Answering the Internet — DIY Edition
Rapid fire through writing prompts
Feeling like a cheat day and seeking inspiration from the universe, I started Googling writing prompts. Shoutout Jenny Anderson for her Writing Prompts to Kick-Start your Bad-ass Creativity. I’m just going to rapid fire through these babies and see where it goes.
1. Write a letter to your 8-year-old self. Knowing what you now know about life, what advice can you offer? What warnings can you issue?
Buy stock in a company called Amazon in a few years. Mix in a salad at college. Always bet the over.
2. Jot down three things you don’t like about yourself. Possible examples range from your hairstyle to your workaholism to your anger management issues. Now choose one of them and write it a break-up letter.
I’m not the biggest fan of my jaw line or hairline, and my constant search for perfection physically and spiritually is an albatross. The latter must go.
Dear me, It’s been fun. I’m gonna go rip some Newsroom reruns and relax for a change.
3. You are permitted to commit one crime with absolutely no consequences. What would you do and why?
Trespassing. I’d play every golf course imaginable. I’d be respectful about it, but “no” wouldn’t be an answer.
4. You wake up one morning to discover that you have lost your favorite of the five major senses. Which one is gone? How does it change your life?
Smell. Booze doesn’t sit well with the nostrils. Problem solved.
5. You find yourself in a packed auditorium. You look down at the program and see that you are the keynote speaker. What is the subject? What do you say? How does the audience respond?
Leadership in the 21st Century.
6. You are suddenly sitting in the back row of your own memorial service, listening to the eulogy being delivered. What is being said?
Depends on who is doing the saying and whether I owed them any money when I died.
7. Select one of your pets (past or present). Today, that pet woke up with the ability to speak in your native tongue. Write out a detailed dialogue between you and your companion.
Dog: “HEY! SOMEONE’S WALKING IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE! HEY! HEY YOU OUT ON THE STREET! DOES ANYBODY HEAR ME? THERE’S A PERSON WALKING DOWN THE STREET! GREAT NOW THEY’RE GONE. HEY! COME BACK HERE! MY HUMANS DIDN’T SEE YOU AND I DON’T WANT THEM TO THINK I’M CRAZY!”
Me: “I saw them. I don’t care. You are crazy. Be quiet please”
8. You walk into an art gallery and find a series of paintings that illustrate your life. The final painting stops you in your tracks, because it represents what you consider to be the biggest turning point in your life, thus far. Describe the painting in detail.
I’m sitting in my basement. The laptop is on my thighs which are comfortably warmed by a pair of 10-year-old, gray Nike sweatpants. I stumble upon a list of writing prompts that alter my entire perception of life.
9. You find yourself in a boxing ring with your greatest fear. Describe the scene and detail your plan of attack.
Snakes. Plan of attack is to hope I’m far enough away to duck out the ring before it can bite and/or strangle me. They don’t have legs or arms and they can move, jump, fly, etc. Shit ain’t right.
10. You are rapidly sinking into a pit of quicksand. A booming voice informs you that the only way to survive is to issue a heartfelt apology for something you did in the past. Write your apology. And HURRY!
MOM, I’m really sorry for hiding broccoli under the kitchen island when I was younger.
11. You are meeting with the architect and contractor to finalize the plans for your dream home. They ask you to describe how it looks from the moment you approach the front door. Detail your description here and then reflect on which of the elements (if any) are embodied by your current residence.
I’d love to have a golf simulator either indoors or covered outside somehow with a short game practice facility. And a standalone bathtub that looks like it’s from a ski chalet in the Swiss Alps. I’ve got a hitting net in the backyard. We’re getting there.
12. You are on a 5-mile run and discover a large photograph at each mile-marker. You immediately realize that the photos are portraits of important people from your past. As you continue to run, you shout a statement of thanks to each person, highlighting how they’ve impacted you. Write these expressions of gratitude and describe how you feel as you cross the finish line.
If I’m on a 5-mile run, I have no breath for shouting.
13. Describe your childhood bedroom. Include smells, colors, and textures as you detail the space.How, if at all, does it reflect who you are today?
We’re gonna stay away from smells, but I had carpet on the floor and dinosaur wallpaper. My kid has some Burt’s Bees jammies with dinos on them.
14. Write a heartfelt love letter that you will never send.
I’ll save those words and use them on my wife.
15. Create a contract with yourself that details your future commitment to writing. Include reminders of what you gain from the process as well as ways to maintain momentum when roadblocks emerge. Sign it. Date it. Keep it in your journal where you will (hopefully) see it every day.
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.