“Vulnerability is my strength.” — MK Asante

“I’ve always known that I had a story to tell about my education. I don’t mean school. I mean my coming of age.” — MK Asante, filmmaker, professor, hip-hop artist, essayist and memoirist. The Writer magazine, July 2014 “I didn’t have the courage to do it [write] until more recently. I was ashamed of some of the things I wrote about in the book. I didn’t want to deal with those things. As I had more distance, reflection and time, I realized that vulnerability is my strength, and everything I’ve been through is not something to be ashamed of.” How about you? Are you ready to write your story? You can jumpstart your writing with prompts posted on The Write Spot Blog.


How’s the weather? Prompt #93

“How’s the weather?” It’s a question often asked. And sometimes we really want to know the answer. Right now, Summer 2014, Northern California where I live, is experiencing a drought. Lawns are brown, cars are covered with layers of dust and dirt, flowers and plants are drooping. But I’m not complaining. We have plenty of water to drink and the public pool is a great place to cool off.   How’s the weather? We want to know! Photo by Breana Marie

Just Write

Books on writing

There are more how-to-write books than we have time to read. IF we tried, we would spend all our time reading about writing and not writing. But there are a few especially good how-to write books. Here are some of my favorites. What are your favorite writing books? Dorothea Brande was an early proponent of freewriting. In her book Becoming a Writer (1934), she advises writers to sit and write for 30 minutes every morning, as fast as they can. Peter Elbow advanced freewriting in his books Writing with Power and Writing Without Teachers (1975), and freewriting has been popularized by Julia Cameron through her books The Artist’s Way and The Right to Write. A few more writing books: Aronie, Nancy Slonim – Writing From the Heart Baldwin, Christina – Storycatcher Barrington, Judith – Writing the Memoir, From Truth to Art Baty, Chris – No Plot? No Problem! Bennet, Hal…

Places to submit

Real Simple wants to know your Eureka moment.

From Real Simple magazine, July 2014:   “Have you ever had a Eureka moment? Tell us about it.” “Think back on the instant when everything became clear. The split second when you realized that you had chosen the right career. Or the moment when you knew that your dearest friendship would last forever. Whether your epiphany changed your life or just made your day, write it down and share it with Real Simple.” Enter Real Simple’s seventh annual Life Lessons Essay contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000. Send your typed, double-spaced submission (1,500 words maximum, preferably in a Microsoft Word document) to lifelessons@realsimple.com. Contest ends September 18, 2014. Click here for contest rules. If you wrote on Prompt # 40, Pivotal Events . . . you’re on your way to entering this contest!  


Writing and editing is like sculpting a garden

I love to work in the garden, pulling weeds, and occasionally being creative with new plantings. I love tugging at weeds and hearing the slrrp as they surrender their grip and let go. Writing is a lot like weeding . . . letting go and enjoying the moment. Not always worrying about the end product; just enjoying the moment of complete surrender. Later, after the writing seedlings have sprouted, it’s time for editing, which is a lot like pruning. When I’m pruning a fruit tree or a rose bush, I make a few snips, stand back to see how it looks and how it’s shaping up. It’s the same with editing. . . . make a few changes, then re-read. Keep what’s good and continue pruning until the piece has shaped to satisfaction.

Just Write

Freewrites. . . what do you call them?

When you are writing in a “freewrite” style of writing, using the types of prompts suggested in The Write Spot Blog, you can use your personal experiences for your writing. Or you can write about something that happened to someone else. Or you can write fiction. If you are writing fiction, respond to the prompt the way your fictional character would respond. Freewrites are also referred to as free flow writing, free association, writing freely and I’m sure there are more descriptions for this type of writing. Writing prompts are also referred to as: sparks, jumping-off points and, again, I’m sure there are more references to writing prompts.  I’m curious and interested. . . what do you call this type of writing? And what other phrases do you use for writing prompts? Whatever you call this form of writing and whatever sparks your imagination . . . Just write.