Format for Classes
The best plan for writing improvement is to meet and write consistently, once a week for two hours. Classes start with some talk to loosen everyone up, focus everyone in the present moment, get everyone on the same wavelength. Listen to each other, vent a little, get emotionally close so the class is intimate, safe. No one judges or laughs at anyone in the group. Encourage humor, silliness, laughter and tears, both in conversation and in writing. Then, you are ready to write.
Timed writings are helpful because they add enough pressure to shut out the editorial voice that says, "Don't write that, it's a stupid idea." On the other hand, if students are so new at writing that timed writings add more pressure, dispense with intense timed writings. ("We'll write for 15 minutes from the time I say start until the time I say stop, without pausing, without thinking. If you get stuck, just keep writing. Don't worry about staying on the subject.") Instead, say, "Write on this topic as much as you can for the next hour. Save the last 10 minutes to review your writing to see if you're making sense, starting sentences with capital letters, ending with punctuation, checking spelling, indentation, general sense. Remember, don't begin sentences with 'so, just, because, but.' Get your creative ideas down on paper first, then look for mechanical problems. Lose control in the first draft; gain control in the second draft."
Writing is an act of ego, of saying "I'm here, I'm real and what I think (my life) and feel is important, and I prove that by writing it on paper."
You don't have to suffer from writers block. If you want to write, and you don't want to be dependent on inspiration, make up exercises to access your ideas, your material hidden deep within you.
Begin with creativity, and then go back and learn what you've done. Believe in writing from the unconscious self, from down deep where our stories live. Learn to access the stories in your unconscious self.
Access them for your students by creating exercises that bypass the critical, judgmental, editorial part of the mind, which then allows us to drop down to the center below judgment.