions: why was the moment you chose so impactful on you, and what is one thing you can do today to make change in how you or others experience that challenge?
Now I’m going to repeat the prompt and give everyone a few moments to write and reflect.
Why was the moment you chose so impactful on you? And what is one thing you can do today to make a change in how you or others experience that challenge?
Now I’m going to give everyone a moment to do a little writing, and feel free to press pause on this podcast to give you that space to write, and we’ll come back together in just a moment.
All right! Great! You did it! Thank you so much for participating in our restorative writing exercise! We so appreciate your willingness to explore and engage those emotions alongside us. So thanks everyone, for following along with our restorative writing activity. We really hope that it was beneficial and helpful to you. If you’d like to learn more about next steps that you can do now that you’ve completed this activity, make sure to listen to our Part 1 of this podcast to hear more about Ellen and my suggestions for next steps you can take with your restorative writing.
KACY: WriteCast is a monthly podcast produced by the Walden University Writing Center. Visit our online Writing Center at academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter. Find more WriteCast episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or your favorite podcast app. We would love to hear from you. Connect with us on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter, and at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!
- Recorded webinar: "Using Restorative Writing to Enact Social Change"
- Batzer, B. (2016). Healing classrooms: Therapeutic possibilities in academic writing. Composition Forum, 34. Retrieved from http://compositionforum.com/
- DeSalvo, L. A. (2000). Writing as a way of healing: How telling our stories transforms our lives. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Visit the Writing Center's website to learn more about the WriteCast podcast, including how to subscribe.