Prompts

Your passion for writing. Prompt #234

Fountain pen w colorIt’s palpable. I see it. I feel your passion for writing.  I know the feeling. . .

You want to write, but you aren’t writing.

Because . . .  first, you have to do this Thing and that Thing needs to get done and this other Thing just can’t wait.

I know how it goes. I know you really do want to write.

And I wonder, if writing means so much to you, why aren’t you writing?  Why do you ignore your passion?

Let’s take a look at this. Whenever I have something I want to explore, I do a freewrite.

Use the following questions as “writing starts.”

Start each paragraph with a question. Then write. Just write.

What do I want to do in my writing life?

What do I want to accomplish?

What is stopping me from doing what I want to do, whether it’s writing or something else?

What can I do to make my dream come true?

What changes do I need to make?

I’m pretty happy with my writing life. This is how I make time to write.

Share your discoveries with us, especially how you make time to write. Almost every writer I know would benefit from your answers.  Post your writing on The Write Post Blog.

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4 comments

  1. Ke11y

    I am the world’s foremost authority on procrastination. A year ago I promised myself I would cease to procrastinate. I wrote down everything I would do in the coming year. This letter is my response to the original list of priorities I gave myself.

    Dear me –

    Well, my friend, it’s a year gone. Tell me, did I accomplish anything of what I promised myself back then? One thing hasn’t changed. I’m an old man with no memory of yesterday, let alone one year ago. Hell, I can’t even lay down my car keys without some short circuit to my brain confounding their loss.

    I was seventy at the time of writing my list – just to remind me that I have a reference point – losing my hair, cultivating ways to extend my belly, and needing spectacles to read. My hobbies include playing air guitar–Money For Nothing–and butt kissing, which I perfected since being twelve years old. I’m a man of little dreams, small victories and easily reachable goals. I know nothing about iPods, hard drives, gigabytes, poppers or Angelina Jolie. But all that said, I made a promise to myself to write that ‘Query Letter.’ Okay, where is it? I’ll bet my pants, buddy, it never got sent. Am I right?

    What is it that prevents me? I know, I know, it’s the same old story, the realization that my life is an inch from going over the edge. Perfect! A good reason to do nothing.

    Really?

    The reality is my life is pretty damn good. I don’t know how, or why, just that everything a man could ask for, came my way. There’s been the pain, grief that still lingers, but who hasn’t had that symptom in their lives? Then there is the frustration. I still haven’t recognized that my frustration is nothing of the sort; it is procrastination that bedevils me. I don’t need to remind myself of youth, or trust that I lived it well, without regret, then gone. I don’t miss boy bands, baggy blue jeans, ice white trainers and sports T-shirts.

    Then, it happened, this desire to sit down at a desk and write it all down. Do I still have the desire? Was it a fad, a grandiose idea to write a novel, something to fill my days without the interruption of needing to look back? The Writing Spirit, it came. How long it will stay, I don’t know. Maybe it’s still coming. Or gone. Reading this, I know the answer. I am filled with The Spirit of the Writer, I’m not an old man, afraid to leave this planet and all the things I love.

    I imagine being reborn, carried on a fast-flying cloud, released by a flash of lightning and turning up naked, carried by a wave, on a distant shore. There is no place left for memory. I must write on, lose myself in the depths of overgrown graves, mingle with the bones, sift through the dust, looking for the heart of my hero or the soul of a herdsman. Promise me to stay with the story long enough to watch each new character develop. Trust that my life will run the same course writers before me have run. Feel the same sun, drink from the same streams, see the same sights, meet the changes and challenges they must have met, while on their pilgrimage road.

    Look, I had a dream to become an author. Did I make it? Was it all a Guinness-induced fantasy? Have I become sad, enlightened, lost, or ready to be placed in a hospital bed because my caring family cannot decide whether I’m weird, beaten to death by verbs, punished by commas, or just an old man plunged into enchanted visions of a different life on earth? I am still not able to explain these future callings that curdle with belief, with family, so I continue on my literary journey, carried on a child’s tear, crossing boundaries in a universe no spacecraft could endure.

    This Spirit? This thing? It allows me to live in a place where sunshine and rain are but words in a distant library. Pleasure and pain but a velvety memory. I am carried onward by lunar electricity, distancing me from the behemoths and their rutting beauty, pushed by imagination toward a life force of the future. Exiled to live in bottomless journeying nights, shrouded in the violet fog of words that cloud my day.

    I am a young man grown older. I am the spoils of a long walk, captured at my desk by the misty rain of ideas, searching for those rosy fingers of fire to warm my face. I am a fabulous opera, a whirlwind, a Cimmerian shore. I live in the darkest night, in central parks, every shopping mall, pool room, deli, eating a beet salad or chicken from the spit. I’m every river that went to every ocean, every moment, long or short, I’m the outside of in, the distant and the near, the magician, and the rabbit. I am a mansion where dancing never ceases.

    Yes, yes, this is me. A writer carried on the backs of sea horses, sojourning among the archipelago of dreams, drifting with mermaids under waves of pearl, below the clamoring birds, tossed and turned and then made love to on a thousand shorelines. I live in the wrecks of ships; my lungs sodden with water. I’m a mindless hurricane, a journeying leviathan, grazing peacefully among the tranquility of other prehistoric lives.

    I’ve procrastinated too long, and in doing so have become the lateness of the hour, hearing the wind that drives the leaves through iron railings. Stop with the doubt. Be the quickening footfall through a hotel lobby, or the footprints in the snows of Amsterdam. Be the writer sitting on the Spanish Steps, listening to the whispers of lovers. I am the son of a fisherman, the face of many, the heart of all, and I live in that space on which my words must fall.

    Go on, my friend, Marlene, tells me, be the writer you want to be. Transported on the adventures of childhood, soaring on the heights of the day and riding the genius of trouble. Be the child who once set every sail, and for whom there was never a turning back. To do or to die. I am the knight riding the shore, crusading through the world’s torment, answering only to the Spirit of the Poor, the hermit, or the holy man. I bathe in the juices of women like a butterfly in May, touch the tender membranes, split the keel, and sail ever onward. I am the untouchable, looking for the mysterious beginning of my soul. Giving birth to characters who live in scented caverns, needing everything but neglect.

    I am the vulnerable child in the lower belly of literature.

    P.S. With apologies to Angelina Jolie.

    1. mcullen Post author

      There are so many good passages, I want to say “This is my favorite part” . . . “No, this section here, that’s my favorite.” . . . “Wait, I really like this piece.” So, I’ll just say I like all of it. The word choice is exquisite, the pacing superb, the tension is tight (that’s a good thing), the momentum carries through to the end. Brilliant writing. You have provided me with lots to think about today . . . procrastination, getting older, hanging on to dreams, how much I love gorgeous writing (such as this), day dreaming, keeping faith and hope, and well, never giving up!Thank you for posting and sharing with us.

  2. Ke11y

    Too kind, Marlene. Let me simply be gracious and thank you for the many kindnesses.

    Kelly

    1. mcullen Post author

      You are welcome, Kelly. From my point of view, it is I who should be thanking you! Thank you for sharing your writing with us. It truly is a joy to read your writing. ~ Marlene

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