Midweek Writing Prompt: Three Things You Know to be True (8/13/14)

In my classrooms and workshops, I strive to create safe, welcoming writing communities where individuals feel free to explore ideas, stories, and concepts without judgment. After all, we need those spaces to get started. The judgment – of editors, professors, critical friends – will come later. But in the beginning, we need that soft, friendly embrace where anything is possible and everyone loves you. Let’s go there together.

When my schedule allows, I will post writing prompts for you to play with. I encourage you to write something and to share those initial efforts in the comment section, or even your response to the prompt – tell us what happened when you sat down to write. After all, some of these prompts will lead you down a path toward publication – I’ve seen that happen often enough to be confident in that statement.

Give it a try! 🙂


Writing Prompt: Three Things I Know to be True

This prompt was inspired by the brilliant Sarah Kay. I often show her TED Talk “If I Should Have a Daughter” to inspire my students and I love her use of this writing prompt to get kids to recognize that they, too, have valuable stories to tell.

You have 30 seconds: Write down three things you know to be true. Do NOT think too hard! This should be an immediate response – whatever comes to mind right away. (Not verifiable facts, but rather, things YOU know to be true. Think about those soul-level tidbits of knowledge that you just feel in your bones. For some inspiration and insight on this prompt, watch Sarah’s TED talk – she gives the audience this prompt after her opening performance piece.)

Now that you have your list of three things you know to be true, select the one thing that is most important. The one piece of knowledge that you can take with you to the next level – the one that is so vital, you can’t live without it.

Now that you have that one essential thing you know to be true – write about it. Maybe it will be the moment you learned the lesson that led to this knowledge. Maybe it will be a moment from the past, or maybe it just happened yesterday, but write a moment that showcases this particular bit of knowledge. Give us a scene or anecdote that shows us how and why you know this essential thing to be true.

Give it a try. You might be surprised at how much you actually know and how deeply you really know it.


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