Try Writing Prompts — See Where They Take You
I thought I’d start this month off by following a prompt from my book, Flex Your Writing Muscle—365 Writing Prompts, which is available on Amazon in paperback and in kindle. The prompts for June are based on The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum. My recommendation for all of the prompts is to pick one and write/type as quickly as you can for five minutes. If you find yourself lost in your words, then by all means continue. If not, close the book and move on to something more inspiring.
Don’t be surprised if the prompts jump-start your writing. A prompt could easily become your next blog post or the beginning of a new article or short story.
The prompt for June 1: What do you require for your wellbeing? I will admit, sometimes it’s easier to come up with these prompts than it is to answer them. Here goes…
Like many women, my wellbeing requirements have changed over the years. What I required as a single person working in San Francisco changed when I became a parent, and continues to change as my adult children become more self-sufficient. As a single woman, my wellbeing depended a lot on how my friendships were going, and getting through various ups and downs that came with navigating relationships. As a parent, my wellbeing is often tied into the health and happiness of my children. I want them to thrive, and when they hit a rough patch, it can become a difficult time for me too. As my adult children become more independent and self-sufficient, I can turn my attention to other things.
Two things that affect my wellbeing are my health and my work. Fortunately, my health is better than that of most people my age. I like being strong and fit and spend about six hours a week lifting weights and taking a dance aerobics class at my local gym. Working out helps me focus and decreases stress. It’s something I’ve been doing for decades and I have no intention of ever stopping. Occasionally, I might take a break, but I always come back.
My wellbeing is also tied up in my work—whether I’m writing for myself or for others—and in being of service. Early in my career I vacillated between corporate gigs and the nonprofit sector. I needed money to pay off my student loans, but experienced a great deal of satisfaction in helping others. As a result, I often worked in the nonprofit world—writing grants, serving on a board of directors, and even producing a telethon. Today, I’m still on the board of a non-profit and I also write grants for a local organization. I volunteer because giving makes me feel good and enhances my overall wellbeing.
If I’m completely honest, there are other things that increase my wellbeing…I love a chilled glass of good Chardonnay, a thick juicy burger hot off the grill, hiking just about anywhere—even in the rain, walking with my dog, seeing a good movie in a theater, bag of large buttered popcorn in my lap, having lunch with a good friend, and dancing to a live Zydeco music.
When I look at the wellbeing I have in my life, I feel an enormous amount appreciation and gratitude and see a positive cycle that continues.
What brings you the peace, comfort, security, and happiness you associate with wellbeing? Take five minutes to answer that question and see where it takes you.
Jan Fishler is the producer of the Path to Publication DVD series filmed at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers featuring Amy Tan, Janet Fitch, Mark Childress and other well-known authors, agents, and publishers. She is the author of Searching for Jane, Finding Myself (An Adoption Memoir) and Flex Your Writing Muscle – 365 Days of Writing Prompts. She writes articles for VietNow National Magazine and has a bi-monthly column, “Healthy Options” in The Union newspaper.