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Writing from Immediate Experience

January 4, 2009

We often talk about “presence,” “in the moment,” the “eternal now,” “the point of power is in the present” and other terms synonymous with right this second. This very moment is our fulcrum between creations past and future. It is the dawn of the rest of our lives. Everything that transpired before this moment can only inform and season us for what lies ahead.

Take your journal with you today, no matter where you go. Something will happen about which to write. Capture the experience instantly—preferably as you’re having it. Take us into the emotional joy, upheaval or physical intensity of the experience. Use only live, active verbs—it is happening now! See if you can capture all the details, feelings, highlights or lowlights, what is said…what is unsaid. A few hours after you’re finished, go back to your journal and read…rich, isn’t it? Writing immediate experience gives us the liberating fluency to write about anything, at any time.

The original exercises presented on are excerpts from the book, The Write Time: 366 Daily Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life, by Robert Yehling, which will be published in July 2009 by Pen & Publish. To pre-order, write to

If you’d like for us to publish a completed exercise on, simply send us the piece of writing, along with your name, email or website address and the exercise from which you wrote. We’ll publish it on and link back to you! Email your exercise to:

Be sure to check out our books:
The Write Time: 366 Daily Exercises for Writing, Healing & Living (pre-order only)
Writes of Life: Using Personal Experiences in Everything You Write
The River-Fed Stone: New Poetry & Essays
Coyotes in Broad Daylight: New Poetry & Essays
Shades of Green: Collected Poetry & Essays, 1985-2005
Freedom of Vision: Voices from Behind Prison Walls (anthology)

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