Write Yourself Calm: Lists Get Creative

Do hope all you lovely students are doing fine, and staying safe during this strange time.

I’ve been thinking here some time about how to combine two loved activities – psychology and writing skills – in a project. So this seems like the perfect time to get cracking on it. I’ll publish weekly videos over the next few months until circumstances settle.

There’ll be a ‘psychology first’ approach to these videos, using writing skills for two aims: to help you feel more in control and build a sense of perspective. Hopefully, the exercises will act a a useful distraction, too.

So in this lesson we look at writing cheery lists, jokey lists, books about lists and using lists to structure poems. The featured poems are Jackie Kay’s No 115 Dreams from Red Cherry Red and Walt Whitmans Captain, O My Captain, Complete Works Of Walt Whitman

If you have any writing techniques or psychology tips that work especially well for you, then I’d love to hear about them and share them.

Here are a couple of other snippets, to keep you going. In my courses, I quote Roy Peters Clark frequently and he’s got a terrific blog post up on Poynter currently: 12 Writing Tools To Make COVID Coverage Comprehensible (though you could find usefulness here, for whatever you write about).


And finally – along with awesome poets and my grand pals,Jean and Emma – we’ve launched a podcast. A very steep learning perpendicular this, but most enjoyable. You can hear the first episode here: Poetry Pause: episode 1, Inspired By Billy Collins

With very best wishes to you and your loved ones.