Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Blog Goes On Break, But Before That, It Offers Suggestions About Life You May Want To Take Heed Of

Hi. Guess what? You've survived the Fall semester. And not only have you survived it, now you get a break full of lights and holidays and sweater weather. Pretty good stuff, I think. But before you burrow into your (softest, warmest, coziest) bed and hibernate for several weeks, I want to tell you something.

Me. The blog. Not me, Mary. Not me a person sitting at a computer trying to think of how to tell you this. Me, the blog, full of wisdom and authority. That me.

Use the break to write.

Sounds simple, right? And you're probably already planning to do this, but listen. Things will get in the way. You'll get into a fight with your sister over French toast. You'll lose the keys to your car and lock yourself out of your house. You'll get a terrible haircut and feel compelled to hide your shame cuddled up in bed with a book or a video game or a movie.

So I'm suggesting a date. With yourself, with your writing. A time, a place, an amount of time or of words. And keep your date each day. Take that time for yourself, even if it means writing something like: This is stupid. I can't think of anything to write - why is that blog so bossy! Why am I even listening to a blog? What am I doing with my life? How can I make amends for the French toast thing... Right? Because eventually you'll get somewhere good. Somewhere necessary, at least. Such is the nature of writing. I don't know about you, but as a blog, I rarely know where I'm going until I get there. I mean, there might be a vague goal shimmering somewhere off in the distance, but it isn't always there, and sometimes I don't even make it there anyway. I end up someplace else, someplace unintended and inconceivable before I get there- there's something kind of magical about that, you know?

So write. Each day. Think of it as self care. Or if you hate that, think of it as talent care. Life care. Care care.

Okay, I've made my point as forcefully as I am able. Now I'm giving you some writing prompts. Feel free to use them on those days you sit down and find yourself with a b-l-a-n-k page and a b-l-a-n-k mind. Remember you can always go back and revise during those times as well.

Winter writing prompts:

1) Things get messy with the French toast
2) A poem is a machine
3) Your character forgets everything s/he wanted
4) Your character got one thing wrong
5) Just confess - everyone knows you did it
6) A story travels through time
7) Everything is a conversation
8) How to start a bad habit
9) There are infinite ways to be born
10) Research the background of a product you use every day or can't live without

There are more. You can look them up online, there are books of prompts, and you can write prompts for each other. Get together and read your stuff. Invite Mary - I understand she loves readings.

The blog is your trusty blog, home to the musings of past, present, and (possibly?) future MFA students in FAU's Creative Writing Program. Follow us on Facebook. Contact us at 

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