Your friendly webmaster (Darrell) was bad last week, and didn’t send out the weekly writing prompt. So… It’s two-fer Tuesday! Scroll down for TWO prompts this week.
Older and Younger by 10
by Nancy Casey
Ten years. Is that a long time?
Sometimes, when you look back, 10 years can seem like 10 minutes. Sometimes, as you live through them, 10 minutes can seem like 10 years.
Today in your writing you will have a chance to think about the actual span of 10 years. What or who is 10 years older than you? Who or what is 10 years younger?
As you start to think about that, set up your page:
Draw a line at the top where you will write the title when you have finished.
Next, draw a circle, or a square or any kind of shape in the center of the page. That will be the space you can use for illustration and doodling.
Finally, draw two lines out from the center shape to the edge of the page in such a way that the remaining space on the page is divided roughly in half.
On one side of the page write the word “Older.” On the other side of the page, write “Younger.”
On the Older side of the page, write about things or people that are 10 years older than you. Think about people who are definitely older than you, but aren’t old enough to be your parent. Who was in high school when you were in preschool? Can you think of any inventions or types of knowledge that came into the world 10 years before you were born? What happened in history 10 years before you were born? Whatever those events left behind has been here 10 years longer than you.
On the Younger side of the page, write about people or things that are 10 years younger than you. Who was a baby when you were 10 years old? Do you remember what brand new technology or entertainment you longed for when you were 10? Do you have any books or toys or other objects that came into your life when you were 10? When you look at the people around you, is there anything particular you notice about the ones who are 10 years younger than you?
Use the illustration space to draw or doodle while you wait for ideas to pop into your mind.
When you have finished writing, read over your work. Add any decoration or color that you think the page needs. Sometimes a little doodling will help you think up a good title. Write the title at the top of the page and make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Here is an example of what a person could write.
You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. To do that, you can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.
Ahead and Behind
Does your mind ever whirl round and round like a hamster in a cage, running through all the things that you must do? The things you ought to do? The things you wish you would do? The things that aren’t done yet?
Is your mind equally likely to spin, buzz, and review your many accomplishments?
Today in your writing, you will give your mind a chance to do both. First, set up your page.
Draw a line at the top where the title will go when you have finished. Beneath that line, add two subtitles. On the left write “Do.” On the right write “Done.”
Then make a pencil-thin column down the middle of the page. Inside that column write the letters of the alphabet.
What have you done so far in your life? Think about the chores you did this morning and your antics as a toddler. Think about the people you have helped, the meals you have cooked, the important things you have remembered. What have you organized? What messes have you cleaned up? Try and find something for every letter of the alphabet and write them down on the right-hand side of the page.
On the left-hand side of the page, write down things that you haven’t done yet. Think about the things you must do and the ones you ought to do. What do you wish you would do? Are there things you would like to learn? Places you would like to go? How would you like to change your life? What would you like to add to someone else’s experience?
There is an infinite universe of things you haven’t done out there. You don’t have to limit yourself to the ones that are “realistic.” Try to find something for every letter of the alphabet.
When you have filled up the page, write a title on the line you drew across the top. Write the date on it as well. Draw or doodle on the page if you want to do that. Sometimes a little doodling can help you get unstuck if you don’t know what to write. Doodling on the page after you have finished writing often helps you think up a good title.
Here is an example of what a person could write.
Do you find it easier to remember the past or imagine the future? Do you think of yourself as a person who “gets things done,” or someone burdened with more wishes and demands than one life has time for? You might want to get out a new page and write about that, too.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She leads a writing workshop at the Recovery Center on Thursday evenings at 5pm. Anyone can drop in—just show up. You can attend just for fun or work to earn a writing certificate. To sign up or get more information, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community Center.