“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
—Louis L’Amour

Breathe Your Story

Your story is going to be great. Your book? It’s going to be great. It’s going to get written. Don’t worry.

Breathe Your Story

Take a deep breath.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe your story in. Breathe your story out.

We talk a lot about how to write great stories here, and all that learning, all that striving for excellence, it’s really important. You should strive to write the best story you can.

But sometimes you just need to breathe, to look up from your keyboard, stretch THE kinks out of your back, and say, Wow, I’m writing.

I’m breathing.

I’m alive.

The secret is that the words you write when you’re focusing on your joy will be better than the words you write when you’re focused on greatness.

So today, breathe your story in.

Breathe it out.

And write.

(Then, of course, share your writing with the world.)

Have you ever felt filled up with joy while writing? Share your story in the comments.

PRACTICE

Free write for fifteen minutes. Write about the wind, or the feeling in your chest when you breathe, or the sound of your fingers tapping on the keyboard. Write about whatever you want. Let your story, your breath, lead you where it wants to go.

When your time is up, share your practice with us in the comments section. And if you share, please be sure to give feedback to a few of your fellow writers.

Happy breathing.

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

  • My story is one of the things that brings me the greatest joy. I have not only had those moments of breathing in the story, but also breathing out, and feeling the words being written for me. I am a Christian, and I have believed since the beginning, since the Lord gave me this story, that the words I write are not mine. I’m not talented or diligent or capable enough to do what I’ve done. My strength comes from Christ. My words come from Him.
    It’s been four years since the day that I (out of the blue) was given my story. That alone is proof that God is in this, because I have NEVER finished anything in my entire life. And I certainly haven’t stuck with anything for nearly as long as this book.But when I feel those words being rushed through me, and when I look back at the now almost 100k words behind me, I can see the fingerprints of God all over them. And I’m convinced that somewhere, someday, there will be someone whose life is changed because of the words God allowed me to write.
    That’s why I write. I write for God, and I write for that one person.

    • Adam

      I am sure you words will touch someone’s heart. Thanks for sharing your story

    • 709writer

      So true! If you follow Jesus’ lead, you’ll make a difference in people’s lives.

      • Exactly! That’s why I’m writing in the first place. Not ashamed. 🙂

    • Gary G Little

      Have you posted any stories the Workshop forum? It’s a good place to get feedback and improve in your writing.

      • I’d love to do that someday, Gary. But I think it’s a membership, and I’m a ‘starving artist’ right now. 🙂

        • Gary G Little

          Take the opportunity in a prompt. Tell a story. Show a scene. 200 maybe 300 words, that’s what these prompts are for; to do, not just tell us what you’re going to do.

          • Good point. I just write what’s in my head, and at the moment I was reflecting. It’s actually been awhile since I’ve done a prompt.

    • MianneChan

      Good day! I love these words, “My strength comes from Christ. My words come from Him.” It’s very encouraging for me as a fellow Christian and writer. Continue writing! 🙂

      • Wow, thanks 🙂 I’m glad it encouraged you. That’s proof that they’re really His words! 🙂

  • Kellie McGann

    Joe. I needed this today. So good.

  • Harper Hodges

    Mr. Bunting,
    Thank you for your wise council. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed when I write my stories. You, at least, have thumbs and don’t have to depend on someone else to type for you.
    Perhaps you can take a nap in a sunbeam today too.
    xo
    Harper

  • LilianGardner

    This is delightful, Joe… ‘Breathe Your Story’. Often, it’s exactly what I do. These days I’m taking joy in revising a story, the one I submitted for NaNo in November last year. There’s heaps to correct and I have pleasure in improving it. I wrote it in haste and I’m surprised to find myself being absorbed, wanting to know what happened next because I forgot some episodes.
    I’m truly enjoying writing whilst breathing in and out.
    Thank you Joe.

  • Emily H. Jeffries

    Thank you for the exercise, Joe. Here’s what I wrote:

    “Last night, I had a moment of gratitude for breath.

    Getting into bed is rarely peaceful for me, as I am either plagued by an excessive chill or nauseating heartburn, and I am always buckling under the weight of anxiety. It’s hard to believe I’m only 29 years old, with all the griping I do.

    But for an uplifting moment, while my head and shoulders sank into a flannel pillowcase, I was able to observe how easily my breath came.

    I recalled the final section of Stephen King’s writing memoir, in which he describes how he was mangled by a careless driver. While riding the helicopter to the hospital, Stephen suddenly felt like he was drowning. He heard the paramedic yell something about a collapsed lung, and the next moment something rammed into his side, and Stephen was breathing frigid air out of his chest. It hurt like hell and made a terrifying “shlooping” noise, but he was so glad to be breathing, he didn’t care.

    I tend to romanticize my sufferings, like no one else could understand my bravely borne sacrifices. But when I focus on the breath – the subtle gusts of oxygen spinning freely into my body – I remember how easily I live. That is more than many can say.”

    Thanks again for the prompt! Puts life into perspective.

    • Miriam N

      I know how that feels like Emily. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve just realized that I have a lot of anxiety and am working now to fight it and regain my life. I hope you can do the same. Thanks again for sharing this. Keep writing!

    • EndlessExposition

      This really resonates with me. Living with anxiety and other mental health issues – as I do – really makes you grateful for the small moments of peace and calm. Thanks for sharing!

  • Miriam N

    Hey Joe and all you other write practicers! Been a while since I’ve posted but felt like I wanted to do this practice. So here’s my piece, hope you enjoy it.

    A Single Moment

    In… out… the words flow from my finger tips and onto the page. In… Out… the scene plays through my mind in wonderful clarity and life. In… out… I feel the joy of writing overwhelm me and the story grows. In… Out…. everything melts away into my world, my story. In… Out… I’m in the heat of a battle that has raged for years. In… out… the smell of blood, the wind at my back… the cold autumn chill. In… out… metal on metal steel on steel, all captured in a single breath. In… out… everything I think, everything I feel captured on a fresh page of a notebook. In… out… It’s more than just a book or sentence, it’s my whole world. In… out… never have I felt so alive, so filled. In… out… it fades away as I slowly return. In… out… the beauty of a moment.

    • Andressa Andrade

      Hi, Miriam! I love your piece! It represents very well the feeling I have when I am writing. There’s nothing like that, is there? “It’s more than just a page or sentence, it’s my whole world.” ♥

      • Miriam N

        I’m glad you liked it Andressa. 🙂

    • EndlessExposition

      The repetition of the “In…out…” makes this feel like a prose poem. I think you could really play with the punctuation here to great effect!

      • Miriam N

        Huh didn’t think about it that way. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Daria Tarrant

    Hi Joe, I’m actually taking the week off from my writing as my son is off from school this week. I know he can keep himself busy while I write as he is a teenager but my husband and I don’t allow him to have electronics behind closed doors as a rule and all he wants lately is to be on one of his game systems. That is very distracting for a writer.

  • Andressa Andrade

    Hi, everyone! 🙂
    Ok, I am not sure what I wrote here. I just thought of something that made me feel in peace and breathe easy and started writing. I think it was a meditation exercise. Anyways, here is the result:

    —————————————————————————————————–

    Sometimes I like to listen to the sound of the stars. When the night is warm (and that happens often here in Brazil, my tropical country), I like to go outside and listen for a while. I have been doing that for years now. Now, the stars are my friends. I call some of them by name.

    “But they have no voice”, you may say. That is because you never stopped to listen.

    The voice of the stars is the silence.

    Do you know that deep silence that you hear at 3 a.m., when everyone else is sleeping, and you are still awake working, studying or worrying? To most people, that sound (or the absence of sound, as you might prefer) is terrifying. They imagine monster noises ascending from it. Steps. Cracks on the floor. Howls.

    But have you ever stopped to listen? Leave your fears behind. Say a prayer. Hug a pillow or a teddy bear. Hide your back. Whatever you do, do not fear the silence. Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out. And listen.

    There is nothing more peaceful than silence. Silence is the song of peace. Nothing bad happens in silence. Whenever something is wrong, you will hear it. Even if it is only a sad and low whisper. But silence is harmless. Listen to it.

    Let the peace flow. Open your window. Let the wind in. The cold breeze of the dawn. Breathe in. Look at the stars. They might be fading now, and it will be a long day before you see them again. Breathe out. Enjoy the silence, while the world is asleep.

    In silence, I always find light, even when it is dark. Good ideas, good thoughts, good feelings. If you listen to the silence, and leave out all the sounds of the world, including those reverberating in your mind, you will find peace.

    I like to meditate in music. But there’s nothing like meditating in silence.

    This text is not a story. It is meditation. While typing these words, even if the keyboard makes noise… Even if the newsman is so loud with his bad news on the TV my mom is watching in the kitchen… Even so, I can hear the silence. It is not outer silence. It is the silence inside. Peace of mind.

    I learnt silence from the stars. I invite you to do the same.

    A mythologist I truly admire once said that the greatest advice he ever heard in a myth was “Follow your bliss”. I like those words very much. I follow them in my life. But I’d like to add a few others: Follow your bliss. Find your silence.

    ——————————————————————————————————

    Any feedback (including Grammar and speeling corrections, since English is not my first language) will be much appreciated.

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Larissa Gabriella Wenceslau

      When I want some inpiration I always sleep late and I love to look at the sky and see the moon and the stars. The silence is amazing to hear my thoughts, and then you realize that my mind can scream louder in the silence. I really loved your text.

      • Andressa Andrade

        Thank you very much! I’m happy you liked it! 😀

    • kath

      This was so beautiful!

      • Andressa Andrade

        Thank you, Kath! Glad you liked it!

    • EndlessExposition

      Reminiscent of “Stars” from Les Miserables 🙂 A thoughtful, meditative piece, AND excellent grammar to boot! Good practice!

      • Andressa Andrade

        Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it! I haven’t read “Stars” from Les Misérables (I still have to read that masterpiece), but I will check it out, now that you have mentioned it. Thank you!

  • Larissa Gabriella Wenceslau

    Hello there! I am a new writer here and this is my first challenge. I hope you guys like. This is my first time writing a story in English, and I have some problems with grammar (I am Brazilian, by the way). I hope you Enjoy.

    My Precious Time

    Every night when I go outside, I want to see the sky, feel the wind on my skin. All of us need a time to breathe and feel ourselves, to feel alive. Dream about another world that we can go and have an adventure. Does not matter if this world just exist in our mind. We just want to go out there and build this story in our minds.

    I live with my boyfriend and he is always asking me, “Why do you go out there just to look at the sky and imagine that you are living in another world?” and I answer him that I go there to find myself on my thoughts, just to breathe and think. My boyfriend or my family do not understand why like a writer, I want to contemplate the nature. “But write is just put the words on the paper”, and I reply them: “write is more than that. Write is a gift that we have and this time to breath is necessary to make my mind feel free”.

    Now looking at my bed, I am seeing my little bear that my boyfriend gave to me when we met each other. Why for some reason I feel my mind travel going back to that day when I met him. He was so handsome. The wind was blowing on us. We were on the beach. I was taking a time to breathe before start to write again, my precious time. In addition, he came toward me. He bought the little bear and gave to me, lying that I had lost in another day. I just imagine, “How could a guy be so cute”.

    I just take fifteen minutes to breathe, and this little time gave the hero of the new chapter of my life and of my stories. This time is precious. Just take a time to make your mind be free and travel to another world, and you will find your place and make of your life, the best story ever.

    • Andressa Andrade

      Hi there, my fellow Brazilian! o/

      I like your story, it is so cute! The way you wrote it made me think for a while that maybe her (or his) boyfriend was an illusion, part of one of her daydreams. I do like the effect. There are a few grammar problems, indeed, but nothing too bad. And I am amazed at how you managed to write a complete story, with a flashback and all, in such few words. Good job!

      • Larissa Gabriella Wenceslau

        Thank you my friend, you really thought that? That’s amazing, I just let my imagine flow. I knew it, but it’s my first time writing a story, I will be better in the first time… I hope. Thank you very much.

        • rosie

          Oh, please write more! Brazil seems like such a great country, with so much culture and history. I’m from South Africa, and we also speak lots of languages here. Don’t worry about grammar in English: if you watch TV with subtitles in your native language, you’ll get better. Just keep writing: your writing about the sky and stars is lovely.

          • Larissa Gabriella Wenceslau

            Hello Rosie, I will keep always writing. Brazil is a nice place, and I love to live here. Come to here someday! I think the same thing about South Africa, someday I want to go there and meet this beautiful country. Thanks for this tip, I do this already and you are right, this helps a lot. I’m so glad that you liked, this means a lot to me.

    • EndlessExposition

      Great reflection on the power of writing! I wouldn’t worry too much about grammar. It’s important in a final product, but for now I’d just work on finding your voice and the stories that call to you 🙂 Good luck with all your future writings!

  • kath

    I love this post. Such a good, beautiful reminder.

  • LaCresha Lawson

    I will do my deep breathing. ☺

  • I struggle with joy, in my writing and in my life. I’m not sure why that is, but I do know that my writing always seems to walk a dark edge and it affects my life. My writing (my muse) wants to take me to a dark place, but I (me) need to be in the light, badly. How do I find a balance? It’s terrifying. Do I have to make a choice?

    • Gary G Little

      Tell your muse to take a hike. Really. A muse is a figment of our imagination used to excuse why we don’t write, or why we don’t write what we want to write. “My muse abandoned me,” or “my muse lead me …”

      We don’t need no stinking muse … 🙂

  • gemma feltovich

    Hello! If never posted something in the comments section before, but I like this piece. You said write about whatever you want, so…

    Mom says that I need to go through Rosslin’s stuff. “It’s been over a month, Olivia!” she complains. She’s right: Rosslin’s entire room, self painted to look like the sky, remains untouched. Her laundry lays in a heap in the floor, her saggy to teddy bear sits propped up on her pillows, her sketchbook is open to a half finished watercolor of her cat. The cat, Mystic, has been following me around lately. Maybe that’s because I sometimes wear Rosslin’s clothes, but I like to think that suddenly Mystic doesn’t hate me. Maybe we’ve bonded over the last month.
    “Maybe tomorrow,” I tell Mom. She looks like she’s about to say something, but then she just sighs and leaves me alone in my room. I flop down on my bed and stare at the wall, which has become a habit of mine. When you’re trying not to think, walls become much more interesting. Mine has little bumps that make patterns if you’re really paying attention. ‘Maybe never,’ I think, but then I push that thought away because one thought leads to others and I don’t want to think.
    I know I’ll eventually have to go through my sister’s room, but I’m good at procrastinating. If I can wait until five minutes before the bell to start my homework, I can keep from doing this for another week or so. Even so, I’ve sort of backed myself into a corner: I don’t want to clean out her room because I know it will make me cry, but I don’t want anyone else to do it either. What if they find a tampon, or her stash of expensive art supplies that she bought in secret? I can’t let that happen. I have to protect her from mortal embarrassment even when she’s dead. Mortal.
    I have a cruel sense of humor.
    I stuff earbuds in and scratch Mystic’s head, but she jumps off. I’ve taken to listening to Rosslin’s music. I never liked it before because it’s all classical, calm for sketching, but somehow it’s soothing now that she’s gone. The downside of Bach is this: it makes me think, and that makes me realize I need to clean her room. “Tomorrow,” I whisper to myself. Tomorrow.

    • gemma: I’m new here too, trying to become engaged in something outside of myself. I just this minute read your piece, and omg, it’s fantastic. I don’t know what else you’ve done, but you need to continue. That story is complete, in and of itself. Perfect for a flash fiction contest. Enter it somewhere! And please keep it coming. I can say “I knew you when.”

      • gemma feltovich

        Thank you so much! I wasn’t expecting to get a reply so quickly. I have a confession, though: I didn’t really write this for the website, I actually had a plot made for a (possible?) book and wrote this beginning for it. It could also be a short story…
        This was my first draft though; I didn’t completely cheat.

        🙂

    • EndlessExposition

      I love this! I hope it’s part of a larger piece because I love your main character’s voice and would definitely be interested in seeing future posts about her story!

      • gemma feltovich

        Thank you! I have actually done some other drafts of this and have a book draft for it (which doesn’t actually mean anything, because I make tons of book drafts and don’t ever finish them, which I really should).

  • rosie

    I love writing the type of story where I’m giggling to myself at how funny I am. Ruthanne Reid’s fantasy prompts helped me find my joy again–I have stories I know I should write, and stories I could write.
    But it’s more important to write the stories that give you joy!

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  • Breathe in breathe out that’s a good one. So often we do that and not really think about it. right now I seem to be writing only journals and not stories, although I try I can not finish one, edit one or even start a new one… It just wont or can’t happen. And it frustrates me. Breathe in breathe out. Oh sure I have tried other things but they don’t feel real or enjoyable to me. Writing was always my go to release, now its not. And when I cant/ don’t write I don’t feel right. Its scary actually if I cant write …. well the possibilities are not good. Who am I if not a writer….. Breathe in Breathe out.

  • MR

    My head feels heavy, probably from the wine and tequila of last night. Eyes shifting to the ground, with a slight sadness that my morning was not productive as I hoped it to be. The energy in fingers feel light and tired at the same time, creating a weird space in my typing. There is also a strain and pain in my arms that actually belongs because I also had the brilliant idea to work out before I went out.

    When I think my body as a whole, the juxtaposition between my physical and mental state makes me smile. My body, like my life, is complicated. My legs take me to where I need to go, even when the rest does not agree. The sensations around each vertebrae feed off each other and still do not feel the same, each unique and different. The complexity of my figure goes with the complexity of my surroundings and decisions. That is comforting knowing that they go through similar cycles.

    However now I ache, I know I am fatigued (again because of the alcohol). Still I feel okay because I am aware of my shape and what it brings.

    • EndlessExposition

      This is a great concept and really well written! The speaker’s awareness of their body translates beautifully. I would suggest a stronger word than “okay” in the final sentence, but other than that, well done!

  • Gary G Little

    Here I sit, in my writing place with my coffe to the right. Here a sip, there a sip. The coffee shop is close to empty now, not many folk here. A father and his sons were here but a moment ago and then gone. Two boys, youngest maybe five, oldest eight or nine. Both had tins, illustrated tins like the lunch boxes I had as a kid. The tins contained playing cards. Both had to show their playing cards to each other. Compare this feature … Whisper … Compare that feature. Pick another card … Whisper, compare this, compare that. Too far away to hear what they were saying and most likely could not have understood if I were close enough. Younger brother wearing blue shirt, older brother wearing orange and back shirt. Not noisy, just being brothers, waiting on Dad to get his coffee. Some word from Dad at the door and cards go back in the tins, lids go on the tins, down off stools taller than they, they hop and join Dad at the door. Oops, older son has to run back in and get a napkin, then back to the door and off they go trailing Dad, off to wherever the Saturday adventure leads. Just a Dad and his two young sons, that wondered into my favorite coffee shop on Flamingo in Las Vegas.

  • Justin Jacobs

    Thanks, Joe! Here is the result of my 15 minutes. Have an awesome weekend everyone!

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    There is power in the trees.

    I escape to the path that meanders around the brush and foliage to find what I need to learn there. My spirit aches to be out and about, to find the love that is in the air, the joy in the water. The sun embraces my face and the smell of the dew kissed leaves enriches my heart. This is alive. Not a sound about me, not a cry of a child, a whine of an adult, just the slow gentle pulse of the woods. A bird flutters from limb to limb. There! A crack of a branch off in the distance. Yes this is noise, but is it? Can it not be part of the silence. This is not the sound of a city, or automobiles, or the hum of lifeless machinery. This is the sound of home.

    I’ve read in many a story, seen so many pictures, and enjoyed certain shots in various films that all highlight the majesty of the sun dappling down through the limbs of trees. One could call it overused or worse yet, cliche. Yet here I am admiring the dappling of the sunlight through the trees as it dances across the bright blades of river grass. Nothing seems cliche in the forest for here they know not what that means. The insects, fungi, woodland creatures, they simply do what they do. It is us that assign them to cliches and roles to fulfill. What do they assign us? Is there a coyote off in the brush watching me, assigning me some role I am unaware of. That hawk overhead, do I cross his mind? Do I mean anything to the woods when it means so much to me? What am I to creatures whose sense of time is simply the the rise and fall of darkness? What am I then to myself if I am nothing to that which awakens my soul?

    • Gary G Little

      Nicely done Justin …

      • Justin Jacobs

        Thank you Gary. 🙂

    • Claudia

      Nice writing, Justin.

    • EndlessExposition

      Great opening sentence! Finding a powerful opening line is one of the hardest and most essential parts of writing, and you’ve nailed it here. Nice work!

    • Vincent

      I can see this evolving

    • Susan W A

      exquisite.

      You express your essence with the soul-enriching coolness of the forest and soothing warmth of the sun patch in the meadow.

      This reminds me of a piece I wrote, called “I am the land”, about our friend’s father who grew up in Yosemite (and was friends with Ansel Adams).

  • A.R.A

    “Let’s make this day count,” I think to myself. I am standing against the wall in the kitchen, rubbing my eyes and staring at the coffee machine as it slowly dripped espresso into my mug. My two year old son is grabbing my ankle, tugging at my shorts. He wants his milk bottle. My wife is getting dressed for work, my son is off to preschool shortly, and I need to be at work in thirty five minutes.
    “You know what? I’ll just write during my lunch hour at work,” myself and I decide.
    Work is hectic. I get there at 8:00 am and suddenly it’s 5:00 pm. No time to scratch my head, let alone sit and write.
    How am I going to do this? Back home, my son tucked in, my wife cuddling to him close by, I sit at the dining table and open my laptop. Words evade me. How about tomorrow? I slam the laptop shut and go to bed.

    • EndlessExposition

      The struggle of every writer 😛 I’m a student, and my day usually goes much the same way.

      • A.R.A

        It gets worse everyday. People underestimate how tough it is to balance work, family, and writing. If you have one good day every week, you can consider yourself lucky! 🙂

  • Hannah

    Long time lurker, finally I summon the courage to post something here. Please be kind…
    ————–
    My breath moves my breast. I feel the beating of my own heart, the rustle of wind through the pine trees, the quiet singing of the stars… the icy darkness which rushes in and out as I breathe.
    My own insecurity which vanishes as I dip my fingers into black calm water. I feel the cold numb my flesh as I breathe in… and out.
    I see within my mind, my story unfold: vibrant and as alive as the world in which I reside. I hear the sound of steel against steel, the howl of pain, the stench of blood. I smell the rain on rotten leaves, of wolf fur, of coarse cloth, of wet earth as I breathe in… and out.
    I see the faces of my characters, see the pain, the pride, the haughtiness, the fear and sorrow. I see the scars on each of them, I see my own pain within their eyes. I see their feathery souls within their frail bodies. Bodies that cave so easily to the stab of my pen. I see their blood flowing freely. As black as the ink which I use to write their misery. As white as winter snows. As red as my own beating heart, as I breathe in… and out.
    I hear their voices within my mind, urging me to write and tell of their plight, offering to come and fight my demons. these fiends who do not understand my passion or my sorrow at their crass words.
    I hear the wind at my back, the bite of winter’s chill, the claws which thirst after my blood. I hear the surge of wings and the padding of paws, the strength of the sorcery which envelopes me. I hear the clash of steel against steel, of teeth against armour, of flesh against flesh, all captured in a single breath. I lift my heart and my head to the heavens above me, studded with gleaming stars as I breathe in… and out.
    I must remember my words. I must remember the oaths I gave. I must remember my own name. I must remember… remember… remember… Voices scream within my own shadow-reaved mind, the monsters clawing and howling at the doors which seal them.

    I must remember: I tend to trivialize my own suffering, my own brave sacrifice made (it seems) in vain. My story is the reason that keeps me above the cold, dark water which wishes to drown me as I breathe in… and out.

    • EndlessExposition

      Hi Hannah! Welcome to the party! It took me ages of following The Write Practice before I actually posted anything, so I know how you feel. That said, I really like your practice, and there were some especially beautifully written lines, like, “My breath moves my breast. I feel the beating of my own heart, the rustle of wind through the pine trees, the quiet singing of the stars… the icy darkness which rushes in and out as I breathe” and, “I see their feathery souls within their frail bodies. Bodies that cave so easily to the stab of my pen”. You’ve definitely got a talent, so keep up the good work! I hope you post here more often!

      • Hannah

        I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much 🙂 I’ll try to write more, but right now my inspiration’s out cold… I hope these promts will help:)

        • Susan W A

          The prompts, experience/advice shared, and others’ practice provide endless inspiration … and re-reading your own work can do the same.

          • Hannah

            Indeed, but when I read it, I’m reminded of how terrible I wrote… and that makes me wanna delete it… Not a good plan…

    • Hannah

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much 🙂 I’ll try my best to write more, but my inspiration is out cold. I hope that these promts will help 🙂

    • Susan W A

      Love your piece. Great exploration of your work which beautifully incorporates the prompt.

      So glad you posted. No need to worry here … all levels of experience are welcome. I’m a fairly new writer and it’s only a tangential hobby at this point. Nevertheless, TWP (the Write Practice) is a major factor that has encouraged me to challenge my imagination and begin to expand my craft. You’ll be encouraged time and time again to claim the avowal, “I am a writer.”

      • Hannah

        Susan, thank you. I’ve been writing for years, so welcome to the craft!

        • Susan W A

          I do indeed feel welcomed by each writing community I have visited, with TWP at the top of the list.
          I admire those who have carried forward their passion for the craft since they were younger! Brava!

  • EndlessExposition

    Hey all! I’m in need of some creative advice, and I was hoping all you fine folks here would be willing to help me out. I’ve recently gone back to work on my book after a long hiatus. Since it’s in the plotting stages at the moment, I’ve started a side project so I have something to share at my weekly writing class. The trouble is: they really like it, they want more, and I don’t really have a plot. Sooo, I was hoping you all might be willing to volunteer ideas! Here’s the blurb:

    Gina Darling has nothing left to lose: her father has vanished, her mother’s Alzheimer’s is worsening, money is running out for her brother’s private schooling, and she’s just been arrested for an assault that could reveal her lifelong secret – her pyrokinetic abilities. As Gina sits in a holding cell at the police station, she sees her family’s future draining away before her eyes. But when she’s brought to the interview room, she finds a surprise waiting for her. Amy Andrews is cold, calculating, and definitely untrustworthy – but she’s offering Gina a way out: a job in a mysterious federal department. With no other choices, Gina takes the offer. She’s immediately whisked to Washington D.C. and thrown in with Andrews’ elite black ops squad at the Paranormal Paramilitary Department. Gina’s new colleagues are a strange blend of lovable, screwed-up, and very very dangerous. It’s not long before the group is plunged headlong into a crisis of paranormal proportions. Gina’s introduction to the Skeleton Crew is going to be a baptism by fire.

    To anyone who takes the time out of their day to respond to this post, thank you so so much! It’s a huge help!

    • Gary G Little

      Give her allergies, and a really high pollen count. When she sneezes, things get brilliant.

    • Carolind

      there have been multiple cases of bodies of poletitians found with claw marks in them, but they are too large to be any known animal, but the bodies also have strange symbols drawn on them in a green substance, it turns out that werewolves and witches had been hired to work together to take out polititians by someone high up in the ranks to take them out, so that that person could move up in the ranks, sort of like taking out the competition

  • Tinthia Clemant

    I have yet to find the joy in writing. I write to tell the story that threatens to burst from my chest but I get lost in the frustration of ‘am I good enough to be doing this’ that I hold my breath and long for the end. Sigh.

    • Susan W A

      Perhaps take a closer look. No doubt you have caught a glimpse of a subtly exhilarating phrase you’ve created or a word choice which exudes your intent, and felt that slight flutter of a smile, a spark of pride and an imperceptible breath in. That’s your joy that you can hold along with your breath.

  • Vincent

    This is of course just rough – no grammar intended 🙂 –

    How to begin, always the problem, so many ideas where to go.
    I have three big novel ideas and one in the works. Sometimes I get confused
    which is which. Hahaha. Then I remember that is why I make notes. Making notes,
    yes, I note the time the neighbors come and go, come and go. I note the time
    the Pharmacy on the corner turns it’s lights off. Am I living or just an
    extension of someone else’s life. Do I exist at all! I can feel my face, so I
    must be real. That had me going for a minute, figure out I am really dead and a
    ghost like in movie. That would have been funny? Hmmm, maybe not. I am watching
    the deli on the corner opposite the Pharmacy now. The people coming and going,
    coming and going. Where are they all going, where did they all come from. I
    wonder if they realize I could end their coming and going from my vantage point
    and they would never know who did it. I would never have to use a rifle at this
    range. It must have been a bird that dropped the stone on their head. No noise,
    no sounds except the thunk when the rock cracks the skull. I have tested these
    round porous stones for years and they are deadly accurate at 400 feet. I make
    my own slingshots and it took me three years to perfect them. My father was so
    proud when I showed him what I did. We used to go hunting and that was the
    purpose of my quest for an alternative to a Bow and arrow. So I came up with
    this, it is primitive and deadly. I have these spiked balls that I used to hunt
    with that can actually take down a deer at 150 feet. I am proud of myself. But
    now a days we don’t go hunting anymore and every once in a while I sit at my
    window and imagine plucking them off, one by one. I know it’s wrong, and a
    really bad fantasy, but isn’t that what fantasies are for. To escape the
    realities of your life. To be totally mad in once instant and perfectly
    societally acceptable in the next, because what is normal. I am perfect to me.
    Always, always I get the urge, it has been getting harder and harder not to act
    on it. I can see it in my mind’s eye. Putting the rock in the leather pocket,
    pulling the silicone back behind my ear, sighting in on my target. My favorite
    is that bitchy looking redhead. I don’t really know her, but once I saw her
    push past that old lady who lives on the 3rd floor above the
    pharmacy, almost knocked her over and didn’t even give a look behind to see
    what she did. Yes, she would make a perfect first target when she comes in on
    the 4th of each month. I release and hear the swoosh past my ear, I
    see the rock shot out from its nestled spot in the leather pocket. It speeds to
    its target and then a spurt of blood, the look of astonishment, not knowing
    what has happened, then the pain, the what must me excruciating pain becoming
    vocalized. She drops to the ground, the deed is done, she will be dead within
    the hour. The look of horror of the people now stopped to look and some even to
    help. The crowd grows, the Pharmacist comes out to see, the police show up,
    finally the ambulance crew rushes her to the hospital. It is hard to see the
    faces as they have their backs to me. I am spying with a pair of binoculars
    now. ….

    Time’s up

  • Maymunah Rose

    I really love this post! It really shows that writing doesn’t need to be stressful, and it brings it back to what writing is for me: fun! Here it goes:

    The wind played like chimes, a different tune on each leaf. The fairies giggled at it’s silly sound, and the silly stories it kept adding in between. Fire shot out like geysers from holes in the ground, where the fawns crossed arms and skipped around with high pitched laughter, which of course annoyed the centaurs, but even they were in a light enough mood not to complain. The Wildflower Queen, Magnolia, sat on her throne constructed of twirling tree branches, and decorated over with intricate ivy designs, dotted with bright black and red roses. A smile adorned her small round face, and she breathed, breathed, breathed in the delicious air and enjoyed watching the festivities. Love bubbled in her heart for every single one of her creatures, the ones who had found her alone in a grass field with nothing but a piece of cloth covering her body and a magnolia in her hair.
    “Oh my lovely lady,” said a ginger headed fawn, “come dance with us.” His voice was a drunken giggle.
    The child queen shook her head. “No Casper, and please stop drinking bubbly. I’ve outlawed it, remember?”
    “A dance queen, please a dance,” he said again, a bit more harshly.
    Magnolia refused again. “Casper, are you alright?”
    “A daaaaaaaaance!” he roared, and his body burst into flames.
    The space between the trees erupted in shrieks, as the image of the fun-loving Casper shifted into that of a cloaked man holding a sword made of diamond to the Queen’s neck.
    “No one move, or your queen dies,” he said to the creatures who had started to come forth. “And if you do not dance with me queen, then you die as well.”

    Okay, wow, that was kind of intense, but really amusing. Definitely sparked a story idea, perhaps the man needs to dance with her in order to break a curse? Anyways, I will take this advice, and BREATH,BREATH,BREATH away!

  • Harry Potter Fan Forever

    Hi! I’m pretty new to this, so I’m really open to any comments and please suggest what you think was good and what I should improve on.

    Life is like a play.
    We’re each selected to do a part, and each part is important. Without all of them, the play would be general chaos, but with them all combined, everything ties in, making one beautiful story. Each part is unique, and there is always a certain person who has the ability to make that part come to life. Even the people behind the curtains have a duty, and without them, how would the play go on?How would life go on?
    The thing is, life isn’t exactly a play, either.
    People are always shifting roles, always changing, never constant. Sometimes, someone will quit, and therefore a new person will come to take their spot. (But no matter what, that new person will never do that role exactly the same way the previous one did). Actors may forget their lines, and sometimes must improvise.
    I think that’s the beauty of it.
    It’s not written out for you. It’s there for you to live it.
    That, my friend, is the real difference between life and a play.

    • Vincent

      Without having a feeling of where this is coming or going, it feels more like the beginnings of what could be an interesting poem.

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  • I Don’t Even Read

    I wish I could be a part of that world whenever I wanted. I hear music in the moments I surface, but once I go back under, I stop being the me that wakes up in the morning. I become a stranger, not even staring. Not even questioning the whispering voices I can hear behind me. Not even looking. I just walk out into the sunlight staring straight ahead. As tide approaches, I always begin to ask, but the warmth makes me forget the me that wakes up in the morning.

  • I Don’t Even Read

    In your nose out your mouth. You’re drowning in the cold but you have to get home right? You could shift to a lower gear, it would be easier but it would take forever to get up this hill. So you stand up on you bike, rotate hips, sway left and right (I don’t know it just feels right), keep inhaling mucus, and hope nobody murders you with their car.

  • Wanda Kiernan

    “The secret is that the words you write when you’re focusing on your joy will be better than the words you write when you’re focused on greatness.” I love this! I usually feel the joy after I finish a scene or a sentence or a story. During the writing process, although not focused on greatness per say, I am a ball of anxiety trying to string the best group of words together. I’m going to start with the joy, instead of end with it. Thanks, Joe.

    • Susan W A

      This provoked thought; I enJOYed how you expressed your thoughts.

      “I’m going to start with the joy” … a lovely quote itself.

      thank you.

  • Susan W A

    Here is a piece entitled “B R E A T H E” , which I wrote for a friend who completed her PhD and was interviewing in three different states in as many weeks for university professor positions. It begins below this line.
    _________________
    I want you to read this slowly and deliberately, feeling the images soak into your cells, where they will reside for you to call upon whenever you need them. When you’re finished, close your eyes, and slowly take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, any particles of self-doubt will exit als0.
    ______________________________
    “I am capable. I relax my shoulders, hold my head high and radiate a quiet confidence. That quiet confidence is mine. It is exactly what is needed for the situation. I need not compare my confidence with the bold or showy confidence of some others. My inner self is ready to support my progress in bigger ways.

    I have accomplished many things in my life.
    I have overcome obstacles in my life.
    I have taken risks and challenged myself, with great results.

    My life experiences are unique, and my path which brought me here is unique. While others may be equally capable and deserving, I alone have the combination, the piece of the puzzle which completes the picture.

    I easily reflect on questions or problems presented before me, letting my inner wisdom swirl around the words and carry forward my ideas with ease. I welcome any opportunity that may arise to overcome a “bump in the road”, any moments of unease. I readily regain my footing. My imperfections provide value as well.

    I will know if it is right … or not … for I will feel a resounding connection, however subtly presented, which is shared and carried forward by those whose task it is to lay down their part of the pathway for my next step in life, whether it is this place or another.

    B R E A T H E

    With great joy, friendship, support, and confidence in you,
    Susan

    • LilianGardner

      Thanks for sharing, Susan.
      I love your piece, B R E A T H E. It’s something we should practice daily.

      • Susan W A

        Thanks very much, Lilian.

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