Do you ever have those moments where you feel the need to write but not on any of your current work? Like something is IN there… trying to get out… but you can’t put your finger on what it is?
Those times are absolutely perfect for a random writing prompt (or a free write, but since I did a writing prompt today, that seems completely irrelevant). So I did a little google search and found two that I liked.
One netted the prompt “What were 3 things you touched today? Describe the textures.” and the other gave me the single word “leap”. Let’s see what happens.
Note: This is being blogged with little/no editing (I’ll probably correct spelling and basic grammar mistakes). Be kind.
My boss is trying this new thing at work. Basically, we have to write our thoughts and feelings in a journal each morning. It’s supposed to empty our minds of whatever feelings and emotions are clogging us in preparation for giving one hundred percent of our efforts to work. Here’s my opinion: I love writing but no one… and I mean no one… is going to give one hundred percent to work. You may give a lot to work. You may work as hard as you can. But don’t try to convince me that no part of you is thinking about food, peeing, or your family. It just doesn’t happen. But, I pick my battles around here. If I get an extra ten minutes each morning to myself in peace and quiet and all I have to do is write in a journal that will never be read by anyone but me… count me in.
I take the standing table by the window for two reasons. One, I’ve been in the car stuck in city traffic for 63 minutes at this point. Two, sometimes I like to stare out the window like the inspiration for this writing time is written in the clouds. No joke, I once wrote about the shapes I was seeing in the clouds because I couldn’t think of anything else.
Last week some new girl in accounting suggested he give us daily prompts, in case we are stuck for inspiration. Since then there’s been a print out from some website. Today’s reads “What were 3 things you touched today?”
Suddenly I’m incredibly thankful I don’t have to read all of these. I’m sure there are a few people in this office with the maturity akin to teenagers who found this prompt to be dirty. A shiver runs through me as I imagine having to be the person who reads these.
Let’s see, taking the prompt at face value, what have I touched?
The cheap fake leather of this binder is the first thing that immediately comes to mind when I’m asked what I touched today. This is that kind of material that always feels cold no matter what time of year it is. The kind that leaves the lingering scent of plastic on your fingers long after you’ve put it away for the day. Basically, it’s like the buffalo wings of office supplies. You cannot get rid of it no matter how many times you wash your hands. At some point later in the day you will scratch your nose and immediately remember that you touched it this morning.
But you asked for three things. Currently I’m also touching the wood on this table. What kind of wood is this? I feel like I should know that. It’s soft, as far as wood goes. If I dug my fingernail into it like a teenager in detention I could leave a little mark. Someone who isn’t planning on being here tomorrow could write an entire message using the back of a pen in this dark stained wood table. Really it speaks to company morale that there’s nothing on the surface. We all must really value our jobs. That says something.
One more thing. Let’s see, what else have I touched today? My steering wheel, I suppose. That is naked and uncovered right now. One, in college, I had this awful cover. It was grey and felt like chinchilla fur. It wasn’t… at least I don’t think it was. But that’s what it felt like. About two weeks after I got it there were already tangles. Every single time I drove I thought to myself, “I need a brush for this thing”. Since then, I’ve made it a point to have a naked steering wheel. Burning or freezing your hands is a step up from wishing you’d remembered to bring a brush, let me tell you.
There. I slam the cover of the cheap notebook closed, slip it back into place among its twins on the shelf, and wander back toward my laptop to check my email for the morning.
I absolutely hate to admit it but I actually feel better. I feel like I’ve let go of that stress that followed me in traffic. I’m ready to do this. But if anyone asks, it’s a dumb idea.
Turns out I decided to go with the sensory one. Funny because when I read both I actually had the intention of using the single word. But the brain does what the brain does.
Do you use prompts? Tell me in the comments.