The Art of Personal Journaling Online



With so many narratives in today’s world, it’s easy to lose your own. Writing on a daily, informal basis can help you make sense of changing times, understand the world around you (and your response to it) and “let go” of an increasing influx of data.

There are lots of reasons to keep a journal, but this course will focus on three: processing personal thoughts, chronicling an experience, and controlling brain efficiency. As we move through an increasingly image-driven, virtual world with tons of additional and fragmented data, it’s critical to process it and/or let it go. Our brains are like the computers we’re so dependent upon now. When lots of windows are open on our desktops, operating memory is compromised. Writing can serve to boost productivity, reduce stress, and move you forward with a clearer mind.

Each weekly workshop will provide both writing theory and practice in using a personal journal to explore self, circumstances, and how change can lead to growth. Students will develop a variety of journaling strategies designed to keep writing daily and to keep daily writing interesting. Students will be expected to share either topics or excerpts from journals, but of their own choosing. Privacy is paramount in journaling, but sharing builds a writing community that strengthens the whole and the individual.


Ages:  18+
Dates:  Mondays, June 8 – 29 (4 weeks)
Times:  7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Tuition:  $115
Location:  Zoom (Details provided in Welcome Letter)


Course Schedule

Week 1
The Art of Getting Started: Creating time, place and freedom to write
Week 2
The Art of Observation: Preserving a person, place or moment
Week 3
The Art of the Prompt: Finding a focus in a phrase or word
Week 4
The Art of the List: Opening up space to “breathe”




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Instructor: Anne Pennewell Sharp
Writer, Editor, and Educator
Read about Ms. Sharp

Anne Pennewell Sharp was raised on Chincoteague Island and is a 1982 graduate of The College of William and Mary. While in college, she was a reporter for The Flat Hat and The Richmond Times-Dispatch, and played clarinet in the band, where she met Barry Sharp. They have marched together ever since and are proud parents of Katie Sharp.

A writer, editor, and educator, Ms. Sharp has taught English and journalism in the Virginia Beach and Fairfax County Public School Systems. She currently teaches writing and literature courses at Compass Homeschool in Oakton and at Ideaventions Academy for Mathematics and Science in Reston, VA.

Journalistic writing has always been a passion for Ms. Sharp, and she and Barry worked with The Charles Center at William and Mary to establish a nonfiction seminar that partners students with working journalists. The Sharp Seminar, in collaboration with The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, provides writing-centric undergraduate research opportunities that culminate in published articles about local, national, and global issues.

Ms. Sharp has served on the boards of the William and Mary Foundation, George Mason University’s Friends of Music, Mason Community Arts Academy, and Fairfax City AAUW. She is a member of the Society of 1918, Alpha Delta Kappa, and P.E.O. International.






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