Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind

Welcome to Writing 101. In this inaugural assignment, let’s loosen up and just write. We’re so excited you’ve joined us — let’s get started!

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen — it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted to say.

— Author Khaled Hosseini, “How to Write,” the Atlantic

On The Daily Post, we try to instill a daily blogging habit in each of our readers. We’ve gotten to know many of you — your avatars, your blogs — and are reminded each day that our community is full of many different stories and voices.

Some of you want to take your craft of writing to the next level — you might be a seasoned daily prompter ready for something more, or want to experiment with different aspects of storytelling, from considering your setting and point of view, to developing your characters and dialogue.

So, welcome to Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit. In these twenty days, we’ll dive into the elements of storytelling, help you cut through writer’s block and — as Natalie Goldberg teaches — access the pure thoughts and ideas of your wild mind.

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

Also, here’s the official Writing 101 badge for your June 2014 course (original size / small size) to display on your blog. If you need instructions, check out this image widget support page.

Happy writing!

Remember: if you choose to publish what you write today, do so on your own blog. Feel free to leave a link on The Commons, seek feedback there, or just visit to chat and make friends, but your challenge posts should go on your blog.

If you registered on Friday or over the weekend, you’ll receive your welcome email and Commons access today.


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  1. I am going to add a page on my menu to write…..I just sent a request to access the Commons too! Thank you! Sandy


  2. just copy the link / website / blog address, the one on top of the page, but below the menus, then paste it here.


  3. Hi — to create a pingback, you need to link to the original post (ie, somewhere in your own post. So for example:

    This post is in response to the Daily Post’s prompt, “A True Saint.”

    To create a link like the one above, follow these steps:

    (Also, it’s best to post a comment on the post you’re having issues with — — rather than here. Thanks!)