Thursday, April 12, 2012

Writing Prompt Thursday (#wpthu): 12 April 2012


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Today's #wpthu prompt ...


The following is one of my favorite passages from Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet (tr. Stephen Mitchell, 1984):
So rescue yourself from these general themes and write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty—describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember.
This passage, alone, could stand as today's #wpthu prompt, and could be used to wonderful effect throughout one's lifetime. But here's the actual writing prompt for today which inspired my reaching for my copy of Rilke's Letters so as to write out the above quote ...

Make your way slowly around your home, your dorm room, or wherever you're presently living, and observe — in a physically grounded, open and aware manner — the personal objects and belongings which you treasure, which speak to you of precious or otherwise meaningful moments from your life, or of loved ones present or past.

Pick up these objects, one by one, hold them for some time, and allow them to resonate in your hands as well as in your heart. Feel what stories they have to tell. Listen quietly to what they have to say, memories which they might trigger.

Choose one of these objects


Bring it with you to your writing table, place it nearby your notebook, and write in response to it. Nurture the writing of a response which is felt, grounded in the physical, as much as it is considered by our rational minds.

Write from this felt presence for 10 minutes (or more), and surprise yourself in what flows through you and onto the page, perhaps even previously unconsidered tangents which might reveal themselves well beyond the particulars of the object at hand. But don't force this.

As always with #wpthu, write longhand (it's good to get away from the computer for a while, and to reawaken your writing hand). Nurture a sense of letting go of any creative burden, self-critical judgment, or comparison (with yourself in times past, or with others). Keep your pen moving. And honor, truly honor, whatever flows through you and onto the page. This is great practice in learning to trust in the process.

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— Let's get the conversation flowing in the comments below. How did it feel to put pen to paper today and to write in response to a personal belonging? Consider typing up your piece and posting it below (never, however, an obligation or expectation), leaving out any personal particulars which you may prefer not to share. And please help us spread word of Writing Prompt Thursday by clicking on any of the below social media share buttons. Thank you.