Using Prompts Where You Find Them

I find myself at a loss as to what to write on this site, and when I look up from my keyboard it’s not the scene outside of the window that grabs my attention. It’s the poster from a bookstore that I picked up on a whim, covered from top to bottom with multicolored words, quotes from other writers. What better place to find inspiration?

writing prompt
This is my current office in our rental house.

So to build some momentum I’m going to draft off of those who have gone before me for a little while and use these quotes as writing prompts. Over time you too may start to see the poster, bit by bit, as I share one thing from it each day.

The first one seems made for new beginnings:

“I believe in one day and someday and this perfect moment called Now.”

-Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming

As the saying goes, what better time to start than now?

As a full-time traveler I talk to so many people who have big plans for “someday” and I always wonder, “What about your now? What are you doing now that will get you to that someday?” Often there is no answer to this, it’s all just plans and no action.

There a lot of talk about humans being capable of living to be 100, but the reality is that most of us will not get anywhere close to that. My husband and I started feeling the pressure of the Now when people close to our age started dying, most around the age of 40. Heart attacks, cancer, random accidents, the cause wasn’t the problem, it was the proximity, the closeness of an end that everyone prefers to keep far, far away.

These were friends and family, people who had children close in age to ours, people we worked with. People that could be us. And we realized that there is no guarantee of more time, that the Now is the most important because it is what we have, not what we expect.

As that realization dawned on me it was a light I couldn’t turn back off. I couldn’t live in the dark anymore, couldn’t put things off hoping we’d make it to retirement, that our investments would even allow retirement, or that we’d still be in good shape for all the adventures we wanted to have. I couldn’t settle for normal life paying the mortgage on our house for the next 30 years and driving hours and hours every day to accomplish work and school and proper extracurricular activities to earn Super Mom status.

I couldn’t wait for someday, so I live in the Now.

Call me impatient, impulsive, indecisive, but I have learned that life is not static. If I am somewhere-physically, mentally, emotionally-that I don’t want to be I don’t have to stay. Such a simple thing, but so many people don’t seem to see it and find themselves digging holes of debt and obligation that keep them stuck in one place, one life. They build their own cage and look longingly from behind the bars, gazing out at the world of “what-if.”

Like animals in a zoo, being in the cage where things are safe and familiar, staying inside that comfort zone is so addictive that most people won’t come out even if you leave the door wide open. It’s too big, too open, too scary to break free. Bad things might happen…but amazing things happen too. Things I don’t want to miss.  

Now is the perfect moment to start to change…if you want to. If you’re brave enough. Life is too short to wait for one day and someday to catch up, I believe in the Now. What do you want to do with it?

It’s your turn: take the quote above and use it as a writing prompt. Feel free to share the result in the comments or on the facebook page, then come back tomorrow for the next one.

Need more writing prompts to jump start your process? Go get one of my favorite books, Room to Write.

 

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