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CW 19 WD — The Creative Habit: Cultivate a Daily Writing Practice

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Oct 30—Dec 8
Refund Deadline: Nov 2
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $390
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous
Limit: 125
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Oct 30—Dec 8
5 weeks
Refund Date
Nov 2
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Malena Watrous
Please Note: No class the week of November 20
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Creativity comes naturally to us from childhood, but “real life” often gets in the way, with critical voices and practical concerns suppressing the impulse to put our ideas on paper and make art. Even if you can barely remember the last time you wrote anything beyond an email, a text, or a grocery list, the seeds of creativity are still deep inside you and need only a little coaxing to flourish again. Writing just a little every day takes away the anxiety of the blank page and makes you more observant, more in touch with your creativity, and as a result, happier and more fulfilled. Every weekday for five weeks, you will receive a prompt, from which you should freewrite for 30 to 60 minutes (or whatever you can spare). Weekends will be off, with optional short prompts for those wishing to sustain momentum. The daily prompts will encourage you to try creative nonfiction, fiction, and simple poetic forms. You may always approach a prompt from a different genre or angle. This course is for those who want to write without inhibition and have fun without an evaluative component. You may submit one 500-word piece each week for gentle instructor feedback, if you wish, and you may post your writing in a thread to give and receive peer feedback. We will forge a creative community and find the quality of heightened awareness that comes from using creative writing as a way of being more present in the world.

Because of the high enrollment capacity, students will not receive instructor feedback on daily writing posts.

Section WC and Section WD of “The Creative Habit: Cultivating a Daily Writing Practice” have the same objective—to foster a daily practice—but use different daily prompts. Students may register for Section WC or WD, or for both. The prompts are also different from those in Section WA and WB, which are offered in the Spring Quarter.

Author; Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Online Writing Certificate Program Lead and Creative Writing Coordinator, Stanford Continuing Studies

Malena Watrous is the author of the novel If You Follow Me and co-author of the novel Sparked and the cookbook My Mexico City Kitchen. She has contributed to The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.