WriteALM April 2015 prompts

 
Download a .pdf for easy printing here.

 
SHARE:
The monthly list of prompts will be posted here on the last Monday of every month. To play along, share your post on your blog then link back here and/or comment here with the link to your post. Share the link to your post on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #writealm. Please feel free to share links to your writing on the Facebook page.

 
Note: If you share your post on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #writealm, I will see it. If you blog using WordPress and link here, I’ll receive a pingback letting me know so I can pop over and comment. If you use Blogger or Typepad, I will not know you’ve posted and linked up UNLESS you come here and link to your post in the comments. Please know that while I cannot comment on every post, I do try!

 
SUPPORT:
On Twitter or Instagram, simply click on #writealm and you will be taken to a list of tweets or photographs with the same hashtag. I have created a board, Write ALM | The Prompts, on Pinterest and have slowly begun pinning posts so if Pinterest is more your cup of tea than Twitter, you can see what others are up to there. Look in the comment section of this post for links that will take you to blog posts of other participants. Lastly, visit the Facebook page to see what kind of word magic others are weaving! Join us occasionally or join us every day. Use the daily prompts as a source of inspiration for your writing, journaling, or photography—make them work for you! If you’d like a button, feel free to use one of these.

 
PS: Did you know I send out a monthly newsletter with prompts, updates, and writerly inspiration? Your email address will never be shared. Sign up here.

 

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Find Write ALM: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

WriteALM March 2015 prompts ALMWrites March2015 prompts 150x75
Download a .pdf for easy printing here.

SHARE:
The monthly list of prompts will be posted here on the last Monday of every month. To play along, share your post on your blog then link back here and/or comment here with the link to your post. Share the link to your post on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #writealm. Please feel free to share links to your writing on the Facebook page.

Note: If you share your post on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #writealm, I will see it. If you blog using WordPress and link here, I’ll receive a pingback letting me know so I can pop over and comment. If you use Blogger or Typepad, I will not know you’ve posted and linked up UNLESS you come here and link to your post in the comments. Please know that while I cannot comment on every post, I do try!

 

SUPPORT:
On Twitter or Instagram, simply click on #writealm and you will be taken to a list of tweets or photographs with the same hashtag. I have created a board, Write ALM | The Prompts, on Pinterest and have slowly begun pinning posts so if Pinterest is more your cup of tea than Twitter, you can see what others are up to there. Look in the comment section of this post for links that will take you to blog posts of other participants. Lastly, visit the Facebook page to see what kind of word magic others are weaving! Join us occasionally or join us every day. Use the daily prompts as a source of inspiration for your writing, journaling, or photography—make them work for you! If you’d like a button, feel free to use one of these.

 

PS: Did you know I send out a monthly newsletter with prompts, updates, and writerly inspiration? Your email address will never be shared. Sign up here.

 

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Find Write ALM: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

WriteALM February 2015 prompts2

ALMWrites February2015 prompts 150x150

Download the February prompts for easy printing here.

SHARE:
The monthly list of prompts will be posted here on the last Monday of every month. To play along, share your post on your blog then link back here and/or comment here with the link to your post. Share the link to your post on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #writealm. Please feel free to share links to your writing on the Write ALM Facebook page.

 

Note: If you share your post on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #writealm, I will see it. If you blog using WordPress and link here, I’ll receive a pingback letting me know so I can pop over and comment. If you use Blogger or Typepad, I will not know you’ve posted and linked up UNLESS you come here and link to your post in the comments. Please know that while I cannot comment on every post, I do try!

SUPPORT:
On Twitter or Instagram, simply click on #writealm and you will be taken to a list of tweets or photographs with the same hashtag. I have created a board, Write ALM | The Prompts, on Pinterest and have slowly begun pinning posts so if Pinterest is more your cup of tea than Twitter, you can see what others are up to there. Look in the comment section of this post for links that will take you to blog posts of other participants. Lastly, visit the Facebook page to see what kind of word magic others are weaving! Join us occasionally or join us every day. Use the daily prompts as a source of inspiration for your writing, journaling, or photography — make them work for you! If you’d like a button, feel free to use one of these.

PS: Did you know I send out a monthly newsletter with prompts, updates, and writerly inspiration? Your email address will never be shared. Sign up here.

 

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Find Write ALM: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

WriteALM January 2015 prompts

Download the January prompts for easy printing here.

ALMWrites January2015 prompts 150x75

ALMWrites January2015 prompts 150x150

 

SHARE:
The monthly list of prompts will be posted here on the last Monday of every month. To play along, share your post on your blog then link back here and/or comment here with the link to your post. Share the link to your post on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #writealm. Please feel free to share links to your writing on the Write ALM Facebook page.

Note: If you share your post on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #writealm, I will see it. If you blog using WordPress and link here, I’ll receive a pingback letting me know so I can pop over and comment. If you use Blogger or Typepad, I will not know you’ve posted and linked up UNLESS you come here and link to your post in the comments.

SUPPORT:
On Twitter or Instagram, simply click on #writealm and you will be taken to a list of tweets or photographs with the same hashtag. I have created a board, Write ALM | The Prompts, on Pinterest and have slowly begun pinning posts so if Pinterest is more your cup of tea than Twitter, you can see what others are up to there. Look in the comment section of this post for links that will take you to blog posts of other participants. Lastly, visit the Facebook page to see what kind of word magic others are weaving! Join us occasionally or join us every day. Use the daily prompts as a source of inspiration for your writing, journaling, or photography — make them work for you! If you’d like a button, feel free to use one of these.

PS: Did you know I send out a monthly newsletter with prompts, updates, and writerly inspiration? Your email address will never be shared. Sign up here.

PPS: Mark your calendars!

The next session of Wholly Ordinary begins Monday, January 5, 2015. Details here. The winter session of Write Now will begin January 12, 2015.Details and registration here.

This will be the last time these classes are offered until late summer/early autumn 2015.

Questions? Get in touch!

 

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Find Write ALM: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

ALMWrites December 2014_prompts

Download the December 2014 prompts here.

ALMWrites December 2014 prompts 150x75

ALMWrites December 2014 prompts 150x150

SHARE:
The monthly list of prompts will be posted here on the last Monday of every month. To play along, share your post on your blog then link back here and/or comment here with the link to your post. Share the link to your post on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #writealm. Please feel free to share links to your writing on the Write ALM Facebook page.
Note: If you share your post on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #writealm, I will see it. If you blog using WordPress and link here, I’ll receive a pingback letting me know so I can pop over and comment. If you use Blogger or Typepad, I will not know you’ve posted and linked up UNLESS you come here and link to your post in the comments.
SUPPORT:
On Twitter or Instagram, simply click on #writealm and you will be taken to a list of tweets or photographs with the same hashtag. I have created a board, Write ALM | The Prompts, on Pinterest and have slowly begun pinning posts so if Pinterest is more your cup of tea than Twitter, you can see what others are up to there. Look in the comment section of this post for links that will take you to blog posts of other participants. Lastly, visit the Facebook page to see what kind of word magic others are weaving! Join us occasionally or join us every day. Use the daily prompts as a source of inspiration for your writing, journaling, or photography — make them work for you! If you’d like a button, feel free to use one of these.
PS: Did you know I send out a monthly newsletter with prompts, updates, and writerly inspiration? Your email address will never be shared. Sign up here.

PPS: Mark your calendars! The next session of Wholly Ordinary begins Monday, January 5, 2015. Details here. The winter session of Write Now will begin January 12, 2015. Details and registration here.

Questions? Get in touch!

 

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Find Write ALM: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

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In advance of the release of Marilynne Robinson’s new novel, Lila, The New York Times ran an interview, The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson, and there were two things in particular I wanted to share with my fellow creatives.

I hear from so many aspiring writers about their desire to write and their fear of failure. Robinson addresses this issue of fear that seems to be so abundant today:

“I hate to say it, but I think a default posture of human beings is fear. What it comes down to — and I think this has become prominent in our culture recently — is that fear is an excuse: ‘I would like to have done something, but of course I couldn’t.’ Fear is so opportunistic that people can call on it under the slightest provocations: ‘He looked at me funny.'”

The interview meanders along with Robinson talking about cultural prohibitions that keep people from saying what they think and she posits:

“How it [fear] has come to keep us at bay from our best selves, the selves that could and should ‘do something.’ In her case, that ‘something’ has been writing. For Robinson, writing is not a craft; it is ‘testimony,’ a bearing witness: an act that demands much of its maker, not least of which is the courage to reveal what one loves.”

Let that sink in for a minute, creatives, “… writing is … an act that demands much of its maker, not least of which is the courage to reveal what one loves.” Are you afraid of the demands of your craft or are you afraid of revealing what you hold most dear?

And for those that want to write but tell me, I’m not well read, I studied engineering in school, I’m not really creative — Excuses! One of the best pieces of advice I’ve come across is this little nugget from Robinson:

“We were positively encouraged to create for ourselves minds we would want to live with. I had teachers articulate that to me: ‘You have to live with your mind your whole life.’ You build your mind, so make it into something you want to live with.”

Want to write? Build your mind. Read quality books, read out of your comfort zone, and write every day no matter how afraid the thought of it makes you.

PS: You can read my thoughts on Robinson’s latest novel, Lila, here.

  • […] The New York Times had a great interview with Marilynne Robinson which I discuss briefly here. Read the entire NYT interview […]ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for this (and for the link to the full interview, which I’ll read).
    I’m thinking so much about writing at the moment – you might well say I’m spending too much time thinking and not enough time doing – and posts like this are what I need to help me move from excuses into action. But, I’m also prepared to be charitable to myself, invoking the Stephen King motto of “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write” – I value all this reading because it’s building my mind.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Helen,

      I think there are ebbs and flows in the dance of writing and reading. There are times I read much, much more than I write (unless you count the to-do list) but I believe this is fine, it’s filling your mind and creative soul with words and ideas and images that can be drawn upon when the writing is ready to be done.ReplyCancel

ALM Writes_On Writing as Work
 

***Find part one here and part two here.***

 

A few thoughts for when the going gets tough:

 
I recently reread Anne Truitt’s Daybook. It is her journal, kept over the span of seven years, wherein she considers the influences on her art and life. It is truly a journal you can learn from, especially her experiences of being an artist and mother.
 

In discussing what changed in 1961 when her work took a measurable leap forward, Truitt addresses how she handled the demands of marriage, frequent houseguests, and three young children:

Confronted by this situation, I made two major decisions.

The first was to invest in myself […] I simply poured my capital into my work.

The second major decision was to increase my energy output and to use it as wisely and as fully as I could.

Luckily for Truitt, she was already disciplined and worked in her studio most every day: “Rain or shine, eager or dragging my feet, I just plain forced myself to work.” She goes on to explain how every spare moment between practical responsibilities became studio time—even if it was only fifteen minutes—in her studio time and in those stolen moments the guilt dropped away and was replaced with an effortless desire to work:

Why am I so obsessed? I do not know.

One element in this is clear, however, and that is that the capacity to work feeds on itself and has its own course of development.

This takes me back to something I said in part one of this series about being busy and yet not wanting it any other way. I fill my days with work of one sort or another and in each area my capacity to work not only grows but inspires my other work—I host a dinner for friends and inspired by the warm banter and the sense of camaraderie shared around that table, the energy carries over into my writing time the following day. A day spent frolicking out of doors with my children allows my mind to quietly work on the editor’s letter I need to write or the problem in a story I’ve been struggling with.

After Truitt’s first New York exhibit (February 1963), a friend asked her what had meant the most to her about the experience. Her answer was that she had done it all by herself. Fast forward to 1975 and her answer had changed:

My answer now would begin with gratitude. What means the most to me is that for some unknown reason I have been blessed (and I know now how rare that is, and how quixotic) to be able to make things that sometimes have meaning to somebody else.

I say the same thing about my writing, about the work I do with Anchor & Plume, and about the work I do with writers. I labor over every issue of Kindred from the reading of submissions to editing submissions to layout…each and every issue is a labor of love and once it is out in the world, my biggest hope is that the contributors feel we showcased their work in the best light possible and that one thing in that issue touches a reader in some way. This is the work I believe in, the work I do, and it is this work which gives shape to my life.
 

On a particularly rough day in grad school, I was in my professor’s kitchen sipping wine, slicing onions for our dinner, and whining (just keeping it real) about the pressure to make progress on my dissertation while living hand to mouth and worried about living expenses for the next semester. She reminded me that even in austerity my spirit could find happiness in my life, in my work. The fact I was in her home, sharing in the preparation and pleasure of dinner with a woman who had lived a rather extravagant life teeming with adventure, love, and even loss, was a ray of light. She was a ray of light in my life for many years.
 

I tell you this, writer, to remind you no matter how easily or slowly the words flow, no matter the ebb and flow of clients, no matter how disappointing your bank balance, if this is the work you are called to do you must persevere and either find the ray of light or be the ray of light.
 

The last thing I’ll say on the subject is this: Don’t hoard your creativity and gifts. Share them. Give some of your time, your work away for free. I realize it may seem counterintuitive but you’ll find yourself reaping the rewards and earning more for your work so go on, be generous.

  • Living a generous life is the only way I know to live, to me it makes living so much nicer.

    Such a beautiful series Amanda, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • […] Writing As Work, Part II and On Writing As Work, Part III – Amanda at Write ALM. I’ve loved this series. It’s given me a lot to think about […]ReplyCancel

  • I just finished Anne Truitt’s “Prospect,” which examines her success as an artist as well as her aging. I found in her a thoughtful teacher and role model, and am looking forward to reading “Daybook.” Thank you, too, for the three-part post on being a working writer. I appreciate your measured approach, the balance you bring to the personal and professional parts of your life.ReplyCancel

  • I loved this series, Amanda! Having followed you since before you started the press I enjoyed the “back story” so to speak. You are very inspiring to me as a mother, creative, and homeschool mom as well. Your dedication to making space for your work has been inspiring too. How I’d love to sit down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine with you and discuss these mutual interests! :)ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Danielle,

      I’d love that too! Maybe after your baby arrives and things settle back down we can chat via phone :)ReplyCancel

  • I’ve really enjoyed your recent posts about writing Amanda. Many thanks for the valuable insights :-) I love that you highlighted also how running a small press is mainly done for the love of it (just like me with Mother’s Milk Books). And thanks for pointing me in Miel’s direction too. Best wishes!ReplyCancel