Become Your Own Writing Friend, A Writing Exercise By Victoria Hanley

When you are a friend to yourself, you can trust that friend with anything and everything. That friend is always there for you, no matter what you’re going through. To get started making friends with your inner writer, bring to mind something you’ve wanted to say but haven’t said. Maybe you’ve felt the need to spare someone’s feelings, or maybe the consequences of speaking would be too great and so you’ve decided to keep quiet, or maybe it’s another reason entirely. Whatever the reason, you’ve wanted to speak up, but you haven’t done so.

For this exercise, use a piece of paper and pencil or pen. Only use a computer if it has a shredder program. Write down exactly what you want to say. When you’ve finished, feed the piece of paper you’ve written on into a shredder machine or tear it up into tiny pieces. (If your computer has a shredder program, delete what you’ve written and then shred it.)

Why write and then get rid of what you’ve written? Because the inner writer can be quite shy and needs to feel safe. Sometimes that means creating a space where what you write is truly personal to you and there isn’t any chance of someone else reading it unless you want them to read it. Doing this exercise every day for a week will encourage your inner writer to come out and play.

Victoria Hanley, Writing for Peace AdviserVictoria Hanley spent years preparing for a writing career by holding as many contrasting jobs as possible, from baking bread to teaching anatomy and hosting radio shows.  Victoria’s novels have been published in 12 languages, won many honors and awards at home and abroad, and inspired two nonfiction writing books: Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, and Wild Ink: Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market. She teaches writing at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver and at Northern Colorado Writers in Fort Collins. Learn more about Victoria’s books, read her blog, download a free chapter of Wild Ink, and watch Victoria in action at

Writing for Peace News

September 17th, 2019

Online Youth Summit

Our Youth Summit has been postponed until Spring of 2020.

Young Writers Contest: One Grand Prize winner will be awarded $200

Our 2020 Young Writers Contest is officially open!  Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes. There is no fee for participation. Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Check out our Submission Guidelines here.

Teachers, we invite you to make our contest a regular part of your writing curriculum. Contact us at for information on how to develop empathy through creative writing.

Now Reading for February Issue of DoveTales Online

The reading period for our next DoveTales Online, Guest Edited by Writing for Peace Adviser, Robert Kostuck is now open. He has themed our February issue, “Gardens in the Desert: Cultivating Awareness.” Check submission guidelines for details.

DoveTales Online

Check out Summer Edition of DoveTales at DoveTales Online, One World, One People. Find work from our panel of advisers, emerging, and award-winning writers and artists, as well as the winning stories, poems and essays from our 2019 Young Writers Contest.

Grant Writer Opportunity

Writing for Peace is looking for a grant writer with experience with writing literary and youth advocacy grants. We are a 501c3 nonprofit. Please contact us at

Writing for Peace Adviser Events

Christ Church Poetry Series

 Hosted by Writing for Peace Adviser Djelloul Marbrook

The second reading in this series, in honor of the late poet John Ashbery, features poets Gretchen Primack, Karen Schoemer and Vladimir Nahitchevansky. It is held in conjunction with the church’s highly regarded periodic book sales. A preview of the book sale and reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. The poetry reading, hosted by Djelloul Marbrook, is at 7 p.m. Christ Church, 431 Union St, Hudson, NY 12534-2426, United States.


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