Our communication is only ever as powerful as the core we’re willing to plug into. It’s kind of like saying a team is only as strong as it’s weakest link or, the strength of how you start ‘off the block’ often sets up the fire of how you finish. Writing from the core is like being powered straight from the source. It takes courage and muscle and a lot of practice. Using writing prompts can help with that.
Every week in my Core Story Club (which I run with my writing partner Meribeth Deen), we post a weekly writing prompt. Today’s is inspired by Maurice Sendak’s book, Where the Wild Things Are which I read as a child and loved so much so that I had to find it and read it to my three boys as they grew up.
I swear I can still smell the carpet in the library I first heard this in.
Sendak’s book won multiple awards including the 1964 Caldecott Medal, the most Notable Children’s Books of 1940-1970 (ALA), the 1981 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Illustration, the 1963 & 1982 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book), the Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 1963, 1982 (NYT), and the 1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. It was later made into a stunningly evocative film in 2009 by the celebrated director Spike Jonze. I frickin’ love it.
Today, I’m asking you, if you were in the land of Where the Wild Things Are…
What would you do?
How would you live?
What might you say?
Where might you say it?
When might you care the most?
Who would you let yourself be?
Why would you roar?
Set your timer for 3 minutes and finish this sentence: Where the Wild Things Are I…
Keep going – do not cross out
Keep writing – do not erase
Keep breathing – do not crumple up
What does your story want to tell you today?
Here’s the thing… I never post without doing it myself, so here is mine.
I’m setting the timer now.
Ready… Set… now I Go…
Where the wild things are I write like a demon. Words spill out of me and I don’t hold back. Where the wild things are I can see full colour and I say the things that my heart wants to sing. The truth is, I feel like I live where the wild things are anyway. I kinda am a wild thing. Okay, so I’m not kinda a wild thing, I am one. I’m afraid of that sometimes. Truly. I wear red because it reminds me that I am that. I wear red because it has a beginning, a middle and an end and the world understands it. Okay, so true that people have opinions about women who wear red. Lady in Red. Revlon Red. Red nails. Oh my goodness that makes me think of Cheap Trick and that album cover with the red leather pants. I was only nine years old when that album came out. I had lots of opinions about women and men who wear red. I’m a wild thing and I hold on to my red purse, remember my red dock martins, eat red tomatoes and colour my hair red (well sometimes) when I’m brave enough to let the world know how wild I am. I like primary red. I like that you can’t blend it to make it. It just is. It’s red, wild and wonderful. I’m a wild thing – what can I say?
What do I learn from this?
RED is an expression of my core story even if it’s a secretive part for me. It’s how I share my wild self in a contained kind of way.
How might I use this?
Well… look at my logo. Interesting right?
Here’s another way to use these prompts. Our stories come through us in different ways. How I share my story as a writer is different than how I share as a speaker. I did this writing prompt as a vlog too. I still timed it. I still did the stream of consciousness thingy without filtering. Here it is:
TinaO is a Core Story Specialist and a Program Director of PUBLISH with Meribeth Deen for The LEAP Learning Lab. She’s a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub to Live, Give and Be Your Story, plus the deep listening weekend retreat Live Your Best Story. She’s been in the PR and Marketing world since she could put words together and has been a professional network marketer for over twelve years. She teaches: selling isn’t slimey, marketing isn’t make-believe and writing won’t give you an aneurysm (it’s not hard). You can be yourself in all that you do. In fact, that’s what the world is waiting for.