Leigh Medeiros was in the middle of a tough year. Her husband was diagnosed with a serious illness, and they spent months visiting doctors and hospitals. Whenever she was stuck waiting for something important to happen, Medeiros would whip out her phone, open the “notes” app, and type out a thought. Her husband thankfully recovered, and Leigh finally compiled all these notes. The total manuscript was 125 pages – single spaced.
“By accident, I discovered the power of micro-writing,” recalls Leigh with a laugh. “It’s the easiest way possible to do creative writing.”
Her new book, The 1-Minute Writer, takes this approach to heart. The book contains 135 pages of writing prompts, nudging would-be scribblers to put pen to paper. Designed for “tired and busy people,” the prompts are wide-ranging: What genre would the movie of your life be? How would you describe your posture? Write the inner monologue of someone who has found one of your possessions. Users can decide how much time they have, from one to 20 minutes, and find a corresponding assignment.
Leigh has long been an accomplished writer, editor, and painter. An East Greenwich native, she has worked on Hollywood movie sets, served as a script consultant, and helped develop books. She also runs an online forum called 48 Days of Creative Devotion, helping others focus their personal work. The program began as an informal Facebook group, but demand was so high that 48 Days has since ballooned into a full-on program.
The big rule: Don’t trash your own work.
“There’s this habitual negativity,” says Leigh. “People say, ‘This is no good.’ It’s a form of security, to protect themselves.” But Leigh wants her mentees to own their verbal experiments and share them with others.
Leigh has been excited about the exploding literary scene in Rhode Island, such as the What Cheer Writers Club, the Frequency Writers and Grub Street writing classes, and reading series like Stranger Stories and The Cardigan Connection. She is excited that so many resources – and now her book – can help aspiring writers come out of their shells.
“People say, ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body,’” she says. “They say, ‘I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.’ Well, that’s just not true. And straight lines are boring. And literally, your existence is creative.” For more information about Leigh’s work, visit her website.