Writing Prompt Pit Stop: Being Thankful in a Thankless World

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s that time again, here in the U.S., where we’re supposed to take a break from our busy lives and give thanks for everything we have. I have no problem with that at all, except that it seems that we’re being pretty hypocritical if that’s the only time of year that we do it…it’s kind of like the people that only go to church services on Christmas or Easter, or expect to be appreciated for things that they do for others, when they rarely take time to tell anyone “thanks” themselves. I’m not really getting on my soapbox, these are just things that have been weighing on my mind of late. I’ve been extra thankful “of late” and not because it’s the season to do so. I just feel good about the life choices I’ve made lately, and about how I’ve been able to rise above a lot of depressing and low times. This has been quite a year of change, and it’s taken a lot of bad things happening to make me appreciate all that I do have. After all, I have my health…, I have my parents, my daughters, and my grandchildren, who are all healthy and happy, I have so many great, loyal friends, I have my three kitties, who are healthy, I have teaching jobs that I love, I have been blessed with talents…art and writing, I’m getting to direct a one-act play for the first time, and I’ve had so many good opportunities. I don’t take any of these things for granted, and I have found my way back to a spirituality that’s always been within. So, after having such a difficult August 2013-August 2014, I’ve found hope and purpose. It was just a year ago in this very blog I wrote “Temporarily Un-thankful or Thanks for Nothing…Yet” and I was asking you to write about life’s major disappointments. This year, I want to change it up and ask you to write about life’s major joys. Here are your fifty-fifth Writing Prompts:

“Being Thankful in a Thankless World”

1) In your daybook, write down some of the most joyful moments of your life. It could be anything from your wedding day, the birth of a child, to the first time you drove a car, drew your first picture, wrote your first poem…or maybe it is just seeing a beautiful sunrise or sunset. No matter, write down what it is…then choose one of those moments and write for 10 minutes or until you exhaust the topic.

2) You see those lists on Facebook…writing down each day three things you’re thankful for. Instead of posting it there, write a list in your daybook of what/who you’re most thankful for. Each day, choose one and write something about why that you’re thankful for that thing or person. A twist could be to do one of these lists for a character that you’re working with in a novel, story, or play. It might be amazing what you find out about the character.

3) Think about someone or something that you take for granted, and write about what life would be without them/that. Go where you’ve not gone before.

4) And, of course there’s always got to be some conflict when you’re doing any kind of creative writing...so write down the times that you’ve felt like you weren’t appreciated in this “thankless world.” Then take one of those times and turn it into a poem, a story, or a play.

5) If you feel up to it, I’m always open to any sharing of your work, or comments on the blog…or you can contact me at lylanne@lylanne.com

I’m coming upon the end of the semester, so ideally I’ll get to writing here weekly again in mid-December! 🙂

Writing Prompt Pit Stop

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! We’re over halfway through November and in the first two weeks I’ve prompted you to write about friends of all kinds, including the furry kind. This week let’s try a different angle of being thankful – thankful for things that didn’t turn out the way we thought they should, or prayed they would.

Have you ever heard the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers?” If you haven’t you should give it a listen…the next time that you want something so bad and it doesn’t work out…it may not be apparent in the moment, but somewhere down the line it will become clear why things didn’t turn out the way we wanted. In the case of the song, it’s a high school love that didn’t last, but it’s discovered later on that how it played out was how it was meant to be – the true love was met because the first one was lost.

Relationships aren’t the only thing that don’t always go our way…but later on we see why. Often times it’s a job, a promotion, a raise, or something on our career paths that we want so bad we can taste it. When we don’t get what we want we’re left asking: Why? Or Why Not Me? (Now I’m hearing The Judds song, and realizing I have a country song theme going I didn’t plan on!) However, maybe not the next day, the next month, or even the next year do we have an answer – but eventually it becomes apparent…when we’re doing some other job we never dreamed of…and are genuinely happy. See how optimistic I’m being?

So with this new-found optimism about why things work out other than how we planned, we’ll be thankful for what we’ve got and how things turned out. So with that idea in mind, here’s the twenty-first prompt:

“Temporarily Un-thankful or Thanks for Nothing…Yet”

1) In your daybook, write down some major disappointments in your life. Then write down what happened in your life because of/in spite of those disappointments. Did you get a different job? Did you find the love of your life? Did you stumble upon a different hobby? A new career path? A sport that you actually excelled in? Were you able to make a move that you wouldn’t have if you’d gotten what you wanted? Continue on with this exercise until you have several interesting things to write about.

2) Now from that list pick one of those disappointments and write all of the things that actually happened (good and bad) because of that setback in your plans. If you want, you can continue down the list and do the same – when done see what connections you can make with your list, or if you see something that you hadn’t even thought of before…that you could be thankful for.

3) With any of the prompts above take your disappointment/optimistic happening and create a poem, an essay, a story, or a play around it. You’ll note that just by the nature of this writing you’ll have some conflict which lends itself well to a good story or a play.

4) When done with Step 3, take your work and revise it – cut anything that’s unneeded in this particular piece. By the same token, add material/images if needed. Then revise, revise, revise!

As with all writing, this “Temporarily Un-thankful…” 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!