Walking Stick Blogger

A Learning Space for Literacy and English Language Learners


Journal Writing Topics: Cultivating Your Personal Voice


These question sets are to facilitate learner self-questioning and are open-ended to support critical reflection. The sets contain a few short-answer questions, in which learners will respond in one paragraph. The first part of the question set outlines the context, and asks the learners to draw from personal experience. The second part of the question set asks the learners to describe strategies used to overcome the challenge, or reflect on how the situation might have been responded to differently. The third part of the question set asked learners to reflect on the emotional material experienced during these situations.

  1. Consider an incident when you were faced with a blank page and had no idea what to write. What ways did you encourage yourself to get past the writer’s block? What feelings do you typically associate with this state of mind?
  2. Describe a time when you were asked to give your personal opinion, but held back, and chose not to write a letter or express one’s own voice. Taking a look back, what would have changed your mind about voicing your ideas?
  3. Reflect upon a time you did not use critical judgment while writing with someone, and just let the ideas flow. (You might want to also consider your writing of E-mails, chat messages, perhaps even written comments on Facebook.) Do you think that it is always important to monitor what one writes as one is writing it, or while reviewing what you have written? When might it be best to just let it all flow?
  4. Describe an experience when you were overcritical, and you slowed or stopped your creative flow of words or ideas. Have you ever rejected, dismissed, and/or destructed one’s written/spoken/creative products? What could have been different to tune out/turn down your internal censor/critic?
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