NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt: What did you learn from the “write a blog post a day” challenge?
Wow–is it really the last day of November? So soon!
So here are a few things I learned:
- I have the time, discipline, and creativity to write more than I originally thought.
- A writing prompt is not “cheating.” When you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, a simple prompt can keep you in the creative flow.
- After writing the post about my grandma, I thought, “there’s more to explore here.”
- I had a lot of people “rooting” for me along the way.
- I didn’t feel the need to make excuses for the days I didn’t write. That’s a big one for me!
- I like writing. Period.
See also: the challenge.
A few more to add to my must stop by blogs:
If there’s a blog you’re addicted to, share in the comments!
NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt: Describe an heirloom that has been passed down through the generations.
Maybe it’s being a product of divorce, or that I moved around a lot growing up, but I can’t really think of a family heirloom that has been passed down–something that had history and significance to me and my family. But then I started thinking, if I were to pass down something from my family to the generations to come, what would it be?
Being a Southerner living in NYC, I can’t see myself moving back down South for any long period of time. I can see, however, bringing my Southern roots into my family-to-come, especially with food and stories.
Sweet tea, black-eyed peas, and chicken and dumplings. Can it get any better than that?
I lived with my Grandma Billie for some time growing up in Alabama. She was a Southerner through and through. And, yet, despite (or, maybe, because of) growing up on a farm in Virginia, she had a lot of stories to tell. On her old typewriter, she wrote poetry and short stories. In the early ’90’s one of her short stories was published in Mobile Bay Tales: Essays & Stories About a Region. She decided to go back to college in her 60’s and get a degree in English. When I went off to college, she’d ask to read my textbooks when I was finished with the semester. She’d sit in a chair in her bedroom, with her feet propped up, licking a spoonful of peanut butter, reading for hours at a time. She had a painting she bought at a yard sale (she loved a good yard sale!) that she was convinced was a long lost Picasso. And when she passed away, I found boxes of the stories she had written and bound them in a book I titled Stories by Billie Moore. This I will pass down to the generations.
In the end, an heirloom isn’t about the thing itself, but the memories and history that it holds.
NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt: What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?
Some things that immediately come to mind:
- Acting on Broadway
- Meeting my boyfriend
- Finding an apartment in the same building as one of my best friends
But then I thought, “wait a minute, I don’t want to chalk this all up to luck. I had a hand in all of these things!”
So, what exactly is luck? Is it completely and entirely random? In the acting and theatre world I’ve often heard that it all comes down to luck–that you can do everything right, but, in the end, you need luck on your side to really make it–to be in the right place at the right time, to meet the right person.
Dictionary.com defines luck as:
What’s interesting about this definition is the idea of force. It’s like having good energy within and around you. And in my mind, that energy is something you can work on by thinking positively and being open to possibilities.
If I were to pick one “lucky” thing that has happened to me, I’d have to say it was winning the lottery. Now, to me, that’s a bit of luck! Last Christmas my dad got lottery tickets for everyone, and I won $500 smackaroos. It was completely by chance that I got the winner–but maybe it was also that I had good energy surrounding me. We’ll probably never know! It did make our trip to New Orleans just a little bit better though.
NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt: Are you working on a passion project?
I’ve written a lot about finding your passion, but not really about the concept of a passion project. But I love the idea.
A passion project is something that stews for some time until you finally make that leap. and then you throw your whole heart into. It is something creative and energizing. It is something with goals and deadlines. And it is often something that involves other people–either collaborating or affecting people in some way…or both!
Several years ago a friend and I started a passion project–for at least a year or two we talked about writing a book. Not just any book, but one detailing certain experiences that we had shared. And then one day, we just started writing. We met, collaborated, worked with a coach, and a year later, we had a fully formed rough draft of our novel. We celebrated by taking a writing retreat in Sedona. This project had all the necessary ingredients: we let it stew, it was full of heart, it was creative and energizing, had goals, and involved us as collaborators.
Here are a few passion projects of my friends that are infused with life, breath, and spirit:
- Poppy Pictures: a non-profit film company focused on storytelling.
- Starabella: a set of children’s books with music focused on a little girl with learning difficulties.
- Dave Hertzberg’s Hearts and Bones: my boyfriend’s jazz/neo-bluegrass band–following his journey behind the scenes has been really inspiring.
Please share any passion projects in the comments!
See also: the challenge.
NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt: Describe your favorite place.
Living in New York City, you’d think it would be easy to come up with my favorite place! There are certainly a lot of places I like, such as a:
- great museum
- really nice hotel room
- luxurious spa
- tea salon or cafe
- wine bar
What I realized is that it’s not the specific place that’s most important to me–it’s the feeling and the atmosphere I get from being in a place. The feeling that I most treasure is “cozy.” I love taking the time to enjoy a pot of tea on a cold, rainy day, cozying up on the couch with hot cocoa and writing holiday cards, or meeting friends at a chill bar and having a great glass of wine and some cheese. I love dark wood, exposed beams, fireplaces, dim lighting and wearing scarves! To me it’s all about slowing down and relishing the moment. I just love finding cozy spots that allow me to take a breather from the sometimes harshness of the city and the day-to-day routine.
If you have any cozy-spot recommendations in NYC, leave them here in the comments!
See also: the challenge.
NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt: Have you faced your fears and overcome them?
The subject of fear is a popular one on this blog. That feeling that you’re holding yourself back from doing certain things because they’re scary is no fun. I’ve written about it in several posts:
Susan Jeffers in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway says that holding the fear of doing something is many times worse than just going and doing it.
Tonight I’m headed to an educators in the arts social event at a bar in Times Square. It’s a networking event and I thought it would be good for me to go considering my new career path. I can think of a whole slew of excuses right now why I shouldn’t. I thought about inviting a friend to come with me, just to ease the fear of walking into a bar and not knowing anyone. But I thought better of it. My purpose is to experience this scene that I will soon be well immersed in. It’s to challenge my fear of walking into a social event without any crutches. It’s to learn a little bit more about myself and why this is a scary thing for me.
I’ve always felt better after facing a fear. Because, whew! I can say that’s finally over no matter how it turned out. And I end up learning if it’s something I want to continue pursuing. But I’ll never know if I don’t try, right?
See also: the challenge.