I was going to start this journaling thing like two weeks ago, but life is life, so here we are now. For 25 prompts, I will be as honest as I can with myself and hopefully find some more light at the end. Got to start of the new decade trying for better things, right?
What would I tell my future self?
I do not know was my first reaction to this question, but after sitting on it for a bit, I think I’d tell my future self to relax and that every little and big thing that is happening will eventually connect and make sense.
I tell myself this a lot even though I don’t listen every time. This past year I saw the bigger picture on the struggles I had been going through and it landed me in a place that I desperately wanted. It’s funny to think that it just fell into place. I kept trying and kept failing, but it all worked out.
I’m not struggling as much as I did in my early 20s, but it’s still there, so something I want to tell my future self as much as I tell my present self is that everything happens for a reason.
If you’re interested in the list and the original article, click here!
A flower here and a flower there enriched the endless greens with jewel-toned glitter. The path less traveled had narrowed over time to a jagged walkway framed by a canopy of twisted branches that, for the time being, held as much green as below.
Truthfully it didn’t matter what time of year, nature crafted a sturdy tunnel that started on the edge of an open field with brush up to only a meager portion of its entirety. It grew in a tangled mess of every sort of plant imaginable—or rather it blossomed those imaginations that saw it. A never-ending effect drew from the tallest trees and their branches that curved over from old age.
The dirt stretched in anything but a boring line. The edges hidden under brush curled around rocks big enough to sit on and tree trunks left for dead after occasional destruction clean up, but mostly it sat and blended back into nature.
The sun struggled shining through the puzzle of leaves and left an eerie kind of magic underneath. Heat escaped the air that joined the dim light, often providing a refreshing break.
Drops of sweat she felt gathering along her humidity-curled hairline disappeared hardly minutes into her walk. A blessing in disguise to name it all was an understatement.
And it was all hers.
Thank you for reading! It is super nice to take a break and write with no plan. Sometimes it even evolves into a plan. 😉
Also, any tips with commas would be great. I find myself guessing time and time again if I’m doing them correctly.
In a crowded room drowned in dimmed lights that changed to the beat, danced a young woman squished between friends, avoiding aggressively-bouncing grown men who don’t understand the concept of personal space.
They laughed and grabbed hands, switching positions anytime one got too close. Not interested in starting a relationship on the dance floor, but preferring to have at least one only girls night a month, they had grown accustomed to the drill.
A break in songs they actually knew led them to the bar. The blonde wiggled her way between two overly tall bodies and stood on the small step underneath the bar, leaning forward with her card in hand. A few minutes passed and the tall man to the left asked what she was drinking.
“Cider,” she said with a bright smile on her face, but immediately turned to the now ready bartender and ordered three for her and her friends.
With the bartender busy, the man leaned in again. “Let me buy you a round.”
Three glass bottles slid in front of her. She grabbed them, holding them in between her and the man. “Already got it, but thanks anyway.”
The man laughed. “And I got the next one. Three more of those and a beer, please,” he said to the bartender.
“No, thank you,” she said again and motioned to the bartender, who nodded.
“What? You don’t want free drinks?” The man puffed his chest out, losing his cheerful demeanor.
The woman glared. “I just bought drinks. We don’t need more.”
“Yeah, whatever. Try not being such a tease, then.” His eyes raked her body, settling on her chest.
She walked away without another word to join her giggling friends who had spotted a cutie across the room. With a playful smile and raised eyebrows, she handed out the drinks. “Perfecting your plan of attack?”
“Maybe,” the two said innocently before they all burst into childish laughter—the encounter with the man out of sight and out of mind because let’s face it, it wasn’t the first time and wouldn’t be the last time they’d run into a guy like that.
Basically what it’s like to be single and in your 20s…
I’m trying to write more and since my brain goes 100 different directions at all times and some days I just can’t focus on my stories, I’ve started to do the free writing thing. It’ll probably come out more personal than other things because it’s obviously easier to write what you know.
I’ve just recently started going out almost every weekend and while I don’t necessarily enjoy that, I also don’t like spending all my time alone in my studio apartment… it is very hard to date in your late 20s.
Anywho, I hope you enjoyed the little story of men who don’t get it! 😉
I don’t really know what I’m doing while writing if I’m to be completely honest with you.
I do think that’s half of the fun—figuring it out, learning about new techniques, routines, and steps.
That brings me to my most recent discovery: scene development.
I didn’t even know this was a thing until this year which is a little embarrassing, but what can you do. I saw a little article on scenes vs. chapters and went down the Pinterest rabbit hole.
I don’t have an exact source for the setup I’ve recently been using because I see it in so many different articles (so if you know where it came from, please let me know so I can drop proper credit!).
Either way, here are the six steps I’ve recently been using to develop a scene:
1. Goal: protagonist/POV sets out to accomplish something
2. Conflict: while trying to accomplish, obstacle appears
3. Disaster: progress is prevented and POV moves forward on a different path/plot
4. Reaction: POV reacts (briefly or not) to previous disaster (character development)
5. Dilemma: as result of disaster, new complication arises in attempt to reach goal
6. Decision: decides how to act and new goal is made for next scene
Now it’s actually amazing how much this helps my writer’s block. Yes, it helps organization and pacing, but when I have no idea what to write, this is a tremendous tool. I literally just copy and paste this into Scrivener (in a folder I named scene outlines, haha) and fill it out. That way I’m able to quickly click back and forth when trying to write the dang thing. PLUS, if I’m not feeling the actual writing—which has been me this whole month—I still feel like I’m gaining progress… very vague progress, but progress.
I’m still not too solid on the whole “scene vs chapter” thing, but I do feel more comfortable writing now that I have some sort of guideline for pacing and content.
What helps you when writing a scene and/or chapter? Let me know!
I used to be so concerned with making sure my story was unique and something that hadn’t been done before. I didn’t want anyone to think I was copying another author.
Guess how many stories I wrote in that mindset.
I can understand now that it was a silly notion.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
It’s a quote by Pablo Picasso I had learned about during my second round of college. It was also a huge slap in the face (but in a good way…?) because I realized how much I was limiting myself. I was scared of treading into someone else’s territory, only to realize that that is literally the only way to do it.
Obviously, “stealing” someone’s idea is a horrible thing to do, but stealing their idea—their baseline, simple idea—is how all great artists start building their own foundation.
A boy goes to school, meets some friends, and always gets in trouble.
That’s Harry Potter, right? Well how many other storylines just popped into your mind? How many can be pulled from that simple idea? It’s literally endless.
A group of friends trust each other to the end and can get through anything.
Also Harry Potter, but also the Maze Runner series, the Hunger Games series, and a whole lotta YA fiction.
The point of this post is to reassure that when you are struggling to perfect that plot, it is okay to turn to google, Pinterest, Tumblr, or any other creative site for ideas. And it is okay to take them and mold them into YOUR story.
I just spent a ton of time on Pinterest to fill in the plot for my hella long, multiple book series thing I’m trying and boy, it was a blessing. It helped so much.
Now please don’t plagiarize… aka don’t be a dick, but use your fellow writers. Don’t be afraid to take a basic and simple idea and transform it into your own beautiful masterpiece.
A time taken for granted by many; it was a day spent in the sun that could cure possibly the deepest of darkness. In a place where the clouds covered on the regular, where the cold lingered for far longer than the warmth, it became clear the mind wasn’t that strong.
It was a sneaky, slow process that rose unknown until it was too late.
Or maybe even until it was over.
It was common, though, and when that time truly was done, it was hard to miss. Attitudes flipped as fast as frowns and with it a whole new life appeared.
A light both from within and from above shined brighter than it had in months. All a result from being still in the light and letting it relax tense muscles and minds.
What a joy and a gift it is to not only be in the sun, but appreciate all it gives life.
Thank you for reading. As you may have guessed, it’s finally warm enough to lay in the sun here in MN. It’s hands down one of my favorite times of the year.
Distinct, sharp crackling or breaking sound made by a fire
Dim speckles of light fought to be seen among the clouds that swirled in the black empty sky. Smoke rose from a spot of dirt circled by stone in the middle of a clearing lined of pine and birch trees. It twisted as high as it could and blended with the graying clouds above.
Even from a distance away, sounds could be heard. A rhythm played soft, yet sharp through the leaves. It grew louder with each step and was clear as day where the dirt and brush met grass.
The noise, from a pile of logs still damp from the previous day rainfall, held comfort among many. It meant there was a chance to sit and relax, to escape from a reality that was much louder and much busier. It was a time to converse and teach and learn, to laugh and smile and joke. It was a time to be cherished and to never be taken for granted.
Flames danced as the centerpiece, casting shadows on the faces that sat around it. The base of the fire turned colors of teal and violet from old copper wire strategically placed between the wood. The conversations continued as wildly as the flames and only died down as the coals became ash.
But the memories, the memories remained for a lifetime and more, a centerpiece in the heart, just as the fire burned.
Fires are my JAM— in bonfire or fireplace form, they all good. It’s also the inspiration of one of my tattoos because the meaning for me is essentially the love and feeling of content that comes with sitting around a fire with friends and family. And thinking of that really helps with you’re feeling down in the dumps!
It’s hard to look up to the sky and trust in the faith that everything happens for a reason. When things skip a beat or turn around, it leaves trails of confusion, defeat—the little light of hope swaying dangerously in the breeze.
The trip is endless as a journey begins behind the close of another. Patience teeters on an edge of desire and hopelessness, barely strong enough to hold out and frustration lingers before the transition. Questions run about why and why and why. They never stop—just take a bridge over to the next.
But then it does happen. A link threads through the actions and thoughts, making a ladder for us to climb on.
We are here because of what we have done. Whatever happens is an extension of the choices made before, the mistakes made before. We don’t get to know the why until after and whether you believe in written words of faith or you’ve developed a personal faith like me, we rest easy in knowing that there is a reason and a lesson connected to each of the biggest and smallest parts of our lives.
It’s a conscious decision made every day, multiple times a day, to live on trusting in ourselves and trusting in what we can make of this world.
These are totally “in the mood” prompts. A little relaxing music helps the wheels to turn, but I hope you enjoyed this little snippet from my mind! Let me know where these words brought you or what you took from it!
The sun dipped behind the trees that stood jagged and tall around the crumbing path of dirt and rock. A light wind rustled between leaves and pinecones dangling from branches above. A mixture of burnt oranges and pinks replaced the bright blue sky that had not one cloud to disrupt the colored gradient.
The path, originally made for walking, had grown old in age and disinterest. Many opted for a paved strip along the river, but some still took the chance that wove straight into the forest.
And what a wonderful, forgotten option it was.
A silence overtook the short journey, whether in the morning or at dusk, but when the day ended, the true magic appeared. Those who walked the path as the sunset rose and fell experienced a peace not found in their reality. Laced through their relaxed steps grew a small seed of passion. Minds opened and drew upon dreams and wishes, molding them into goals. Fresh air forced a calm sensation of determined energy, willing soft smiles to appear.
Worries of ifs shot to the forefront, but fell in battle due to growing confidence in deep breaths and closed eyes. Fear, while still leaning on dreams, lessened its hold as the world darkened. The music of nature ended the day’s journey with a sense of excitement and relief. It’s as if a new person came out on the other side, full of inspiring thoughts and motivated words.
Those understanding ofthe harsh light during the day would return to when light became dusk each and every chance to relive and revive their love of the world and all it could become.
Here is my first prompt in a series that I made up called the “Old Word Series”. 🙂 Pinterest is literally a gold mine of forgotten words and quotes that are begging to be used. So to kick off the new journey of the blog, I’ve decided to post one or two a week. They are definitely going to be my “fancier” style of writing, not that I get very fancy at all, but it’s different from my current project.
Anyway, thank you for reading! If you could spare a minute or two—let me know where this piece brought you. What do you think it means? These pieces will have meaning to me, but the best part of writing is how it affects others in so many different ways than intended. 🙂
It didn’t happen until this summer—the summer the stress went away, the summer she was coming back.
It all started with the color green—in her eyes, her clothes, and everywhere outside.
It was life and joy among dirt and failure. It was beautiful and fresh, soft and clean.
She smiled more, danced alone, and began again.
It all started with the color green.
I wrote this a long time ago with intention of making a little video with a voiceover of the words. Never got there, but I still really like it. Going back over old writings and creative projects that got kicked to the curb helps bring back my creative determination and also shows how much I can’t throw away my writings…
It’s also a brief look into when I started to fight back against my depression—the summer things really started to change—almost a year ago… July 2018.