In this post, though, you get a twofer: one prompt in the same vein as last week's, and a second, different kind of prompt that I sometimes use to help me get unstuck while at the same time process my feelings.
This first prompt contains two lines of dialogue that popped into my head one day and tickled my fancy. Have fun.
"Oh my god, what the hell are you doing?!"
"Experimenting with my life."
This second prompt is one that you might not be able to jump on right away. Here's how it works:
When I notice myself having an emotional reaction to something, I start writing. (Maybe I feel ashamed about something I did or angry about a situation or really damn happy at some news I just got. Or maybe I'm stuck on writing and feel really frustrated and tired and all I want to do is fall asleep. You get the idea.) I write down what's happening in my body. Describe how it feels physically to have that emotion.
Then, depending on what I'm working on around that time, I have some options about what to do with that.
- If I'm writing fiction, I ask myself, "Which one of my characters would feel this way and why?" This often gives me a starting point for a scene or some information about that character's background.
- If I'm writing creative non-fiction, I can either write down everything I remember about what brought up that emotion for me and all the thoughts and feelings I have around it (because usually feelings come to me in groups) OR I try to remember another time I experienced that feeling or something like it and write down everything I can remember about that situation.
- If I'm writing poetry, there are loads of ways I could use it. I might just linger on the physical sensations and work on visual metaphors to represent them or just start writing stream of consciousness from that initial writing, making as many free associations as I can and letting the writing go to a completely different place.
So there you go. A couple different ideas to get you warmed up at some point this week. As before, I'd be thrilled to know how it goes if you decide to use either of these. In any case, happy writing!