Prompted by Life

As one who is immersing herself in this new writing world and more than willing to play with words at every opportunity, I find my inbox scattered with creative writing prompts each morning. Little hooks to get the ideas flowing and tempt me into creating – challenging me to grow something interesting from a simple thread.

I expected to need them, I guess, and I do like to read through them to see if anything sticks, but I’m finding that life is providing such an abundance of writing prompts that the poor emailed set is left to collect dust in my inbox. I briefly felt guilty for shirking my perceived “newbie writer responsibility,” except the whole point is to practice, and that I am doing plenty of on my own at the moment. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has more to fit into my days than words on a page!

Now, I love the idea of someone else feeding me a topic to latch onto once in awhile. My brain sort of hops to attention and grins and thinks, “oh, a GAME,” and begins to toy with whatever the challenge is. However, there is something even more satisfying, at present, in walking through my waking hours (though dreams are certainly not excluded from exploration) with eyes and heart wide open, knowing that any of a hundred little pieces could be spun into a scene or a character or a world.

It is so easy to travel through life in a guarded state. For years, I made a habit of energetically walling myself off as a mode of protection. I told myself I was adapting. I embraced it as a coping mechanism. Disclaimer: Of course, sometimes holing up is necessary, to heal or to process or simply to take a break. I still struggle with seeing the darker sides of things, and boundaries are part of a whole other conversation. Yet, my point here is that there is so much of infinite value to be seen in this world every single day. The more I make a practice of observing with my whole self – not just taking in images with my eyes, but keeping my head and heart engaged and allowing that to deepen and expand whatever information my senses are absorbing – the more detail there is that comes forward, and the more possibilities there are that emerge.

Seeing possibilities everywhere is one of the greatest gifts that writing has given me. A reminder that there is always beauty to be had, and that life is worth truly seeing, even the dark stuff – for beauty hides in those places too.

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