Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! This week’s prompt deals with life. Yes, life is a broad subject and it comes at you fast and furious. Some people feel like they’re not living if they’re not snowed under piles of work, others feel they’re not living unless they take elaborate vacations throughout the year. Some live life just going through the motions and don’t really live “a wonderful life” at all, while others are afraid to live…to step out of their comfort zone and try something new: maybe it’s karaoke, maybe it’s switching careers, maybe it’s taking a chance on love, or simply speaking up for the first time in their lives. What is happening in your life right now?
Allow me to introduce you to a couple of quotes on life that you should become familiar with (if you aren’t already):
Emily Dickinson once said of life: “To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.” Now that’s a statement that is just waiting to be unpacked! And we can’t forget that John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” I believe we all can agree that statement is really true too.
With trying new things, being overwhelmed, by being “startled” to live a life in mind, here is your eighteenth prompt:
“Living a Startling Life”
1) What do you do that makes your life startling? Is it stagnant? Are you living? Is not having enough time to get everything done in the day killing the life you really want to live? Do you have so much time on your hands that you create problems for yourself that are not there? Have you tried anything new lately? What scares you to try? Skydiving? Karaoke? Taking dance lessons? Being alone? In your daybook sit down and write using one of those ideas and see where it leads you. You might be surprised. Doing this exercise could lead to an interesting poem, a nice memoir, or essay.
2) As a fiction writer, you can take those questions and ask them of your character. If you don’t have a character in mind to ask those questions of, think of a character that you haven’t had much luck in developing…and maybe these questions can jump start that character’s story. Again, write on one question at a time for 10 minutes each. You may get enough from just one single question that you can save the other questions for another character or for another storyline.
3) Speaking of story-lines, just by the nature of writing about some of those questions listed in #1 you might stumble upon an idea for a story that you hadn’t thought of before. Give it a try! Write!!
4) Once you get those 10 minutes in, keep going with another question until you’ve got the character/information/story/memory that you need to writer your poem, memoir, essay, fiction, or play, and then write even more, revise, write some more, and revise again!
As with all writing, this “Life” writing should be fun! And I remind you that if you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.
Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!