Writing with the Five Ws

Last week while teaching my Everyday Creativity class, I was talking about the usefulness of gently programming yourself for the day the moment you wake.

Sometimes the night can offer up dreams of anxiety, worry and doubts which can easily spill over into our day if we don’t keep them in check. Looking at your phone last thing at night and first thing in the morning doesn’t help either and the late breaking news of the day is enough to turn us all into raging pessimists and non-creative sods.

Which is why I try to remember to practice the 5 Ws as often as I can. When I do my day is productive, positive, even joyous. I say no to the niggling negative and reclaim my ground as a creative artist.

I let go of the pressure of creating the Great Work and allow myself to enjoy the small creative wonders of the day, which are always present to us if we care to look. The upshot is as soon as I do step into the flow my Great Work benefits. I’m back on the horse and galloping!

Give it a try and let me know how you go. (Or write your own 5 Ws!)

The 5 Ws


Whether you are working in a day job or lucky to be pursuing your creative pursuits, wake up with the intention to open yourself to the creative flow.


Take your smallest notebook out walking (mornings are great) and be ready to catch thoughts and ideas as they fall in.


Wonder at the world around you as you enter the day — observe everything as if for the first time.


Take a few minutes to list your creative wishes or goals — for the day, the month, the year to come. Check in on them every few days and add notes on your progress.


Remember you are the wizard of your creative dreams. Practice waving your wand. No one else can magic up your creative project but you!


Next trips heading out:

Moroccan Caravan, Mar 4–18, 2018. A camel riding/writing adventure into the Sahara, with optional add on 5 day residency.

Haiku Walking in Japan, March 27 -April 3. Following the footsteps of Basho along the Nakasendo Way in cherry blossom time.

Next Workshop

Draft Swap, Petersham, Sydney, 10 am – 2pm. Bring your draft to swap with other writers!

Contact Jan for details.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

captcha_form *