Today’s writing prompt is a picture! I get so many ideas when I look at this image and I wonder if I should use it as a beginning, middle or end of my story. What would you do? Is the person on the left a vampire about to make the woman his prey? Is it a couple who are out for a moonlight stroll when all of the sudden they’re attacked by an escaped convict? What if these people are just minding their own business and enjoying eachother’s company when all of the sudden one of them is abducted by aliens? Or what if the man on the left is an alien who comes back to earth to visit his human lover? Is it a couple that can never be together because someone forbade their relationship and this is the last time they’ll see eachother? You get the drift! My imagination is running away with me and all from a single image. You can do the same and who knows, it could be just the beginning of your next bestseller! Happy Writing!
Today’s writing exercise is a little different! We are going to explore our interpretive imaginations by trying to decode a dream. Let’s imagine that someone wrote you a letter explaining their dream and was asking for help in determining it’s message. Please write a response to the person using as much detail as possible. You can choose a response based on whatever profession you choose to pretend to be; whether it’s a clinical psychologist, a fortune teller, a friend or a clairvoyant or you could even make believe that you were an advice columnist for your local newspaper. Ready to have some fun? Let’s begin! Please write a response based on this dream, remember-the reader is asking you for help in determining it’s message.
I had the recurring dream again. I stood in an empty field and looked around at the landscape; to my left there was a lush, green forest and to my right there was an unsightly, dead forest filled with rotting trees and ash. Each forest was miles apart and there I stood, squarely in the middle, alone and scared. My heart raced when I heard a sound in the distance and my instinct told me to run; I was being chased. I raced toward the lush green forest, my lungs burned with every laboured breath and my legs felt like cement. I kept looking behind me and saw that the creature was drawing near! Just as I was about to be caught I woke up. This is the third time this week that I’ve had the exact same dream and it’s becoming unnerving.
Finish the story and submit it to us…we’ll choose our favourite and it will be featured on our website with your name and pic! Good Luck!
Even though I was surrounded by the immense beauty of this place, I felt violated, ugly and insecure. The contrast of being in such a religious place and having something so wrong happen to me was more than I could bear. Surely people practice what they preach here….Don’t they? I began to cry; tears of frustration fell over me and I’ve never felt more alone in the world than at this very second. An old man placed his hand on my shoulder and his translator told me what he was saying, “Why do you cry?” he asked gently. I was wary to answer but told him the truth, that I had been robbed of everything I had. He looked at me with a smile, “This is the most important lesson to learn; Until we practice good in our lives, our world will continue to be at war, brothers will continue to kill their brothers, mothers will continue to forsake their children, people will continue to steal and cheat and lie.” “But this is what our purpose is- to spread the word that it can get better; I am not anti-war, I am pro-peace.” In that second I felt a wave wash over my soul that I cannot explain. I looked at the old man’s wrinkled skin and into his warm brown eyes. We were connected by his words, by his heart and by his spirit of love.
This morning I woke up early and did my guided pen exercise. I sat with a cup of coffee at the dining room table with a notebook and pen and closed my eyes; I listened to the silence and waited for thoughts to flow into my mind. Remember when you do this to let the words develop organically, don’t force anything and don’t edit. There are no good or bad thoughts-just ideas that may potentially create an idea for your next best seller.
Here’s my list:
follow your bliss
birds, nature, spring, cheer
yellow, renewal, rebirth
breathing, focus, meditation
enlightenment, emptying, purging
just be, stop trying so hard
health, vibrancy, flowers, gardens
butterflies, cocoon, guidance, sail boat
love, loyalty, look inside for strength, happiness doesn’t depend on others
fulfilment, stop trying to achieve happiness and go with the flow
follow the omens
stop trying to make things happen and let them develop as they should
listen to your inner voice
So as you can see I have a lot of information here but how can I turn it into a potential story?
A few examples could be; A woman is transformed like a beautiful butterfly when she emerges from the cocoon of dependency, she left her husband and started on a journey to find herself. Or a story about a young person who followed the omens to find their bliss in another part of the world. A story about how someone’s life changed because they got rid of everything that made them unhappy, they sold their home and belongings and went on a quest for enlightenment and found everything they ever wanted which was just to be happy.
You get the point, there is so much that we can do with the guided pen exercise and it’s all how you interpret the meanings of the words you’ve written. I encourage you to do the guided pen exercise once a week or whenever you’re stuck for ideas.
I’d like to welcome you to my blog and say that I am so excited to embark on this adventure together. I look forward to blogging about my journey as an author as well as the whole process of rejection letters, self-publishing, marketing my book and more. I’ll share writing exercises, great advice that I’ve received, workshop tricks and tips and some of my own short stories.
Thanks for joining me and for listening to the ideas in my mind that eventually make it onto paper. Let’s get started!
The name of this website is called myguidedpen.com for a reason. A while back I went to a tarot card reader and she asked if I had ever done an exercise called…you guessed it, a guided pen. I had no idea what she was talking about! She explained the process and I’ve used it ever since with a few tweaks of my own. Here’s how to get started:
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed
Get a beautiful notebook (this will serve as your idea book that you can refer back to from now on)
Get a pen
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in a comfortable sitting position. Feel the rhythm of your chest and slowly relax your body. Listen to the silence for one minute. Open your eyes and start writing down everything, and I mean absolutely everything, that enters your mind. DO NOT EDIT! This exercise is supposed to get your creative juices flowing and expand your mind. Write until all of the thoughts you’ve had are on paper. Refer back to the thoughts later in the day or the next day or whenever you have time and use them as story starters or topics to write about. Don’t worry if the ideas you have don’t make sense yet, some you’ll use and others you’ll discard but at the end of it all, you’ll have some great information that could be the subject of your next best seller! Do this as often as you’d like or whenever you have writer’s block. It works for me and I know that it will work for you!