Writing
Comments 13

Writing Prompts from Life

I have this thing with writing prompts – I hate them. Those questions or direct orders to write don’t inspire me to write at all. I don’t know why I detest them, but I do. That’s why it’s hard to find a writing group and attend writing classes and workshops where there are prompts galore.

What I love are writing prompts that I receive from life. Those little things I see on the ground, the major events that either ignite or rock my days, and the seemingly ordinary occurrences that happen, or a word or gesture from the  people who flit through my life. I love the way they encourage me to feel my feelings at that very moment. Watching out for the writing prompts from life allows me to live in the moment. And later, when I can sit down, I love the way they inspire me to dig deep. The words always flow as a result of my excavation efforts, along with revelations, realizations and lessons. No thinking, just feeling.

Ironically, this post was inspired by a prompt from The Daily Post Photo Challenge. One word, this week’s theme,  brought back memories…

Of how BROKEN beads, the sight of them, sparked a passion to collect antique beads. How that passion brought me frequently to the mountains where the native tribes live. How I fell in love with the mountains and the tribespeople. How, as a journalist, I made monthly forays to the mountains in search of beads and stories. How I found aspects of myself instead. How all these have inspired me to write short stories and articles about beads, the mountains, and an old, bent woman I had christened “Bugan-na-lak.”

Everyday, I am on the look out for writing prompts from life. Writing from what life dishes out to me make my days not only memorable – it has enriched my life beyond measure.

bead and story2

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13 Comments

  1. Do you carry a notebook, Rosanna? Being inspired by something that happened or something you saw in your daily life is a terrific idea but I would have to write it down immediately or I’d forget it – which often happens. By the time I get home from work I’ve forgotten the inspirational thing I saw on my lunch-time walk.

    What a crafty person you are – embroidery and beading, photography, writing – YOU’RE inspirational!

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    • Sue, I’ve discovered that the key to remembering those experiences worth writing about is to feel them thoroughly – can’t explain it well enough, but to stop and take a moment to allow the feelings to seep in. Then it would be unforgettable. I do carry a notebook and slips of paper, but I hardly have time to write when I’m on the road. I do write in my journal about the day before I sleep so that’s when I jot down my experiences. As for being a crafty person – I have lots of time for myself. Some people call me a jack of all trades 🙂

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  2. I agree. Writing prompts feel synthetic to me because one to search for inspiration within them. With prompts from life, the inspiration comes as a package deal.

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  3. Pingback: Broken | My Own Champion

  4. I like writing prompts, but I don’t find one word prompts useful to me. I like ones that sort of give you an assignment, and I really like writing based on a photo prompt. I feel like there aren’t enough good writing prompt sites out there right now 😦

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    • Photo prompts work well for me too, because they stir feelings from within. I didn’t know there are sites that provide writing prompts.

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  5. Rosanna, I’m envious! Left to my own devices with writing prompts from life, I will wander aimlessly. I admire your ability to find inspiration from all you see around you.

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    • Asha, I guess it’s because I never studied how to write…I just resorted to journaling on my own, diary style…and then I realized life was buzzing with things I could write about.

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  6. I’m going through a phase right now in which prompts can’t find a place to sit in my head. I don’t hate prompts — they just aren’t working for me at the moment. Thanks for sharing your experience, Rosanna.

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  7. I mostly agree with you about prompts. I do like the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompts when they hit the right nerve but otherwise, like you, I look for prompts and ideas in the world around me.

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