All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.
Friday, November 15, 2019
A Writing Prompt For All Ages
Yes - passed away. She remembers that her coping mechanism for losing her mother at the age of four was to think about her, visualize her, and talk with her. These conversations were very valuable, and she remembers them to this day. Now, skeptics might argue that there's no way to prove that the conversations were remembered verbatim or if there was some license taken over the decades. However, that's kind of the point. We start remembering the important parts - the context, the message, the purpose - and we see just why this memory stuck.
The earliest memory I have that contains value and information was sitting with my mother as she relaxed on the couch and wrote a news story on her ever-present yellow legal pad. She was a reporter at that time, and also a full-time parent, so quite often those two tasks would be combined. She would write her story, I would sit next to her and watch, and she would finish a paragraph and we would read it together. (I was literate at a very early age, and learned cursive by reading my mother's news stories.) No matter what the deadline was or how wrapped up she was in the reporting process, she would let me curl up next to her, lean in and watch her write, then read her story back to her, including talking through the big words. Even during the District 201-U teacher's strike, she let me read her story as she wrote it.
Maybe this is a little too on-point for why I remember this. Now that I write regularly. it's easy to see why such a memory stands out from all the other things I did when I was four. I don't remember what I got for my birthday or for Christmas, the status of my parents' marriage, or much of anything my brothers did, mostly because those memories aren't important (no offense to my brothers, parents, or Santa.) But I remember plenty of those moments learning to read from my mother's perfect cursive.
So where's the writing prompt? Simple. Write about the earliest memory you have. Explore it. Find every sight, sound and texture possible, and connect it to your life today. Search for why that one stood out while so many others fell by the wayside. It can be the simplest memory or a series of events, but explore it to see why it stuck for all those years.
Maybe yours has a simple connection like mine, but hopefully this simple prompt is also an exercise in discovery.