What happens when you read a writing prompt?
I looked at one today, and immediately images flash before my eyes, as usual.
Memories, pushing and fighting to get to the surface of my mind again.
I read the words “Sea of Yellow” above a photo of a boy’s hand with a tiny butterfly sitting on his finger.
I see flashes of my buttery blond hair glowing in the summer light, blocking my field of vision. I cannot see a thing except my own, youthful hair. I know it is in my mouth, twisted, I can taste the tips I chewed on. Feel a rogue strand on my tongue.
I see the woods by my childhood home, the muddy clearing where construction hadn’t begun yet. The place I used to make mud pies and go on imaginary adventures with the neighborhood kids, before we really understood that we weren’t all one gender.
I see the photos I took of my son, now 6yo, back when he was 3yo and sitting in a pumpkin patch as his sister toddled around. The landscape a sepia tone of autumn, peppered with rows of pumpkins.
These images are not from the same place or time. But they came to me boom-boom-boom as soon as I read the prompt.
I don’t know what they mean. I don’t know the words yet, I don’t know where my mind is going. If it decides, the post will write itself in my head, sentences shouting at me until I sit and type them out.
I don’t know if I’ll end up responding to the prompt at all. I may never get those sentences.
But this is what happens to me when I read a writing prompt. And I try to read them weekly, because I find doing them, particularly the non-fiction/memoir ones, help me write my fictional book more easily. (<– This? I have no clue why it’s true. But I don’t question the process).
What happens to you?
Do you see things, like me? Or do you have a method of deciding what to write? Do you actively jot ideas down? Do you come up with more than one response? Do you come up blank, never able to actually respond to them?
I am genuinely curious.
What happens to you when you read a writing prompt?
What writing prompts do you follow?
I’ve done The Red Dress Club RemembeRED almost weekly for 6 months now (posts listed here).
Now I’m trying The Lightning & The Lightning Bug.
I’ve peeked at MaMa Kat’s prompts & Kate Takes 5’s Listography.
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