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  • Sara Tucker

Takeaway from Kimball Workshop No. 1

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Do you get anxious before a presentation? I do. I'm afraid I'll bore people. Boredom, the killer disease. So I was quite relieved when nobody keeled over yesterday, or left the Zoom session in a hurry, saying they needed to feed the cat. Kimball's wonderful Lynne Gately and I were joined by eight other writers via Zoom, and the Homebound Diaries Journaling Project is now up and running. The session—the first in a series of six—brought together a bunch of very creative people—they will keep me on my toes, for sure. I hope they all went away with some new and useful ideas. I promised to send them a handout, so here it is. Next session: Friday, September 25, at 10 a.m. ET. To register, email

Above: A photo from author Shirly Hook's August/September diary. Shirly, the author of My Bring Up, is working on an Abenaki cookbook.


Dear diarists:

I’m inspired by this group, which is so full of creativity. It will be a challenge to keep up with you.

Let’s start with the writing exercise, “Fives.” We did items 4 and 5 yesterday, but there is more to it. Taking the lists you made yesterday, choose one item and write a few sentences about it. Set a goal, such as “I’m going to write 5 sentences,” or “I’m going to write one page,” or “I’m going to write for 5 minutes.” Make the goal something measurable and concrete, and just write, keep your fingers moving, and don’t judge. See what comes out.

(In writing, you know you’re getting somewhere when you surprise yourself.) Here’s the full exercise:

Writing exercise: “Fives”

When I’m stuck in my writing, I can usually muster up the ability to at least make a list. I can then use the list as a springboard to more writing.

Make five lists. Each list will have roughly 5 items. If you can’t think of 5 things, just write a word in place of the missing thing, any word, the more ridiculous the better.

1. Five things I did yesterday.

2. Five things I wish I had done—or done differently—yesterday. (regrets/losses)

3. Five things I hope to do someday. (wishes/desires/goals/intentions)