Writing 101: 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.

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 (Monday).


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  1. Hi Cheri, I didn’t sign up for this session, I did the previous one. This time, I’m doing the Blogging 101. If you could remove my email addy from the list, it would give me one less thing to see and delete each day. Thanks!!


    1. Unfortunately, there not a way at this time to only receive notifications for specific courses — if you follow The Daily Post, you’ll get notifications for everything we publish here.


  2. Hey. Looking forward to getting started. Is it worth tagging the posts and submissions under writing 101, similar to the blogging 101 challenge? Or just writing challenge. so we can all relate and view our peers posts, comment, pick up tips etc????

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How true. When I try to capture a dream to use as a story, by the time I’m halfway finished writing what the dream was, it has become a nebulous phantom fleeing to the far reaches of distant memory.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you have access to the Commons (http://writing101september2014.wordpress.com/), you’ll see Michelle W’s post pointing over here. Just below her post, you’ll see a Reply button. Just click that button, throw your link into the white box that appears and press submit (or whatever the button says below the white box – I don’t have it up right now).

      Hope this helps! (If not, a friendly WP staff member will be along shortly.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This gentle kick in the pants may stimulate my brain in a more fruitful manner? On Sep 14, 2014 8:01 PM, “The Daily Post” wrote: > > Cheri Lucas Rowlands posted: “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 distorte” >


  5. Well I did the first assignment. I tagged it Writing 101. I don’t know how to place the link in my comment


  6. Hi, I think this is great being able to have prompts and I just finished my first assignment and used only the twenty minutes to write it. I tagged it under what was suggested which was self improvement. if, anyone does have any constructive critiquing please feel free and I am open to suggestions.
    Thank You, I believe I am going to get a lot from this.


  7. I didn’t realize we could register for both! That’s great. I also wonder if another badge will be available to add to our site, and my apologies if that was posted already & I missed it. Please send me the link to find the badge(s) if possible. Cheers! Jerri 🙂


  8. I just registered this morning (and to Blogging 101) – hope I’m not too late to be added tot he Commons and get the daily tasks emailed to me (I got today’s task from the twitter feed)
    Perfect thing for another Monday morning where I sat down and thought ‘i’m still not writing!’ Sigh…

    But, I wrote, I published and here is:


  9. Hi, i wanted to sign up for the writing 101, but in my hast i signed up to the blogging 101. Is there any way for me to still have access to the commons for that?


  10. Super excited to start writing 101. I have registered for this challenge, but did not get any email…
    Writing 101 (Day 1)http://lifesmilesalways.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/in-and-around-my-daughter/