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The CreativitySpiral Series

Nurture a Relationship with Creativity

This online series of articles complements The Writing Spiral: Learning as a Writer.  For years, I've been thinking about the lessons in intersecting spirals of ideas. When two big ideas are combined and move in continuous, circular motion, what impact do they have on our learning? On who we become as we create?

The reflections in this series are always in the process of being rewritten as my thinking shifts and deepens. I've realized this will be part of my life's work and will always be a project that is 'in process.' 

Using the idea of a spiral as a central metaphor, the ideas connect to our creative stories. Big ideas move through a series of 8 spirals that combine two big ideas in each spiral. 

  • Creativity & Process

  • Honesty & Courage

  • Solitude & Self-Awareness

  • Community & Connection

  • Ambition & Audience

  • Perseverance & Diligence

  • Curiosity & Adventure

  • Love & Energy

Since this work reflects my creative energy in real time, there is a small subscription fee. Usually we pay for finished creative projects like a book or a painting. For this special project, I've flipped that as a way to safeguard my creative energy. I'm choosing not to give the work away, but to invite you in to watch it unfold for $5/month.

In August 2023, I returned to the articles again to rewrite them, reflect through each of the big ideas, and further refine this way of creative engagement through spirals.

8 pictures with spirals (fingerprint, shell, labyrinth, night sky, sunflower, basket weaving, whirlpool, DNA, and DaVinci Vitruvian Man.

Praise for the Writing Spiral



Author of Underground 
and former Director of Humber School for Writers

“The Writing Spiral is an inspirational and motivational book for those involved in the practice of writing. It deals with practical matters such as how to avoid getting stuck in a writing project, how to behave in a writers’ group, and how to go about finding a safe community in which to test ideas. But it is also a philosophical book that meditates on the meaning of writing in one’s life, learning how to see, and adapting to solitude and self-awareness. This text wonders about writing, and includes pieces by other writers involved in the same experience, and I recommend it for all those who wonder about writing too and want to get even more engaged in the life of writing. It will also help spur those just starting out on this path.”



Teacher and Performing Artist

“Diving into The Writing Spiral is like getting to spend time with the creative English teacher whose lesson plans you always secretly wanted to borrow, the inspired colleague you always wanted as a mentor, the wise friend who shares their rich experience, and the author whose electric work keeps you up too late at night turning the pages. Whether you are looking to begin your own writing practice, or help others along their way, The Writing Spiral is an inspiring and practical resource for writers at any level.”



Ph.D, Higher Education Student Affairs Professional and Researcher, doctoral dissertation titled, Stories Matter: A Narrative Inquiry Exploring First-Generation Student Persistence

“The Writing Spiral is about discovering a relationship with the human experience through story.

Life, according to renowned philosophers like Thomas King, David Carr, Mary Catherine Bateson, and Jean Clandinin, is narrative composition; we live storied lives and through story we teach, we learn, and we become. This is where Jessica takes us – with The Writing Spiral, Jessica has created a deeply insightful, inspirational, and raw invitation for us to explore humanity.

Writing is telling a story and Jessica’s eight spirals offer both the map and the compass for those charting out the journey or those needing a companion for the journey. Jessica beautifully and intentionally tangles and untangles the many threads of writing experiences, as she weaves in voices and echoes of other authors, to illustrate a tapestry of the writer-educator- learner. The voices harmoniously offer perspectives and examples as fuel for the journey, while honouring the heartbreaks, setbacks, and despair that are inherently human. Jessica illustrates that writing is a tumultuous and innately human experience, ultimately grounded in the love for learning and teaching as we engage in exploration of the social and temporal in particular places and spaces.”



M.Ed, High School Lead Teacher, English:

“The Writing Spiral is a terrific teaching tool for creative writing teachers complete with inspiring ideas, lesson templates, rubrics, and metacognitive approaches. It was emotional, joyful, reflective, and quite simply, a pleasure to read. Ms. Outram has lovingly captured what it means to be a writer: to have passion, inspiration, and to never be afraid to dance.”



Writer, Creative Writing Teacher, and Therapeutic Counsellor

“In The Writing Spiral Jessica Outram uses the pattern referenced in her title to explore the ways in which writing and learning impact and affect each other.

Through a series of reflections, exercises, essays and the generous inclusion of other writers’ writing about writing, the author spirals through investigation, discovery, and delving ever more deeply into the questions this book addresses. How do we write? How are we changed by our writing? How can we direct our writing toward revelation and resolution?

An engaging and inspirational book designed to challenge each writer to follow their own spiralling line of ink into authentic discovery.”

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