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Writing Prompt #1

Dreamers Creative Writing Prompts: Writing Prompt #1

Here is a writing prompt, a set of seven questions that I was given at the start of my Writing the Self class taught by Dr. Reinekke Lengelle at Athabasca University:

  1. The view from my window is…
  2. One thing I know about my writing is (bragging and lamenting permitted)…
  3. One thing I’ve found to be true about life is (steer clear of clichés or unpack them)…
  4. The people and creatures that surround me as I write are…
  5. I’m writing this because… [modified from original]
  6. I’d also like to say that…
  7. And my name is…

Writing Prompt

You can read what I wrote in response to this writing prompt assignment below. Many of the students wrote answers beneath each writing prompt while some, like me, turned the seven questions into a single flow of consciousness writing. In either case, the questions produced some beautiful, vulnerable results.

I liked having a series of related prompts because any time I stalled I just moved on to the next writing prompt. It was a great way to maintain a writing flow. Try it!


The View From My Window

It’s lunchtime. I am currently sitting in an interior office of the building where I work. The only thing that might be called a window runs up the side of my door and is made of frosted glass, so the view from my window is of vague shadows as people walk by in the hallway. There is however a small section at the top, starting at about 6 feet that is clear. Sometimes, tall people will peer in to see if I’m available for discussion. Most days, I find this quite annoying and have considered blocking that section of my “window” with some kind of “get lost” imagery. I’m open to suggestions concerning the options. Pic of my middle finger maybe?

One thing I know about my writing is that I love to do it. I’ve always wanted to write creatively. Originally, I wanted to be a journalist, but my dad was a journalist, and he talked me out of it. The daily deadlines and the pressure induced writers block burned out his creative spark for a while. He is in his 70s and only now starting to feel like he really wants to write again. He’s a beautiful writer and I can only hope that some of his ability is in me somewhere too. Writing is my present salvation and my hope for the future.

One thing I’ve found to be true about life, or more specifically, my life, is that I always seem to be waiting for something. I’m rarely satisfied with the here and now. In the long-term, I believe this means I need to make some changes – possibly some very drastic changes. In the short-term, this means that I’m writing more, as I get a great deal of satisfaction from that. Signing up for writing courses is one of the small steps that I’m taking to find some satisfaction in the moments of the present day. Clearly, I have high expectations for what I will get out of what I write.

The people and creatures that surround me as I write are my colleagues; my own team of staff at their desk quads, my boss down the hall, and the president in his big office. I know most of these people better than even my own husband in some ways, but in other ways, I don’t know them at all – for example, I have no idea what kind of pajama’s our accountants wear (I am surprisingly curious about that), why one of my colleagues ALWAYS wears a red tie, or if any of them yell at their kids in frustration.

What I do know is who is emotional in a meeting, who acts as a mediator, who is too timid to express their ideas to anyone other than me in private. All the things that I know about these people are exactly not the things that I know about my husband. Because of how different I am at work vs at home, I’ve often wondered who my husband is when he goes to his office – is he timid in meetings? Does he laugh awkwardly at his bosses jokes?

In terms of creatures, well, there are ants in the spring that run across the papers on my desk. Sometimes there are spiders. If I stretch the definition of creature, there is a plant in my office. It doesn’t really count as a creature because it’s not a living plant, but one that my daughter Allie made out of a fake daisy head with a pencil stem, and a circle of little foam dogs around the pot rim. It makes me happy to have it here.

I’m writing this because I like to write, and I like to use my own life experiences to inform my writing. I’m definitely interested in the personal development and therapeutic aspects of writing. I’ve often used writing as a means of feeling better. Regularly, I write responses on Facebook, Linkedin, and in news forums online that I ultimately delete rather than posting, because the simple act of writing it out is enough (and also because in our world today, responding to ignorance feels about as good as hitting my head against a brick wall). I’m really hoping that this writing course provides me with plenty of opportunity to write creatively because I’m already doing that anyway, so having what I’m already doing contribute towards my degree mean less work overall for me – like killing birds with stones, basically.

I’d also like to say that I’m a little bit scared right now. I haven’t written creatively in a long time. I’m interested in seeing how I do but also afraid of knowing what I am, or am not, capable of.

Oh, and my name is Angela Kathleen Beatrix McNichol. I go by Kat.

Read “Writing Prompt #2” in this series of writing prompts. 

Read our Healing Writing Prompts series. 

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This article was published on December 29, 2018.