Today’s writing prompt comes from a new development in my writing life: The Sisters’ Writing Club. The brainchild of sister-in-law Nan, the club invites all five of us to write a brief piece once a month on the same topic. We share our pieces via email, then respond with delight to each one as it comes up. A recent prompt, “When I was nine…” yielded stories about a cousin ‘s baptism (in a river!) in North Carolina, a birthday visit to the family farm in Illinois, a mean but inspiring teacher in New York, and another teacher who was tormented by unruly students despite (or because of?) her great kindness. (The geographical differences are explained by the fact that none of us are blood sisters, but sisters-in-law.)
So, I offer two invitations to you. First, start a family writing club of your own. I guarantee you will laugh and cry and grow closer. Limit each piece to one page as that makes it possible to tackle in a busy life, but know that each piece will become as long as it needs to be to tell its story.
Second, take a few minutes to write on When I was nine… without worrying about grades, red pens or margin notes. Just await that little warm glow you get from taking out a little slice of your life for closer inspection. Even if the slice contained unhappiness or loss, there can be benefits to writing it out if it is not too troubling. It will be worth your while.