Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way. I’m not affiliated with, recommending or receiving payment from any person, company or organization mentioned. I simply wanted to share with you what I consider to be an intriguing concept.
I’m interrupting my own regular programming here by taking a break from the series of posts recounting last spring’s Big Switcheroo journey to Florida and back. Why? Because I’ve had some thoughts tumbling around in my head recently that are refusing to leave until they’ve been articulated, and those thoughts are being pretty insistent about it. This post is going to start off slowly because I need to provide you with the backstory. Please hang in there; the post is about a concept that I truly believe can enrich your life. Important note: If the words “journaling” and “writing prompts” widen your eyes, bring terror to your soul and make you want to give your Nikes a good workout by running immediately in the other direction, just take a deep breath and keep reading. You can do this. Really.
I have to thank Kristen over at The Frugal Girl for inspiring this post. (You can access her blog from the list of My Favorite Blogs in the column at the right.) Kristen recently shared with her readers that she had started a personal blog having nothing to do with frugality. Having come across a list of writing prompts via a company called Rustico, Kristen decided to use the prompts to jumpstart personal essays on this new blog to feed her creative soul. (It’s called Kristen, Prompted and, if you’re interested, feel free to hop on over and check it out - link HERE. Just don’t get so enthralled that you forget to come back.)
Kristen is using a list called 365 Days of Writing Prompts developed by the folks at Rustico, a company that creates stylish journaling supplies of high quality, and she was kind enough to provide a link to that list for her readers. (I’ve done the same at the end of this post.) The responses to the prompts (in blue) are my own.
January 22nd – Things you always did with your Dad
On some Sunday mornings, while my Mom was preparing our Sunday dinner, my Dad and I would take a sleeve of graham crackers to the small zoo in our town to feed the goats and the llamas. On other Sunday mornings, we’d go down to the big creek and skip stones. On the really good days, we did both.
Before we go any further, there is something you should know. At different times throughout my life, I’ve been discouraged from using the word “hate” because “it’s such a strong word.” Well, sometimes a strong word is just what you need and I HATE journaling. Yup, I enjoy creative writing and I love blogging about our State and National Parks and the RV lifestyle, but I HATE journaling. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m a very private person, and journaling was forced upon me at various times during my years of formal education. I was too naïve to figure out that I could just make stuff up as I went along, so those journaling assignments were always excruciatingly painful. Although I know enough to “never say never,” I’m pretty darn sure that you’ll NEVER see me with a personal journal in my hand. (Note to my kids: Don’t even bother to look for a Secret Diary filled with juicy tales from your mother’s life. It doesn’t exist.)
March 8th – The most disappointed you’ve ever been
I’ve loved horses for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, the woman who lived in the upstairs apartment of my parents’ home, promised to take my Mom and me to Florida to visit her brother who had a small horse farm. When the plan fell through due to her brother’s illness, I was devastated. Still am.
Back to Rustico’s writing prompts . . . When Kristen announced her new blog, I headed over there to check it out. It’s obvious that this new outlet will, indeed, allow her to post items of a more personal nature than what she generally covers in The Frugal Girl, and a reader can tell that the prompts are resulting in some careful thought and soul searching. Kristen’s essays prompted me (sorry, just had to say that) to access the entire list over at Rustico and what I found, really, was a gold mine. I don’t know if the list of 365 prompts was created by a single person or an entire team but, let me tell you, this is an incredible list of thought-provoking topics quite conducive to introspection. The mix is excellent – some prompts are just for fun; others are extremely serious. Some will tease great memories from the past out of you; others will challenge you to give concentrated thought to what’s going on in your life today. Some prompts will bring to mind special people; others may re-open old wounds. Every single one of them will make you think, feel, laugh, cry, remember or dream. And you don’t have to write a d*mn thing.
May 26th – Three things you want in a relationship
Honesty, respect and trust
Why, oh why, am I bringing up this list of writing prompts in a blog about travel and the RV lifestyle? Here’s why: As avid RVers, Alan and I spend a lot of time together in our truck, towing our retirement home from one delightful location to another. We’re definitely road trippers, and both of us are comfortable with a long stretch of open road and the gorgeous scenery that accompanies it. What better time and place to share our thoughts, our memories and (at the risk of scaring Alan into silence) our feelings? The many companionable miles we share in the cab of the pickup lend themselves to a quiet environment that breeds good discussion. But then so would an evening spent around a campfire or the quiet time we spend over our first cup of coffee in the morning, watching the world wake up. In fact, you don’t even have to go camping to put this list to good use. Tackling one of these prompts while on a daily walk could add new insight to a facet of your life. Choosing one to discuss while sharing an after dinner drink with your “someone special” could jumpstart an enlightening exchange of ideas. (That being said, it’s probably best not to dwell on some of these prompts if you’ve enjoyed too many after dinner drinks.)
August 21st – If you won the lottery what would you do?
Pay someone else to finish these prompts
Here’s my point: These prompts are really, really good. If you want to get to know your spouse better, almost any one of them would “prompt” an insightful sharing of personal information. If you want to know yourself better, find a quiet corner and challenge yourself to consider one of the many prompts that, if addressed honestly, may help you understand yourself, your past, and maybe even your future.
October 7th – Do you have a favorite National or State Park? (No, I did NOT make this up.)
Every. Single. One.
Here’s my plan: I’m going to print out this list of 365 prompts and keep it in the Camping folder that travels with us. I won’t tell Alan that it’s a list of writing prompts, though. If I do, I know he’ll never get in the truck. And I can’t say that I’d blame him. How about you? How would you respond to one or more of the five prompts above?
Special thanks to Kristen at The Frugal Girl, for inspiring me to look beyond a concept I didn’t like and magically transform it into one I do. To access the list of 365 Days of Writing Prompts, just hop on over to the Rustico web site (link HERE). If you happen to love journaling, you might enjoy the story of how the company came to be (link HERE). Their products appear to be lovely and well-made. Just don’t buy any for me, thank you very much!