10 Writing Prompts for September 20

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From writing prompt #7 below…

“Here are three things you should know about me.”

I turned away and winced. Am I going to want to hear this?

“One, my right leg is longer than my left one.”

“Fascinating,” I said. Please let that be the worst of it.

“Two, my favorite food is chili, no beans.”

“You are truly special,” I said. I liked the ‘no beans’ part. And what’s number three?”

“I…” He paused for dramatic effect. “…am certain dinosaurs still roam the earth.”

God, if only we’d stopped at the chili.



  1. “Sorry, I can’t help you.” “But you’re our last chance!”

  2. That face on the TV screen…so familiar.

  3. “Don’t you think you’re being a little paranoid?”

  4. “But did you have to post it on social media?”

  5. He brushed the dust off his suit. “That was easier than I thought.”

  6. “I feel like we’re home,” I said as I stretched out on the couch. “Oh, let’s not get too comfortable,” said Mom.

  7. “Here are three things you should know about me,” he said, pouring a cup of coffee. “First…”

  8. It was essential…we had to have those photos…

  9. “You’re certainly all smiles today.” “Yep,” she said. “I finally told off that old battle-axe.”

  10. There, for all the world to see, in large block letters was his profession of love…

  11. “And you needed the skull because?”

***

#7

A Sunday afternoon writer’s retreat…the payoff.

typewriter-1373693_1280Following up on the retreat…

The benefits:

  1. The pep talk on paper actually occurred later that evening. I had plenty of post-retreat topics to cover.
  2. As my previous post showed, I learned plenty. I discovered some new, interesting folks who post good content.
  3. I have a new project.
  4. By itself, the preparation for the retreat sent me digging for trusty resources, such as If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman.
  5. It gave me further focus for the rest of the week.
  6. I’m already pre-prepared for my next retreat.

From the department of ‘I just wish I…”

  1. generated more words. I only cranked out about 1000 words. I was hoping for twice that.
  2. got outside more on a pretty Sunday afternoon.
  3. had done a little more reading from my list

A Sunday afternoon writer’s retreat-Revelations and learnings…up to 10 items.

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I’ve started my retreat and I just realized…with the power of an Internet-connected laptop, these speakers and experts can follow me all around the house. I can even do some cooking and not miss a beat.

From Jenna Moreci, I’ve learned:

1. the benefits of writing your characters’ dialogue straight through. Just write the spoken word. Don’t bother with tags or action or imagery. The exchanges will be more natural. You can fill in with the other stuff later.

2. the proliferation of online passive voice checkers

3. a YouTube teacher/speaker’s use of an ‘F-bomb’ feels tacky and lazy. Repeated use of it just feels forced. She has tons of good ideas and information. I’m guessing this whole F-bomb issue is generational.

More as the afternoon progresses…

4. Love that I can rewind video…multiple times when some point doesn’t ‘connect’.

5. With online instruction, I’m afforded [I need my passive voice checker, don’t I?] the ability to slice and dice, clang pots and pans, and curse my clumsiness as I spill wine that I’m glugging into the ribollitawithout the speaker glaring at me and questioning my social graces, not to mention my kitchen skills.

*************************************

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6. Scrivener is an ideal organizing and editing tool for my 50 Stepping Stones draft on my first year of retirement.

7. I could set aside whole afternoon retreats targeting just Joanna Penn videos and website content. Ditto Austin Kleon and Steven Pressfield.

8. Thanks to Joanna’s podcast will soon be buying Tim Grahl’s Running Down a Dream.

9. Most first novels are barely readable, so lighten up and finish it. [Joanna Penn, with my paraphrasing]

10. Sarra Cannon–For those who want to sell what they’ve published, release your work within a single series. [One of her videos auto-played at the the end of the Joanna Penn conversation with Tim Grahl.]


I’m down to 4% on my laptop and I’m using that to get my in gear to finish this post…

So, the more detailed plan for today…

1. Pep Talk on Paper [just a quick riff to get me going]

2. Inspiration from books:

Will try to include excerpts

3. YouTube/SkillShare/Podcasts

Productivity Sessions: [At least 10 minutes apiece; probably 15—interspersed between short inspiration and online skill development/refresher sessions]

  • Retire/Renew Blog Posts
  • ESL Course Module
  • New project: My take on the NFL Network’s RedZone, only I do lightning fast updates on six different kids in a fictional classroom.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers Project: Find graphics/images that pertain to my project
  • At least two segments on my other children’s writing project

Coffee and chocolate cake somewhere in the middle

**

Gee what are the odds the results will look entirely different from the carefully crafted plan above?

The earlier post—

Yep, get the cooking and other distractions out of the way.

Free up the afternoon

In preparation:

  1. create a playlist of YouTube/SkillShare videos to boost my confidence and expertise
  2. set writing goals–# of words, # of posts, # of minutes actually writing/editing
  3. tools for first draft work [camera, audio recorder]
  4. coffee and home-baked goods nearby

Other necessities:

  • A readiness to change locations if it’s called for. [Move to a coffee shop, a city park, the backyard]
  • Phones are off/airplane mode
  • A timer to maintain focus

Let’s see how it goes.

A Sunday afternoon writer’s retreat–Here’s the more detailed plan…

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I’m down to 4% on my laptop and I’m using that to get my in gear to finish this post…

So, the more detailed plan for today…

1. Pep Talk on Paper [just a quick riff to get me going]

2. Inspiration from books:

Will try to include excerpts

3. YouTube/SkillShare/Podcasts

Productivity Sessions: [At least 10 minutes apiece; probably 15—interspersed between short inspiration and online skill development/refresher sessions]

  • Retire/Renew Blog Posts
  • ESL Course Module
  • New project: My take on the NFL Network’s RedZone, only I do lightning fast updates on six different kids in a fictional classroom.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers Project: Find graphics/images that pertain to my project
  • At least two segments on my other children’s writing project

Coffee and chocolate cake somewhere in the middle

**

Gee what are the odds the results will look entirely different from the carefully crafted plan above?

The earlier post—

Yep, get the cooking and other distractions out of the way.

Free up the afternoon

In preparation:

  1. create a playlist of YouTube/SkillShare videos to boost my confidence and expertise
  2. set writing goals–# of words, # of posts, # of minutes actually writing/editing
  3. tools for first draft work [camera, audio recorder]
  4. coffee and home-baked goods nearby

Other necessities:

  • A readiness to change locations if it’s called for. [Move to a coffee shop, a city park, the backyard]
  • Phones are off/airplane mode
  • A timer to maintain focus

Let’s see how it goes.

Here’s the plan. A Sunday afternoon writer’s retreat…

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yep, get the cooking and other distractions out of the way.

Free up the afternoon

In preparation:

  1. create a playlist of YouTube/SkillShare videos to boost my confidence and expertise
  2. set writing goals–# of words, # of posts, # of minutes actually writing/editing
  3. tools for first draft work [camera, audio recorder]
  4. coffee and home-baked goods nearby

Other necessities:

  • A readiness to change locations if it’s called for. [Move to a coffee shop, a city park, the backyard]
  • Phones are off/airplane mode
  • A timer to maintain focus

Let’s see how it goes.

Sharing a writer’s guest post…

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I really liked this post from Cynthia Morris [Rally Your Courage to Write Your Book] on productiveflourishing.com.

Points that resonated:

  • “…we often find a bigger reason for why we’re not writing: lack of confidence.”
  • “I always encourage my clients to write a permission slip.” [=a ‘Yes, you can do this!”]
  • “There are plenty of books in the world. But not your book.

Added value to this post: It really does apply to any ambition to create.

 

Words of inspiration from Jill Badonsky

I have two of Jill Badonsky’s books: The Awe-manac and The Muse Is In

Until tonight, I had not opened this newsletter forwarded to me by my wife the same month I left my job almost two years ago. Just one of those emails that slipped by…
I hope the quote nudges you forward in your creative pursuits…

jill badonsky quote with background

If you believe it’s time to give that creative calling inside of you a shot, honor it in some really small way today.

Start by asking “What do I love about my creative passion?” and “What one really small thing I can do to get started?”

Just asking these questions, even without having an answer, will begin to shift your energy toward the thoughts and actions that make it easier to get to your passion.

Once you light that fire, you will shine so brightly, there’s a chance one or two souls will stop their bickering and be inspired to do the same–you will be a catalyst of creative passion. — Jill Badonsky

10 Writing Prompts for August 30

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  1. “Yes, it is my fault. But I can’t undo this.”

  2. “The time is now. We can worry about the others later.”

  3. I wasn’t sure I could handle this pressure…

  4. “Don’t freak out on me now. I need you! We all need you!”

  5. “Faking a call on your cell is the oldest trick in the book!”

  6. We had just saved a thousand bucks and it was time to celebrate…

  7. “You treat that dog better than you treat me!”   

  8. “Who’s your friend?”
    “Well, if you must know…”

  9. “That’s a whole lot of real estate you just bought.”

  10. Every time he raised that scalpel, I swear I…

For more ideas how these warmups might help…How to use writing prompts by Emily Wenstrom.

Writing prompts–Where do they come from?

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  1. We saw no reason why he poured that stuff in the tank, but it seemed to work.

  2. “Quick. Tell me two good reasons why we should be together!”
    “Uhhh, two?”

  3. The 80’s came and went, but left this guy on our doorstep.

  4. “Right about now would be a good time to buck up and tell the truth.”

  5. We were ju-u-uust about there…

  6. “You really don’t see the problem here?”

  7. “Let’s get a little less selfish here.”

  8. In this case, patience would not be the solution.

  9. “Your behavior was more than a little provocative.”
    “You’re blaming me instead of the guy with the gun?”

  10. “You’re going to need someone to help you navigate these waters.”
    I smirked. “And I assume that someone is you.”

Where do these ideas come from?
Some of my sources…

  • Listening to [eavesdropping] on others’ conversation.
  • Reading novels.
  • Reading the newspapers.
  • Listening to TV dialogue.
  • Looking through lists of nouns and verbs.

 

For more ideas how these warmups might help…How to use writing prompts by Emily Wenstrom.