The only sin writers can commit is . . .

“The only sin writers can commit is not to write.” — Eleanor Hyde, originally in the August 1976 issue of the Writer Magazine, reprinted in the August 2014 issue.

Note from Marlene: So, you are itching to write and need a jumpstart? Go to the prompts page of this blog for ideas.

Click here for more prompts and read what others have written. Scroll down and click on a plaque.

Writing Prompts


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  1. Kathy Myers

    Eleanor Hyde’s quote prompted me to think about one of the most satisfying episodes in my career. As part of my work as an occupational therapist in an out patient clinic, I conducted group therapy that I called creative/expression; a broad enough title to include art, crafts, games and, on occasion, writing. I could adjust the focus of the group depending on its membership. In one group I had each member interview a partner for five minutes, then do a college or drawing that might interest the interviewee.
    I got the odd number left over and chatted with a young woman who had a wild gypsy exotic appearance— the type of very feminine romantic woman who would marry a man “wrongfully” incarcerated for murder at San Quentin, but I digress. She shared with me her life long love of creative writing that she had sorely neglected of late. Her husband had time (lots and lots of time) to pursue a literacy program for inmates, while she was sinking further into a morass of depression.
    I did a drawing for her. I wrote “Writers write” in a tight spiral until it filled the page. She accepted it with great appreciation and I subsequently forgot all about it.
    Years later she returned to therapy— her depression now stemming from the possibility her husband might get paroled.(definitely not part of her marital plans) She stopped me in the hall and pulled out a laminated card from her purse. She had scanned and shrunk my drawing to wallet size and saved it for posterity. “I look at it from time to time and think about that group. It reminds me to keep at it.”
    It was my handwriting all right, but I had no memory of making it. I guess it is important to write things down, if only so they can be remembered.
    PS: She is still married because he is still in the slammer. (her comfort zone for wedded bliss)

    1. mcullen Post author

      Love your humor in this piece, Kathy. And love how your humor is woven in between what could be a sad sack story. But, with your writing, the feeling is upbeat and positive. . . and just goes to show. . . you never know when or how your remarks will lift someone up. . for a long, long time.

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