Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! This week we’re going to explore money. A taboo subject for many people to talk openly about. But, it sure would be nice to have more of. I know, as an adjunct instructor, this time of year is really lean with less classes to teach…not to mention there’s sometimes a whole month without any steady income because of the break in between semesters. Sure, I have all kinds of odd jobs to help me make ends meet (even when I have more classes during the rest of the year) – but it sure would be nice not to have the added stress that living from paycheck to paycheck brings. Nevertheless, if it weren’t for making less money than is deserved for time spent working in and out of the classroom (and face it, most all teachers from K- tenured professors don’t really make what they should – and I’m talking about all of us out there that truly love to teach, love our students, and do put in the hours…not the ones that give the rest of us bad names), I am happy with my life. As just mentioned, I love teaching and my students. I’m grateful for good health, wonderful family, friends, cats, my talents…so much. It’s just that $$ thing that I need to come to terms with.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about? Or maybe you’re someone like the one I dated briefly last year that felt $ was more important than anything…including a relationship. A person that said that “teaching should be a secondary job.” A person that when I said “money isn’t everything,” said: “spoken like someone who doesn’t have any.” Certainly, I agree money would make things a whole lot easier, but I don’t measure my happiness and worth by it…and I learned a long time ago, that even though it’s stressful to have less money – it’s even worse to go to a job you dread everyday just so you can have money to go on cruises or live in an extravagant house.
They say money causes more divorces (and break-ups…see above paragraph) than anything else; not to mention how money can tear families apart after a death in the family. Yet, we all need money to pay our bills, buy decent groceries, buy gas for our cars, etc. So, no matter whether you’re living comfortable and have no wants or struggling to make ends meet – we all have our own ideas, beliefs, and values where money is concerned. As poets and writers, money can be an interesting subject. Here is your 43rd prompt:
“No Money = Misery, No Misery = Money?”
1) In your daybook write about a time that you struggled with money issues; maybe you were newly married, maybe you ran up too many credit cards, maybe you were paying down student loans; maybe you lost a job or couldn’t find a job. What were these times like? What did you do to get out of your money woes? Maybe you never have? How did/does that make you feel. Write for 10 minutes or until you exhaust the topic.
2) Write about a time finances/money affected your relationship(s)…either with a spouse, a significant other, a family member, a friend. What’s the story there?
3) Write about a time you stayed in a bad job because of the money, or a time you stayed at wonderful job but could never make enough money. What did you do? Was it worth it in the long run?
4) Take any (or all) of these prompts and tailor them to your genre: a poem, a story, a memoir piece/essay, or a play. Maybe you have an interesting image that comes from your writings about money that would make a great poem. A character or two could have some good skirmishes or dialogue over money. Or maybe you’ll see a personal essay develop as you write your experiences down.
Don’t hesitate to share, in the comments section, what your writings on money brings about.
See you here next Wednesday with another writing prompt!