Friday, October 16, 2015

When you aren't sure where to start writing, simply write where you are

Write Where You Are

I caught the writing bug when I was ten, when I joined an essay writing contest. The topic was: "Where did you spend summer and what did you do?"

I wrote about the summer I spent with my grandparents. I described how grandpa taught me to climb trees, and how soon after that, I discovered how scary it was to climb down from a branch ten feet above the ground. I described how my grandma brewed strong coffee, and how the aroma drifted and lingered throughout their little hut every morning. I described the long walks and spontaneous swims in the rivers I took with my aunts and uncles.

It was a simple topic, but it had a tremendous impact on my life. I knew writing was what I wanted to do.

And now, nearly 20 years later, I can still hear grandpa's laughter, still smell grandma's coffee, still shiver at the memory of how cold those rivers were. Their little hut is forever etched in my memory.
I grew up; now I'm a writer. And whenever I'm stuck and ideas seem to run out, I remember that summer. My grandparents may be gone but they left me with memories from which I can draw inspiration. They left me a place I can go back to in my mind -- their home. In a way, they never really left.

And that's enough to make the words come out again. I re-discover the wonder of writing each time I remember where I was the summer before I turned ten.

If you feel yourself running out of words to write, try writing where you are. Stop thinking, worrying, doubting. Simply lean back, close your eyes and take yourself back to that one place that gives you peace. Then for 3-5 minutes, simply write about that place, and how it makes you feel.

Here are 5 prompts to get you started:

1. Where do you go when you want to get away from the pressures of life, family, work, etc? 2. In 150 words, describe the place where you are right now.
3. Where were you last summer/winter?
4. Which room in your house do you spend most of your time?
5. In 400 words, create your ideal place.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at

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