Power writing turns mindless scribbles to mindful poetry

In Art, Arts & Entertainment, Features, Lifestyle, Student Art
Students get comfortable as they powerwrite their thoughts onto paper, still following the prompt given to them on the screen.
(Yvonne Villasenor / Daily Titan)

Students pushed their pens to paper and practiced mindfulness during “Poetry Powerwrite” in the Asian Pacific American Resource Center on Wednesday morning.

Expressive writing, like poetry, has many advantages including improved mood, feelings of greater psychological well-being and reduced depressive symptoms before examinations, according to Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the development of psychiatric practices and information.

The event was hosted by the Asian Pacific American Resource Center and the LGBT Queer Resource Center to help promote reflection and empowerment by power writing through poetry.

Minji Kim, Asian Pacific American Resource Center community success lead, said she wanted to coordinate the event so it could positively contribute to college students.

“We wanted to make sure that students here on campus were taking the time to practice mindfulness and relax, and practice self-care amidst the season of midterms and projects and presentations, and other really typically stressful things,” Kim said.

Kim learned about power writing last year and incorporates it in her writing even outside of school. She said the strategy is essentially a means of pushing writers to start their draft by writing whatever comes to mind, which gives them a foundation to work with for formal and informal forms of writing.

One of the defining characteristics of power writing is that it is timed.

During the poetry power write session, Kim gave students two prompts to respond to and advised them to put whatever was on their mind onto paper and to not stop for punctuation.

For the first prompt, participants had three minutes to reflect on a happy moment in the past and to describe that moment through their senses.

With dim lighting, calm instrumental and open curtains providing a refreshing view of campus life, the room’s comforting ambience allowed participants to focus on writing.

Once the timer went off, participants were given the option to share their thoughts about power writing. Some said it was intimidating at first but was easier than expected, allowing their true feelings to spill out. Others said it was great until their ink gradually ran out.

Kim mentioned power writing’s benefits during the session and how it can help writers create quick drafts, come up with new ideas or brainstorm for future papers. Kim also stressed that it helped people write for their own artistic expression or for relaxation.

For the second prompt, students had seven minutes to pick a single positive word, write about how they have felt that word lately, and how they want to feel about that word in the future.

RJ Abesamis, cinema and television arts major, shared her soul-stirring work throughout “Poetry Powerwrite.”

Abesamis was invited by student leads from the Asian Pacific American Resource Center and LGBT Queer Resource Center to collaborate on the event.

“Creating has always been something that I’ve done. In terms of composing, in general, it started my freshman year of high school and then just sort of progressed after that. Just composing in general, finding new ways of art, whether it be poetry, lyrical work, or musical compositions,” Abesamis said.

Abesamis will be performing an original composition at the Titan Night Market on March 21.

Although there are currently no plans to put on another “Poetry Powerwrite,” Kim recommended for those who want to practice power writing on their own to be in a comfortable space.

“Get yourself into an environment where you’re ready to write,” said Kim.

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