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Things to Write About Yourself: 100 Writing Prompts for Self-Discovery

Things to Write About Yourself: Writing Prompts for Self-Discovery | image of a pen lying on an open journal

Writing is a great tool for personal growth, but it can be challenging to think of things to write about yourself. That’s why I put together this list of creative writing prompts for adults or teens. These may be used as memoir writing prompts if you’re interested in telling the story of your life, or the could be idea starters for blog posts or journal prompts for self discovery.


You may not be able to relate to all of them, but I tried to make them pretty general! These creative writing exercises can also help you develop the characters in your short story, novel, or screenplay — just imagine your character answering them instead of you.

If you like these prompts for writing about yourself, you might want to pin or bookmark them for future reference. Take a look!

THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF | 100 writing prompts for self discovery | | open journal, cup of cafe au lait

  • Describe one of your earliest childhood memories.
  • Write about what you see as one of your best qualities.
  • Do you have the same religious beliefs that you had as a child? If so, why? If not, how and why did they change?
  • Write about the benefits of being an only child—or the advantages of having siblings.
  • Write about how a person can tell if they’re really in love. If you don’t know, write about how you don’t know.
  • Are you shy about your body, such as when you change clothes in a locker room? Or are you comfortable with it? Why?
  • Write about one of the most admirable classmates or coworkers you’ve ever had.
  • Write about one of the worst classmates or coworkers you’ve ever had.
  • Tell your story about the time you succeeded at something because you just. Didn’t. Give. Up.
  • Write about how you’re a typical resident of your city or town… or about how you’re different from most people there.
  • Write about how you fit the stereotype of people from your country… or about how you don’t fit it at all.
  • Describe your favorite toy or game when you were five years old.
  • Write about one of your most useful talents.
  • What superstitions do you believe in or follow? Do you do certain things to avoid bad luck, or make wishes in certain ways?
  • Write about a death in your family.
  • Write about a birth in your family.
  • Tell your story about your first best friend as a child. How did you meet them? How did you play together?
  • Describe a physical feature of yours that you really like.
  • Is your home usually neat, or usually messy? Why is that? Do you think it matters? Why or why not?
  • Describe a part of your job or everyday work that you love.
  • Describe a part of your job or everyday work that you loathe.
  • Tell your story about how you won something, like a contest, a game, or a raffle.
  • Do you think your hometown is a good place to live? Why or why not?
  • Do you fit your astrological sign? Why or why not?
  • Write about when you think it’s morally acceptable to lie. If your answer is “never,” write about why you think that.
  • Write about a trait you inherited or picked up from a parent.
  • Write about a way in which you are very different from a parent.
  • Discuss one of the most important qualities you think people should look for in a romantic partner.
  • Discuss a quality that you think is overrated when choosing a romantic partner.
  • Write about a kind of exercise or physical activity you enjoy.
  • Describe the contents of a desk drawer or junk drawer in your home, and write about the thoughts or memories that the objects in there inspire.
  • Write about what you wish people knew about your job, profession, or calling in life.
  • Write about a habit or addiction that you’ve been struggling with for years.
  • Discuss something you love about the people in your country.
  • Discuss something you wish you could change about the people in your country.
  • What was something you misunderstood as a child? It could be the definition of a word, or something about adult life.
  • Describe the benefits of being an introvert or an extrovert (whichever one you are.)
  • Describe the challenges of being an introvert or an extrovert (whichever one you are.)
  • Tell your story about the time you spoke up for something you believed in. How did it feel? Were there any consequences?
  • If you don’t have children – do you or did you want them? Why or why not?
  • If you have children – what is one thing that surprised you about being a parent?
  • Tell your story about when a friend (or a group of them) made your day.
  • Tell your story about when a friend (or a group of them) broke your heart.
  • Describe an experience at a doctor’s office, dentist’s office, or hospital.
  • Describe your dream home in detail.
  • Tell your story about how a teacher, coach, or boss supported or inspired you.
  • Tell your story about how a teacher, coach, or boss was so awful, they didn’t deserve to have their job.
  • Write about something you did in the past year that made you proud.
  • Do you live in the city you grew up in? Why or why not?
  • Tell your story about a trip or a visit you enjoyed when you were little.
  • Discuss whether you think people should share their religious beliefs openly, or whether they should keep it private.
  • Discuss why you do or don’t consider pets to be family members.
  • Describe what you think would be a perfect romantic date.
  • Write about a type or style of clothing that you feel uncomfortable wearing, or that you simply dislike.
  • Describe your personal style in clothing and whether it’s changed over the years.
  • Write about the worst house or apartment you’ve ever lived in.
  • Tell your story about a time when, rightly or wrongly, you got in trouble at school or at work.
  • Do you always vote in elections? Why or why not?
  • Do you think people make snap judgments about you based on your appearance? Are they accurate or not?
  • What’s something that people don’t learn about your personality unless they get to know you very well?
  • Write about something that terrified you as a child.
  • Write about a particular phobia or fear you have now. If you’re not scared of anything, write about that!
  • Write about something you believe that isn’t a particularly popular belief.
  • What’s something you wanted badly as a child? Did you get it? If so, was it everything you hoped? If not, did it matter?
  • When you’re feeling sad or down, what are ways that you make yourself feel better?
  • What is something that makes you almost irrationally angry?
  • Write about an object you own that has religious, spiritual, or symbolic significance to you.
  • Do you consider yourself hopeful or cynical about romance? Why?
  • Write a note apologizing to a part of your body for insulting it in the past.
  • Write a note thanking a part of your body for doing such a good job.
  • Tell your story about when you had a delightful guest in your home.
  • Tell your story about when you had an unwelcome visitor in your home.
  • Describe the time you were a guest in an unusual home.
  • What was the strangest course or class you ever took?
  • Write about a time when you tried your best – and it didn’t pan out. How did you get over it?
  • Write about a small thing you accomplished this week.
  • Write about the ways that your hometown has changed over the years.
  • Write about a way your country is changing for the better.
  • Describe someone who bullied you as a child. Why do you think they did it?
  • Do you believe that things happen for a reason, or do they just happen randomly? Why do you think this?
  • Do you believe that you have a lot of control over your destiny or future? Why or why not?
  • Write down a funny story that your family likes to tell again and again.
  • Tell your story about a time you got injured or you were in an accident.
  • Write about some of the things you do at home when you’re completely alone.
  • Tell your story about how you learned a new skill.
  • Describe the way you get to school or to work every day.
  • Propose a frivolous or ridiculous law that you would like to implement, and explain your reasoning.
  • Write about something you did (or didn’t do) that you’re proud of from a moral or religious standpoint.
  • Tell your story about having a great time at a party.
  • Tell your story about a party you wish you had never attended or hosted.
  • Tell a story that has to do with your hair, or the lack of it.
  • Write about a feud or rift in your family.

THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF | 100 writing prompts for self discovery | open journal, white flowers, cup of coffee

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If you want to do more self-discovery and you could use a fresh start right about now, check out my journal, The Book Of Dreams Come True ! It’s a journal about goals and manifestation, and I’m really excited to share it with you. I’m even making a sample available—here’s the free PDF download of that.[spacer height=”20px”]

THE BOOK OF DREAMS COME TRUE: A JOURNAL OF SELF-DISCOVERY, GOALS, AND MANIFESTATION | #best gratitude journal #manifestation journal #best gratitude journal #daily gratitude prompts #gratitude journal #barnes and noble Egratitude journal prompts #gratitude list #gratitude writing prompts #thanking the universe

[spacer height=”20px”]Do you have more ideas of things to write about yourself, or advice on how to do it? Let us know in the comments! Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!

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65 thoughts on “ things to write about yourself: 100 writing prompts for self-discovery ”.

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Yet another really helpful list. Thanks, Bryn 🙂

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Thanks Anne, and thanks for sharing! 🙂

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WOO HOO! As usual, there’s a Ton of Great Stuff here. You’re totally awesome! When I grow up (I’m only 55 now) I wanna be like you! LOL 🙂

My answer to #100 – Sleep All Day!! Or at least stay in bed as much as I could bear.

Robin, you are too kind! Thank you. 🙂 Sounds like #100 is a pretty short writing prompt for you, though, haha!

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Great post, Bryn. I shared on FB, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

“Write about when you think it’s morally acceptable to lie. If your answer is “never,” write about why you think that” (#27).

“Lie.” Facts, truth, and lies aren’t mutually exclusive. Knowledge, context, intent, source, speaker, and audience are factors.

For example, Disney’s Pinocchio is different than DreamWorks’ Pinocchio in the Shrek movies.

When it comes to “facts,” all of us cover more than any one point on the continuum: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False, Pants On Fire (’s scale).

“Let’s pretend” is okay for kids and adults, and it’s also okay to make-believe with Alzheimer’s patients who will physically attack you if they have all the information they demand. One could spend eternity debating “Little White Lies” (and their definition) and what to do in the face of death or danger.

Thanks so much for sharing, as always! I’m honored. 🙂 I like your thoughts about lies and facts!

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Whoaa! What a Great helpful list?. You’re Awesome nd Helpful Bryn! I love the ideas.

Hey Sani, so glad you like it! Thanks for the kind words!

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Thanks Bryn, this list is really comprehensive and a great starting point to bring more to a story. I’m writing my mother’s story and these questions will be good for prompting her thoughts. Thanks again, happy writing.

Suzanne, that is so cool that you’re writing your mother’s story! I’d love to think I could help even a little tiny bit 🙂 Thanks for reading, and for commenting!

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I want to put it on pinterest but alas no button lives at Bryn’s blog?

OH that’s so nice of you! If you hover over the graphic a Pinterest pin should show up, and there should also be one at the bottom of the post?

It was a wordpress glich! Today you have pins visable. Thhank you.

Ah, thanks for taking the time to tell me, Ellen. I was a little worried about that! Very kind of you. 🙂

Okay they are visible today, silly wordpress… ?

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A remarkable list. Did it take you long to write this? Thanks for the tips. Many would be useful for educators.

Hi Katharine! Haha, it did take me a while. I used to teach first-year composition at university, and I had that in mind for some of these. 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind words!

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I found your blog via Mr. Ape (Chris Graham). Thank you for sharing these excellent writing prompts. 🙂

Hi, Tracy! Ahh, Chris is so kind to share 🙂 So glad you liked them!

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I needed some “personal-essay” type journal entries, and this is a great list. Thanks for sharing.

Awesome, so glad it was helpful, Sarah!

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I love this list!! Just reading through it was like watching a reel of “Coming Soon to a Pen and Paper Near You!” — little flashes of stories from my childhood and other memorable moments that I should really write down while my brain is still firing on all pistons (sort of :)). Thank you for posting this! XO

Thanks, Kerissa! Okay, and I have to say, this:

“Just reading through it was like watching a reel of “Coming Soon to a Pen and Paper Near You!” ”

is really clever writing! 🙂

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This is a really great list! I’m so happy to have found it. I’m working on writing a memoir and I’m certain that a number of these will be useful when trying to figure out what is missing from my pieces (as if I don’t have enough editing notes to work with….).

Thanks for sharing!

Hi Darya! How cool that you’re working on a memoir… I hope this does help. I bet editing a memoir is a challenge! Thanks so much for commenting!

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Really love this post.. I’m happy I stumbled on your blog. I’ve been facing some issues writing.. I’m not sure if it’s laziness or writer’s block. Maybe a combination of both. I’m sure making use of those prompts will bring about a change. Thanks for sharing this ??

Hi Maryam, so glad you found it, too! It can be hard to establish a writing habit. The good news is, once you get into the habit, it’s easy to sit down and write. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words, and have a great week!

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Love these prompts! I am planning to write these in a journal and try to do them daily! Thank you for sharing your creativity!!!

Hi, Alex! I’m so glad you like them. I hope they lead to lots of great writing for you 🙂

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Hi Bryn, You’ve put together a great list of writing prompts. Thanks so much. I’ve committed them to my writer’s journal and will turn to it for inspiration whenever I get stuck !

Hi, Dominic! I’m so glad you like them. Hope they lead to some great writing!

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hey bryn this list really helps me by giving me something to write about

this is makenzie oneal hey bryn this list really helps me by giving me something to write about

Hi, Makenzie! I’m so glad it was helpful. Have a great 2018!

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Brilliant ideas Bryn Donovan. Thank you for sharing as I will definitely use them to ‘push’ my writing forward.

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I enjoy reading your posts too. I’m trying to improve my writing and reading your articles is really helpful.

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I just stumbled upon your site. Thanks for these writing suggestions. I am a retired English professor and have saved a number of prompts that I enjoyed sharing with students. Now, some friends and I, all retired community college educators, meet with some Turkish friends who are improving their English through informal conversations. The young ladies asked for writing assignments, so I am always looking for new ones. Everyone in the group participates in writing according to the prompts I give the members. We have fun sharing what we have written.

Hi, there! Oh, I am so glad you like them. It must be hard to learn English if you’re Turkish! How wonderful that you’re helping your friends.

Oh! And I should let you know that my book 5,000 Writing Prompts is on sale today and tomorrow, 99 cents for Kindle (usually $6.99 Kindle, $15.99 paperback.) Here’s the link if you want to check it out!

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Thank you so much for these brilliant asks. I am helping to teach an English class, and I am thoroughly inspired to incorporate some of these!

Hi there! Ah, that’s wonderful. So glad they were useful!

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They helped me a little bit, but not much.

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15 personal bio examples that are fun, creative, and get the job done.

Struggling to write about yourself? These personal bio examples show how you can talk about your professional and personal life in a creative, engaging way.

Published on Apr 23, 2024

By Austin Distel

creative writing my self

Personal bios can be hard to write. Waxing lyrical about yourself can be uncomfortable, especially in the context of professional achievements and amazing things you’ve done.

But, in a world where we’re often separated from other humans via a screen, your personal bio is one of the easiest ways for a company, colleague, or a potential lead to learn more about you.

‍ If you don’t know what to include or how to get started, we’ve pulled together some personal bio examples that showcase a handful of creative and engaging ways to present yourself on your social media accounts, your personal website, and on any bylined articles you write outside of your site. 

We also provide some cool personal bio generator templates from our AI marketing platform , Jasper. Now you won’t have to scramble around at the last minute to come up with a short bio of yourself when you’re suddenly asked to send one over via email!

The business case for personal bios: why you should write one

You might wonder what the big deal is—it’s just a bio, right? Do people even read them? The answer is actually, yes; they do. Personal bios can be a great way to find out more about the person behind a website or an article. This helps establish a connection and encourages readers to relate to you. 

The thing is, you might not think a lot of people care about where you went to school or what you like to do in your spare time, but you just don’t know who’s reading your professional bio.

It might be a hotshot manager for your dream company who also loves to spend their weekends kayaking the coast. Or it might be the marketer for a well-known brand looking for a writer .

Learning little nuggets of information about you can put you ahead of other candidates they’re researching or other freelancers they’re in talks with. It could be the difference between getting that contract and not. 

What’s the difference between a personal bio and a resume?

Your resume is a list of your professional roles. Your personal bio digs deeper than this and gives readers an insight into things like: 

  • Your interests outside of work
  • Your backstory
  • What gets you up in the morning 
  • Your passions and values 
  • Your goals 

Understanding this information can help them see if you’d be a good fit, or if you have the personal qualities they’re looking for in someone they want to work with. This information also helps you connect better with like-minded people.

Say, for example, you’re scrolling through Twitter, see a fun Tweet, and click on the person’s bio only to find out they also run 5km every evening and are passionate about addressing climate change. Chances are, you’re going to want to connect with them. 

Elements of a powerful personal bio

Crafting a compelling personal bio is essential for making a strong impression. Your bio should be concise yet impactful, providing a glimpse into who you are and what you stand for. Let's dive into the components that make a personal bio truly powerful:

Relevant personal and professional information

Incorporating both personal and professional details in your bio is key to offering a holistic view of your identity.

Sharing your hobbies, interests, and background not only showcases your unique personality but also makes you more approachable and adds a personal touch to your profile. Personal stories that align with your values and professional repertoire are a good way to connect with your audience.

On the other side of the same coin, showcasing professional details like work experience, skills, and achievements highlights your expertise and establishes your credibility within your field.

Combining personal and professional aspects in a personal bio creates a compelling narrative that offers a comprehensive view of an individual. This powerful blend paints a well-rounded picture, demonstrating both the human side and the professional prowess of the individual, making the bio more memorable and impactful.

Achievements and credentials

Showcasing your achievements and credentials is fundamental to establishing your credibility upon first impression. It is important to recognize that individuals reviewing your profile may only briefly examine your bio, so highlighting these achievements and credentials is imperative. Make sure to present a comprehensive snapshot of your professional capabilities and successes, reinforcing your position as a distinguished expert in your field.

Call to Action (CTA)

Including a call to action in your personal bio, like encouraging visitors to click a website link, is crucial for engaging your audience and motivating them to act.

By offering a clear and concise direction on the desired next steps for the reader, you effectively guide them towards delving deeper into learning about you, your work, or the services you provide. This will not only enhance the user experience by removing any ambiguity but also strategically guides interest towards areas you wish to highlight, like the next step in the sales funnel or a high converting blog article.

Well-crafted calls to action can boost your website traffic, foster engagement, and play a pivotal role in meeting your objectives, whether that’s attracting more clients, expanding your follower base, or unlocking new opportunities.

It's a powerful way to make your bio bring you closer to achieving your goals and shouldn’t be missed.

How to write a personal bio

Before we share some creative bio examples, let’s take a look at what your personal biography should include. Bear in mind that this will vary depending on what platform you’re posting it on (platforms like Twitter and Instagram have a limited word count).

However, you can have a “master” bio that you pull snippets from for other platforms. Not only does this keep your messaging cohesive across platforms, but it makes it easy to get a bio together at short notice because you already have all the information you need written down. 

How to write an Instagram bio

To write an Instagram bio that drives traffic to your website, you need to write a concise ( 150 characters or less ) and engaging description of yourself or your brand. 

Begin with an engaging hook or tagline to capture the reader's interest immediately.

Then, emphasize what distinguishes you from competitors, showcasing your unique selling propositions. Entice visitors with a compelling call-to-action to explore further by clicking the link in your bio to access your website. Use emojis or symbols to add flair and break up the text, injecting personality into your message.

How to write an X (Twitter) bio

It's essential to keep your X (Twitter) bio concise and impactful. Twitter bios have a character limit of 160 characters , so you’ll need to keep things short and sweet.

It's important to remember to periodically refresh your bio, making sure it accurately reflects any updates or changes in your business operations. This practice ensures that your bio remains current and relevant, communicating your business's evolution and current focus to your audience. Keeping your bio updated is a simple yet effective way to engage and inform your followers about the latest developments in your business.

Using platforms like Jasper helps you create a bio that grabs attention, boosts engagement, and drives traffic to your business. This strategy is key to building a strong online presence and fostering your business's growth and success.

What to include in a bio on your site

For this ‌exercise, let’s focus on what you need to include in a personal bio on your website. This will be your “master” bio as it’ll probably be the longest and go into the most detail.

People who are poking around on your website have already shown an interest in who you are and what you do, so they’re more likely to stick around and read a longer bio. Here’s what you should include:

  • Your name: obviously, you need to state your name. Most people choose to include their full name, including surname, at the start of their bio. However, if your website URL or personal brand is already your full name, you can shorten it to just your first name. 
  • Your position: your current position and the tasks you’re responsible for should get a mention. This is particularly important if you’re looking for jobs or are writing a bio for a networking platform like LinkedIn. 
  • Your work experience: mention any key roles you’ve held in the past and how you got to where you are today. Stories like this show readers your journey and give an insight into your specialisms and professional skills. 
  • What you do and who you do it for: kind of like stating your “niche”, talking about what exactly it is you do (like graphic design or paid ad campaigns), and who you do it for (like finance companies or busy e-commerce owners) can help readers identify if you’re a good fit. 
  • What you do outside of work: personal bios should be more personal than a resume or professional bio and should therefore include personal details about what you like to do when you’re not working. Do you frequent pop-up restaurants? Attend dog shows with your puppy? Rock climb in the mountains? 
  • Professional accomplishments: talk about what you’ve achieved both at work and outside of work. This gives readers an idea about the things you value and what you might be able to achieve for them (it’s also a great talking point for people who want to reach out). 
  • Personal story: share a personal, creative story to add a splash of personality. It can be anything from the disastrous first birthday party you held for your daughter to the time you were taken in by a local family after getting lost in Mongolia. Don't forget to add a custom image !

How often should you refresh your personal bio? 

The life you live now isn’t the same life you were living ten, five, or even two years ago. Your personal bio should reflect your current situation, which means it’ll probably need to be regularly updated.

If you’re not sure about when to give it a refresh, consider:

  • When you land a new job 
  • When you achieve a big milestone (either at work or in your personal life)
  • When your old one doesn’t have the same ring to it 

Schedule time every few months to go back over your personal bio and see if everything is still true and up-to-date. 

Where to display your personal bio 

Your personal bio can be displayed anywhere that you might want people to find out more about you. Often, this will be places like social media, your website, guest post bylines, or your speaker profile, but you can also include it in other marketing materials like flyers for events you’re hosting or the blurb for your latest ebook. 

  • Twitter: cramming a personal bio into 160 characters can be hard, but it can also be a great lesson in identifying what information matters the most. Use up as many of the characters as you can, and use them wisely..
  • LinkedIn: the summary section of your LinkedIn profile gives you up to 2,000 characters to use. This is the ideal place to share your “master” bio.
  • Instagram: at 150 characters, you have just a few words to explain who you are and what you do on Instagram—use them wisely.
  • Personal website: people who land on your website are already interested in you—share your “master” bio here in all its glory. 
  • Guest posts: bylined articles need a couple of sentences about the author. Make it engaging to encourage readers to click through to your site or remember your name. 
  • Speaker profile: if you speak at events or conferences, you’ll need a short but sweet speaker bio that gets attendees interested in your session.

Get inspired: fun personal bio examples 

#1 twitter bio example: sally fox.

Sally Fox Twitter Bio

Sally includes what she does and who she does it for, as well as a humorous bit of information about her and her contact information—all within Twitter’s 160 character limit.

#2 Twitter bio example: Kash Bhattacharya

Kash Bhattacharya Twitter Bio

Kash showcases his accomplishments as well as a bit of backstory about what he’s doing and how long he’s been doing it.

#3 Twitter bio example: Jay Acunzo

Jay Acunzo Twitter Bio

Jay shares his mission in his Twitter bio, as well as what he’s best known for.

#4 Pinterest bio example: Grey & Scout

Grey & Scout Pinterest Bio

Liz of Grey & Scout introduces herself and tells her followers what they can expect to see from her—not an easy feat with such a limited word count.

#5 Guest post bio example: Justin Champion

Justin Champion Guest Post Bio

In this guest author byline, Justin uses the third person to introduce who he is and what he does, as well as share his goal with readers.

#6 LinkedIn bio example: Katrina Ortiz

Katrina Ortiz LinkedIn Bio

Katrina uses her LinkedIn bio to tell a story. Readers are hooked from the first sentence, but she also gives key insights into her specialties and achievements. 

#7 LinkedIn bio example: Karen Abbate

Karen Abbate LinkedIn Bio

Karen does things a bit differently with her LinkedIn summary and lists out key things readers might want to know about her and her career. 

#8 LinkedIn bio example: Katie Clancy

Katie Clancy LinkedIn Bio

Katie starts her LinkedIn bio with an analogy that serves to hook readers from the start. From there, she branches out into how it relates to her profession, as well as her key achievements and career highlights.

#9 Personal website bio example: Dave Harland

Dave Harland About Page Bio

Dave Harland’s About Page shares the story of how he got into writing‌. At the end, he highlights his experience and why this story has helped him become a go-to copywriter.

#10 Personal website bio example: Gummi Sig

Gummi Sig About Page Bio

Gummi Sig begins his bio in the third person before diving into first-person storytelling mode. Perhaps the best part about this personal bio is the call to action at the end that encourages potential leads to get in touch.

#11 Personal website bio example: Leigh Whipday

Leigh Whipday About Page Bio

Leigh Whipday of Toy Fight has a short professional bio on the website. It includes both his professional achievements as well as insights about his life outside of work to attract his target audience.

#12 Personal website bio example: Blake Fili Suarez

Blake Suarez About Page Bio

Blake includes both a short and a long version of his bio so that readers can choose the best option for them. Both include what he does as well as personal anecdotes about his life and business.

Create your own with the Jasper personal bio template

Jarvis Personal Bio Template

# 13 Personal website bio example: Kaleigh Moore

Kaleigh Moore Personal Bio

Besides a short professional bio that’s more focused on her work, Kaleigh Moore also has a personal bio on her site. It goes into detail about her first e-commerce business and how it led her into writing for the biggest names in e-commerce. It also shares some fun facts and photos of Kaleigh.

#14 Instagram bio example: Carlos Gil

Carlos Gil Personal Instagram Bio

Carlos Gil does a good job of using limited space wisely, mentioning accomplishments, what he does and for who, as well as what he’s working on.  

#15 Instagram bio example: Samantha Anderl

Samantha Anderl Personal Instagram Bio

Co-founder of Harlow, Samantha Anderl, uses her personal Instagram bio not only to promote the company but also to give some insight into her personality. As this bio shows, a little humor can go a long way in attracting like-minded people to both you and your business.

Struggling with a blank page? Not sure which words to put down first? Overwhelmed by all the great professional bio examples out there and have now got writer’s paralysis? That's where an AI writing assistant can come in handy. Jasper’s personal bio template, in particular, can save the day. 

Simply plug in a few key pieces of information about yourself (use the list we mentioned above as a starting point) and choose the tone of voice you want to portray . Jasper will then work its AI magic and create a collection of personal bios you can tweak or use as they are. For example, here’s the start of a short bio for Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs. 

Jasper Personal Bio Template

Jasper can create well-written, engaging bios for anyone in any role, as long as you provide the right info. For instance, besides setting the point of view and tone, we gave Jasper some basic details, including a fictional name, role, and location for a Senior Product Marketing Manager. 

As you can see from the bio options below, Jasper added emotion and personality to the details we gave. And he even added missing details such as past companies and years of experience, which we could easily swap out for factual details when writing a bio for a real person. 

Jasper Personal Bio Template For Marketing Manager

We provided similar details for the bio of a fictional social media marketer, feeding Jasper info on specialties, previous roles, and hobbies. This time in the third person, Jasper added flair to our inputs, as well as some additional details that could be verified or swapped out, such as Luisa being from Columbia. 

Jasper Personal Bio Template For Social Media Manager

Any of Jasper’s outputs could be combined, edited, or expanded in minutes to create a polished bio that showcases your areas of expertise, your professional goals, and your personality. Writing about yourself doesn’t have to be hard!

Also related: the Jasper company bio template

Companies can also make use of Jasper’s bio templates with the company bio template. Again, just input some key facts about your business, and— voila! —Jasper will create a fun and creative bio you can use wherever you like. 

Create your punchy personal bio today

Never again be asked to send over a personal bio “on the fly”. Instead, create a “master” bio that can be chopped up into engaging chunks and shared on your chosen promotional platforms.

Include key information about your job title, achievements, and what exactly it is you do, as well as personal anecdotes, your interests, and how you spend your spare time.

Your personal bio is a chance to connect with potential clients, hiring managers, and like-minded colleagues, so take the time to write one that really presents you as you want to be presented.

‍ Start a free trial to create your Personal Bio using Jasper today.


Meet The Author:

Austin Distel

Austin Distel

Austin Distel is the Sr. Director of Marketing at Jasper , your AI marketing co-pilot. When not working, Austin is also an Airbnb superhost in Austin, Texas.

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The Write Practice

Write About Yourself: Tips and Prompts

by Joe Bunting and Sue Weems | 199 comments

When you have to write about yourself, do you hit a roadblock? If so, you're not alone. There are a number of situations when you have to write about yourself for school, work, or publication. Let's break down a few ways to make it easier and then use some prompts to get you started.

Write About Yourself with blue hello name tag

When Do You Have to Write About Yourself?

Several scenarios might require you to write about yourself from personal essays to job applications and biography blurbs. 

The key for each is to think about the purpose and the target audience. Then shape your personal history or life experience into a well-crafted piece of writing that meets those needs of purpose and audience. 

Let's look at a few of the most common scenarios where you have to write about yourself. 

Personal Essays

Personal essays aren't just for high school. A personal essay typically reflects some aspect of your life that you are sharing for a specific purpose. Many college applications or scholarship applications ask for a college essay or personal statement to help them get to know you as a student or applicant. 

If it's for a university or school application, you might write about:

  • academic achievements
  • personal accomplishments
  • difficult experiences that helped you grow
  • personal stories that relate to your desired field of study

Personal essays will have a friendly tone regardless of the essay topic. The personal examples you include or the personal stories you tell will need to be focused tightly on the audience and purpose. If you're trying to get into a university engineering program, you don't want to write about a pet's passing.

Your story of losing a pet is likely moving and will tell committee members about you and your personality traits, but it won't communicate why you might be a good fit for their school or program. 

If you're writing a personal essay for a course in narrative or memoir, then of course, your story of your pet's passing would likely be a solid choice. 

Personal Essay Prompts

1. Tell about a time you overcame a significant hardship.

2. Describe an interest that makes you lose track of time. 

3. Tell the story of an experience or person who changed the way you thought or lived.

4. Describe a time you overcame rejection or fear.

5. How has your community shaped you as a person?

Job Applications

More and more job applications include personal statement sections or questions that ask you to describe your professional experience in more detail. Job seekers are often used to listing out bullet points on a resume, so writing about yourself can feel uncomfortable, even in a letter of introduction. 

In professional settings and applications, you want to focus on four elements as you write about yourself:

  • relevant experience
  • recent professional accomplishments
  • personal details that enhance your qualifications
  • specializations

Again, keep your purpose and audience in mind. If you're having trouble narrowing down your relevant experience, consider looking at the job listing to see what they require of applicants. That way, you tailor your experience to what the position requires.

Some common job application prompts

1. Tell us about yourself. (They aren't asking about your favorite food or vacation last year! Focus on professional experiences.)

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

3. How have you managed conflict in former roles?

4. Describe your strongest professional accomplishments.

5. Why do you want to work here?

Remember, each of these questions is designed to help a company get to know you as a professional—share only relevant stories and details that align with that purpose. 

Author or Speaker Biographies

As a writer (or speaker!), you need an author biography to include on any publications. These can be short 100 word statements that give the audience a sense of who you are as a person.

Again, the purpose and audience matters. If you are a scholar writing and speaking on a topic in your academic field, it's appropriate to list your relevant degrees and major publications to build a sense of credibility and authority. 

If you're a fiction author, your biography will likely reflect a few personal details that are meant to connect with readers in a positive light. 

The best way to know what will connect with your intended audience, is to look at the biographies and About the Author pages in books like your own. 

A few things you might include in an author or speaker biography:

  • where you live (generally speaking—not your personal address)
  • themes you explore
  • awards, recognition, or other publications
  • relevant personal background info

You can see our full guide here on writing an author biography here .

Prompts for author or speaker biographies

1. What are the two most important things for your audience to know about you?

2. Find two authors writing in the same genre you are. Write your biography using their bios as models. 

3. What themes do you explore in your work and why are they important to you? Write them out, and then condense.

4. What experience or awards are relevant to your work? List them out and pick the top two.

5. Make a list of all the things that you likely have in common with your target audience. Choose two to include in your biography. 

How to Write About Yourself 

Whenever you're asked to write about yourself, take it as a challenge to share relevant personal experiences with vivid details and your unique point of view. Remember that you're not sharing your entire life story. Stick to short personal anecdotes and pay attention to your purpose and audience. 

How do you feel about writing about yourself? What tips have made it easier? Share in the comments.  

Choose one of the prompts above. Set the timer for 15 minutes and write about yourself without stopping. If you don't have an essay, job app, or bio to write, then simply try to capture something true about yourself and your experience in the world today.

When time is up, share your practice in the Pro Practice Workshop here and leave feedback to encourage a few other writers too.

How to Write Like Louise Penny

Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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Sue Weems is a writer, teacher, and traveler with an advanced degree in (mostly fictional) revenge. When she’s not rationalizing her love for parentheses (and dramatic asides), she follows a sailor around the globe with their four children, two dogs, and an impossibly tall stack of books to read. You can read more of her writing tips on her website .

creative writing my self



This is one of my favorite ways to write 🙂 Except I like to use “you”, as if I am talking to myself and telling myself what I am doing or have already done.

Josh Peters

He sits in his office chair, staring at the computer screen. In the cube next to him he can hear the sound of a coworker banging on a loud keyboard. The printer spits out paper after paper, other co workers talk and laugh. “I would never want to be a landlord.” “It’s not so bad.” The light of the mid morning day streams in behind him as he works on his assignments, filling in forms, completing spreadsheets, answering emails. Sometimes he thinks the entire job is all about email management. How did he get to this place, to this life? Simple, small choices add up until years later he finds himself bored and unenthusiastic about where he is. His cell buzzes next to him, notifying him of a text message. He checks it, hoping to see a message from his girlfriend but finds instead a message from his ex-wife. He ignores it. Chatter continues around him, papers turning, the mail delivery guy singing to himself pushing a squeaky cart down the aisles. Time passes under the glow of fluorescent lights and the hum of overhead heaters. The fan on his laptop starts spinning and he places his hand next to the computer to feel the warmth blowing out from it. Simple pleasures. He puts headphones on to drown out the noises and looks at his plan once again. The way out. Hope for a future of freedom and joy, real life, not the feeling of entrapment and stagnant death. It all begins with courage. The courage to face up to the difficult choices ahead, courage to face his fears, courage to be honest and real with himself and those all around him. It starts now.


I learned a long time ago that I am not trapped in any place in my life. I think the truest thing you said was to be honest and real with yourself. This certainly touched a chord in me.

I continue to learn that lesson. I’m glad the message touched you.


brilliantly inspiring. I don’t know if you meant for that. Like it!

I’ll take it, thanks!

sara choe

i’m intrigued as to what the details of “his plan” are; like the mystery with which you end your last paragraph.

i might try deleting certain phrases to slim it down. for example, i might get rid of “notifying him of a text message” after “His cell buzzes next to him” and just end the sentence there, since in the next sentence you talk about anticipating a message from a certain someone.

“email management.” i like how it all reminds me of the movie office space but has more depth. thanks for sharing!

Thanks Sara, great feedback!

Vicki Boyd

Josh, I recognized the office. In fact I think I worked there. Good job. I like your last sentance. “It starts now.” If you were writing about a fictional character would he get up and walk out of that office then?

You got it Vicki!

Debra johnson

I love how you wrote your piece this morning. It shows your longing to discover who you want to be..

Here’s my attempt at it:

The morning starts as it always does, with the cold seeping into her bones. Although she is under the covers somewhere there is a gap in the covers because the cold invades her dreams. AS she wakes her thoughts begin to race as she wondered where her writing will take her. Which story will she choose and what will she learn about herself from her Characters today.

Because the cold works to sap her energy as she pulls herself from the covers, she sets her feet on the rug. She feels older then she is. Reaching for her robe she works to keep the dreams fresh in her mind so shemay write them on paper before they are lost forever never to resurface again. Until she is away from writing instruments.

With her eyes barely slits she shuffles to the kitchen to start her day. Knowing where everything is she begins the task of making coffee and waits impatiently as it heats. Finally with her cup filled she carefully moves to her desk by the window and takes a seat. Pushing the button that awakes her ‘baby’, she listens for the hum as it awakes ready to take in what her fingers type.

What will her writing revel to her today as she steps one step closer to discovering who she is, for she can only know these secrets when her fingers what no one else will see.

But we want to see the secrets. 🙂 I’m intrigued.

When I finish writing I will share with you, then we’ll both know. *smiles*

Good timing! This is the morning I am having. And having written this, I know what I am going to do.

My practice…

In a moment of utter frustration, she walked away from the computer. The story in her head wouldn’t form; it came out in bits and pieces.

She knew she needed more research but couldn’t find what she wanted. How do you explain a world when your perspective is that of a child? While the world swirled around her, she didn’t take notice. As a child, she didn’t care about things she couldn’t comprehend.

The story’s important. It’s a tale of innocence that was destroyed by events she didn’t understand. The story’s old. Ruth died 46 years ago. The anger at her death is old too but doesn’t seem to lessen. Sometimes, it seems like it happened yesterday. The images of the last day are clear. The sounds and the smells are as fresh now as they were then.

Again, frustration overtook her. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t seem to change her perspective to that as an adult. The child in her would not let go. It was easy enough to check dates and events but those were just the things that happened to other people outside her realm. In their small neighborhood, none of the global events affected them. They had been sheltered from the reality of the adult world.

Years later when she was able to piece the events together, she realized what had happened. She was angry all over again. And the child in her took over, raging at the adults who let it happen, who shattered the innocence forever.

“Screw this,” she thought. She sat back down at the computer and started to write. “I am going to write it from the child’s perspective.”

Yay! That’s what I was hoping for!

Throughout your piece I KNOW what you are writing about. The fact you were able to make me feel your pain and frustration, without actually describing the acts that caused them,

Alicia Rades

I really like your practice, Joe. Here’s mine:

Alicia should be ashamed of herself, but she isn’t. She should be working on her recent assignment but has yet to make it past 16 words, and she still doesn’t hate herself. Instead of getting paid to write, she’s spent the last hour writing about why she loves writing and reading about writing. Does that bother her? No. Should it? Probably.

Alicia normally has a full cup of self-discipline, but with the end of the semester approaching, she just wants a break, and it can’t get here soon enough. So she finds comfort on her couch, crosses her legs, and types whatever comes to mind through her fingers. She lets the writing consume her, take it where she needs to go, until she can muster up the energy to begin her assignment.

But the day is still young, and it’s quiet in the living room, with just the soft sound of running water in the fish tanks to calm her nerves. And while Alicia’s been stressing all week over her endless to-do list, she’s calm now because she gets to write about what she loves and learn how to improve her talents.

Alicia glances at the clock, and her heart flutters with annoyance. She had planned to finish her assignment before heading back to class, and now she only has an hour to research and write 675 words to meet this goal. She narrows her eyes. Will she be able to do it? Or will part of the article have to wait for later? She exits out of the extra tabs on her browser, even the pages she has yet to read, and prepares to settle down and get to the writing she should actually be doing.


Love that “the writing consumes her” and the “water in the fish tanks calm her nerves”. She “writes about what she loves”….the best reason to write!

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn’t actually sure how I did since I was in a rush.

She had been up for two hours and only after making picky- eating- nutritionally- acceptable breakfasts, appetizing yet balanced lunch boxes with the right sized plastic containers to fit every corner of the bento boxes, looking for toys, crazy loom bracelets, socks, shoes, super hero shirts, underpants and sweatshirts, negotiating every minute of TV watching and making up games to get everyone off to school on time, only then, she was able to finally sit and be herself. It took making sure that the 4th grader had the confidence to ask classmates to come to his birthday, even though they “think I’m weird” and that the 3 year old could look forward to playing with preschool toys instead of swords and handle being away from his mommy for at least four hours straight. It took giving more than what she had, setting aside her needs, her feelings, her frustration, her anger, her timing, her opinions, her natural inclination to wake up slowly into the world, to induce her children into a hostile world that had to contain them while she could become a person again. A person who had to reconstruct herself everyday at 9 am; reviving memories, making sense of goals and lost dreams, making sure she retained the spark in between errands and chimerical schemes.

[whew]. i feel like i got caught in the whirlwind with you.


Love all of it, but especially the lines, “It took giving more than what she had, setting aside her needs, her feelings, her frustration, her anger, her timing, her opinions, her natural inclination to wake up slowly into the world, to induce her children into a hostile world that had to contain them while she could become a person again. A person who had to reconstruct herself everyday at 9 am; reviving memories, making sense of goals and lost dreams” … you have captured many moms’ gut-wrenching feelings, and done us proud!

Susan Anderson

Been there, done that. I’m right with you on this. It is but a thumbnail sketch of a mother’s morning.


Ditto. My kids are grown, but you took me back. And your last sentence is spot on, with or without kids underfoot.

Her days are filled with projects and a certain urgency to life, a hurry to complete goals before time floats away. Her head is full of stories, imaginary and fully lived. A favorite time of day is retiring to the small office, just off the kitchen, where she writes. One wall of the office features an oil painting by her sister of a mountain scene, another photo depicts the Appalachian mountains with low clouds floating like angels across the peaks. A small window allows a glimpse of sky, a few leaves tumbling out of the roof gutter and the imprint of a dizzy bird which hit the window. Stories spill out of her mind as fast as she can type, with hesitation just long enough to find the right words to transfer an image to paper. The urgency is there: don’t let the memory fade, the precious moment escape before sharing it. Her heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for life itself. Sticky notes surround her desk: a reminder to read a new book, a list of stories to be included in a collection, several titles for her book, a reminder to run a backup disk of all her writing. Every week she reads books to elementary school children, pouring out her love of written words to children dominated by TV and the Xbox. Others her age have passed on to a different life. Time is precious. She considers the title for a blog, “Not Done Yet”.

so. i forgot to describe my surroundings. it’s been awhile since i’ve done a prompt! i think the last time was to help me get started on my personal statement, so maybe this one will rev me up again for the final onslaught/phases of my applications. thanks, joe. now i have to resist the temptation to revise this instead of working on apps. 😛


Desperate times calls for desperate measures, she thought as she clicked “Deactivate” on the screen. This might’ve been a good weekend to hole up in a cabin, somewhere in the Hudson Valley, maybe. But with what money? She’s trying her best to resist the plastic precious in her wallet.

She’s also trying her best to focus on the many tasks at hand. Revise her resume for one school. Send a Hail Mary email to a professor for a letter of recommendation. Write about how she would add diversity — convincingly, too; debunk the notion that there are enough Asian females in law school, and in law in general.

She also wants to do the right thing. Her heart has entered yet another spin cycle of “Does he like me like me?” She’s not tired of being wrong, she’s tired of the uncertainty. She’d rather know if he’s just not that into her — those late night text messages actually don’t count?! — and be put out of her misery.

But it’ll hurt anyway. Is it wrong that she just so happened to connect with someone else that might actually be into her? She thinks there might be something there…

But she still can’t forget how quickly the two of them connected. How they met twice in the span of one day. Who does that?


She clocked in at the library and went to sit down at the library’s little coffee bar. If she she was lucky she would have time to study in between customers… if she was lucky. Her eyes scanned the little library…. it looked like it would be a slow day. Time to study… but would she use it? It seemed forever ago since she had started the semester and now she was almost done… not really done though… school always just seemed to keep on going. Semester after semester…. year after year. “Study,” she told herself, but her mind would not focus. Too much had happened to not just take a moment to think about. Sometimes she wondered if God liked to see her scrambling so she could remember… remember Him. She’d had so many instances to turn her mind to God that week, too many times it felt like… and probably many more times in the future. She sighed. Study.

I can see myself playing this mental/spiritual game too.

Marilyn Ostermiller

She wakes before the clock radio starts muttering. Realizing that she slept through the night makes her giddy. Yes. All right! A full night’s sleep. The Holy Grail. She wakes rested and ready to take on the day, but not quite yet. Husband breathes deeply next to her in the king-size bed she loves. Day has not dawned, but there is enough ambient glow from night lights and electronics to take in the cloud-like expanse of their white comforter. This is her nest, her safe haven. She would be embarrassed to tell anyone how much she loves this retreat, with its cathedral ceiling, extravagant crown molding, paintings and family photos. It is hidden away in a corner of their townhouse that looks like hundreds of neighboring abodes from the exterior. And yet, even though she shares it, she coverts time alone here to read, to write. to muse.

Love this…can relate (except the husband part) … laughed out loud re: “She would be embarrassed to tell anyone how much she loves this retreat, with its cathedral ceiling, extravagant crown molding, paintings and family photos.” Men are not the only ones who have their caves! Your retreat sounds so cozy and I share your love for having my own comfy hideaway, my respite from a sometimes chaotic outside world!

Tami, I hadn’t thought of my retreat as the equivalent of a man cave. That made me smile and nod.

Anne Peterson

She might have been embarrassed to share how much she enjoys her retreat, but I’m glad she did. Loved that thought. And knowing people who struggle hoping to get a good night’s sleep, I understand giddy. I liked your piece.

Anne, Thanks for affirming that what I was feeling came across.

I empathize with the feeling of not wanting to move from your space, to actually enjoy what you’ve bought, cleaned, and decorated.

Thank you, Susan. It feels so good to know that my words connected with you.


She would always hide in the corner, and curse quietly in a funny little accent she wouldn’t dare identify if you remembered her name. She’s usually silent, invisible, and overly polite, but once you got her to start talking there was no end to her rapid fire run-on sentences, stretched analogies, and skewed logic, peppered with random facts acquired from a long reading history or else personal experience. Sometimes people gather around her and just listen, if they can follow, and it’s the only time they see her at all–when she’s rambling incessantly. She gets weird looks from everyone around her and it’s one of the only things in the entire world that make her smile. Ah yes! The humans think she’s an oddling! Cue the fanfare.

She’s willing to talk about almost anything, but sometimes certain things come up and she quiets right back down and doesn’t say another word for hours. Did you hear about that celebrity that just got diagnosed with cancer? How about that girl who killed herself? The dude caught dealing drugs and killed a cop? And what about that serial rapist they just caught?

If you looked closer, you might see the way she trembles. You might guess what sinister reminders it brought.

But she’s not talking, and nobody sees her when she isn’t talking.


I’m not sure why this doesn’t have more comments, because you’re certainly not silent in your writing.

Deborah Wise

Beautiful, beautiful! I can identify with her, silent and invisible, until she speaks, and people listen because her words are rare, precious and unique!

She lays back in the chair, hair still damp, her skin glistening. The smell of coconut oil conjures up tropical beaches and swaying palms; a strong contrast to the snow covered view through the window. As her eyes open, grey as the sky, she thinks of tomorrow. A fresh pot of coffee, followed by a quick pick up, and since the heavy chores are done the day will unfold as she chooses. She anticipates choosing to think about things that have not yet been thought. She anticipates the time to remember things that deserve remembering, and maybe some that do not. Perhaps since she’s been ‘good’ she can start now. After all, she can’t see the clock from where she sits so time is not really passing. It is better, she thinks, to measure time by what gets finished- a thought, a smile, a loaf of bread, a good book.

Very nice mood, here. I can totally picture it.

Thank you, Susan. Maybe now that the mood is down on paper, I can conjure it up on demand 😉

You’re welcome. I love writing that evokes (invokes?) mood.

Evoke vs Invoke- Initially evoke worked for me, the idea that the writing “calls up” a mood. But then your choice had me googling- and I like that invoke suggests an active calling, maybe even with incantations. And I see that I posted more than once in response to your initial comment….time for that second pot of coffee!

I’ll join you for coffee.

Thank you Susan. I liked hearing that you can picture the mood.

“After all, she can’t see the clock from where she sits so time is not really passing.” What a great line! An inner thought that probably all of us have felt, but never quite put into words. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you. This is my first prompt exercise and it is lovely to get feedback. I had recently had a conversation with a friend about the bane of electronics and clocks in our lives so I suppose that this thought has been brewing for a while. When I saw the 15 minute limit for the prompt, I ‘promptly’ turned away from the clock and so…..


What about the numbers that rule our lives?

Well, only if we let them….but truly, people impart a magic to the ‘right number’. Just look at how the media uses numbers: the TEN best, SEVEN most……

I was thinking of our numbers for social securiy, bank accounts, cellphones, passports, vehicle registrations, etc. Must admit they bring a sort of order to everything.


very nice description of your thoughts, feels like a calm mind

Thank you. I think that writing brings me calmness.

Those are wonderful measuring tools. Enjoyed this peaceful peace. Wondered if she was drinking a cup of tea as she sat there. Nice.

Thanks. And no, she was not drinking a cuppa. But the pot was set to boil.

Contrary Bear

Very simple, but very effective. I love her thoughts on time- just passing thoughts, but important all the same


“It is better, she thinks, to measure time by what gets finished- a thought, a smile, a loaf of bread, a good book.” I really loved this. The true value of time is found in the things that make it special.

Cardinal Mel

13:23 to 13:38 She prefers numbers to words. The numbers maintain their meaning whether she says them or someone else tells them to her. She’s sitting outside this afternoon, warming in the sun, thawed out for the first time today. The sofa faces the garden, downhill and she sifts through the chores in her mind, the only way she knows how to avoid getting up, finding her garden gloves and walking down and through the gate to get dirty. But today she has limited time, a to do list perched on her desk reminding her to stay on task. Lunch has been eaten, dishes cleared away. It was bean soup, the same thing she’ll have for dinner tonight and the same thing she’ll have for lunch again tomorrow. She would be happy as a dog, eating the same food every day. She read and wrote on her lunch break instead of rushing back inside to sit at her desk and finish the lingering items. What was the use? There would never be a day without a long list if to do items. She abandoned her desk every day at lunch. She demanded outdoor sunshine, the smell of dirt and the sounds of birds and bugs, of leaves skittering across the pavement. The same wind that scattered the leaves made the chimes release their music. Planes roared over head at thirty thousand feet. The numbers would call her back soon enough. She’d arrange and rearrange them and send them off in different forms to different departments. She didn’t believe for a minute that anyone read or analyzed her numbers but since she was paid to do it, she worked the spreadsheets and calculator. One day she’d total everything up in a today package and start using words. A backlog was developing and she knew that one day they would have to come spilling out across pages and pages and books and books. The End

Yes, one day the words would have to come out. They can’t be jammed in there forever. I liked the wind that scattered the leaves and made the chimes release their music. I also like how she had to choose between numbers and words. Though I have made similar choices, I still prefer the words. They dance.


Numbers…the universal language…

I felt a bit wistful (on her behalf) reading this.

The Cody

The Yahoo Mail waiting symbol chugged slowly in a circle as it pulled messages from who knows where. He wasn’t too worried or impatient, though. It had only been a couple days, and he was sure there wouldn’t be a response yet. Even if there were, he was prepared.

99.5 percent of new authors are rejected, he’d told himself a thousand times. And he believed it.

On top of that, he wasn’t crazy about his query letter. And, after reading his manuscript a hundred times over, he’d decided there were parts he positively hated. But this was a crucial step. Unlike all those other times in his life, he was saying, “Fuck you” to fear. It felt nice, and was especially easy this time, because he knew exactly what would happen. In fact, he was downright excited to get that first rejection.

I’m putting myself out there.

Smiling to himself, he clicked the “Check e-mail” button for the hundredth time that week.

This time, a new message appeared, and he gasped after reading the familiar e-mail address.

This was it. And he was ready. More than ready; this wasn’t even one of his favorite agents. He had decided to submit to a couple ‘middle of the pack’ agents, first. That way, he could hone, as needed, for the big dogs.

Not even bothering to take a breath, he clicked the e-mail and its contents flashed on the screen.

Dear author:

Blah blah blah blah blah blah Rejected blah blah blah blah.

Sincerely, Agent

He stared at the screen, wide-eyed. There it was, exactly as he had expected. And, exactly as expected, he tried to grin and nod to himself.

But something different happened.

For some reason, his neck faltered and his head hung like a corpse.

Then, before he could stop himself, he’d lowered himself to the desk. The second his forehead touched the cool metal, his eyes overflowed, and he choked a sob into his keyboard.

John Fisher

This is such a great portrayal! Though I haven’t gotten that brave yet, I can see myself acting and reacting just the way this guy does, even after he’s steeled himself for rejection!

Thanks!! This actually happened *today* :/ It’s a little exaggerated but the wash of emotions was definitely accurate. Oh well, it will get easier! And if I can be that brave (although I wouldn’t call it that, lol), anyone can.

He should just remind himself how many times some bestsellers were rejected. They say you don’t finish a novel, you abandon it. We’re always learning. Right till the moment when we write our last words and curl our toes.

Just a hint of light was showing through the datk navy roman shades. The three cats were already restless, anxious to be fed. Ghost, the smallest of the three, curled up next to her right ear purring loudly. Brother began to paw at her feet, nibbling on her toes. The third cat, pounced onto the bed, and curled himself onto her belly.

Pulling the covers over her head, she moaned. “I’m not ready to get up yet guys. Go away.” Flexing her right shoulder, she dislodged Ghost and rolled onto her left side. The cats, sensing her mood, quickly.vacated the bed.

Like a blow, the large empty space in her bed confronted her. This was where her husband should be. Instead, on the nightstand next to his spot sat a black box. It contained all that was left of the man she had loved for years. Seeing the box always caused her to sob. Crying was better than not having something of him with her. She reached over and touched the box. “I love you sweetheart.”

Slowly she swung her legs out of bed and sat up on the edge. The room around her was cluttered, dirty, and disorganized. She sighed and heaved herself slowly up, holding to the edge of the bed for balance. Already her back ached and hard pain shot down her left leg. As she reached for.her mefication bag her shoulder screamed, “time for.a pain pill.” Hastily.she swallowed a handful of meds. In thirty minutes she would feel better.

The boys were now milling around her feet, begging to be fed. First she bent and scooped the nights gifts from the litter box. Then, she filled thier bowl with dry food topped with a can of tuna. With her furry children content, she finally turned to her laptop.

Now was her time, in the quiet morning hours, to put words on a blank page. This was what kept her getting out of bed each day. This was the gift she gave herself, permission to create.

I like the “nights gifts from the litter box”.

Karoline Kingley

She’s surrounded by her favorite entity – words. A long bookshelf mostly contaning classics, hangs overhead, winding the wall. Small hands with slim fingers type on the laptop placed on her lap. Though the room is dim, christmas lights hang around the window, cast a festive glow. The black coated corgi keeps her company, laying at her feet and occasionally popping up for a pet. The girl, for she is not fully a woman, bites her pink lips and runs her hands along her auburn hair when stuck for ideas. As she writes away in her second book, thoughts of doubt begin to creep in. For a minute, her hands stall and the fire drains from her green eyes when she listens to the lies. Is it worth it? Who would read it anyway? Success has been slim thus far, why would this book bring a different fortune? With a sigh she glances at the books behind her. Some of them are so tattered that the binding is becoming undone, so often has it been read. Very few of them are from this century and as she ponders why, she turns to her work again, mindful of her passion. She MUST write this story for the love of good literature, wholesome stories and beautiful writing. Though in many ways, she knows she lacks necessary experience, that is why she must write all the more. So that perhaps one day, she can contribute to the world that has helped her so, if not just to say thank you.

I love this picture! The Christmas lights around the window, the black corgi for company, shelves of old books for inspiration, small hands on the laptop. I’m a bit confused by listening “to the lies”? Maybe you could expand on that a little? Very touched by “she can contribute to the world that has helped her, if not just to say thank you.” Thanks for sharing.

I really identify with the “lies”, for that’s what many of our self-doubts are. Also the good books on the wall, I share that affinity, and very few of mine are from this century either! And writing as a thank-you to the world is a beautiful idea. Good work!

Thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one 🙂

Isn’t that how it is for us writers? To be compelled to keep on writing, not knowing how successful we will be. We owe it to the craft itself, to write, not just to be published, but to become better. Good empathy.

As if swimming were not lonely enough, she ventures off to the beach for an open water swim. All by her lonesome. She and her sisters coined this part of the shore, “Lonely Beach.” It was where they went when they didn’t feel like being social or seen.

She waded in on a Sunday afternoon—the sky shrouded in gray humidity. Sharing the sand with an old lady walking a dog and a hippy wielding a metal detector, she sighed. Within the sigh she asked herself a question and then answered it. “Why do I do this? …You’re paddling the extra lap.”

She stood staring at her feet as the water washed over, their prints seeming like primitive clay monster feet. She crossed her arms, hugging each elbow in a palm. Her hair blew across her nose, causing it to itch. She paused to watch the guy deliberate over the metal detector. To her, it was an odd way to spend an afternoon.

Yes, she was stalling. There is a certain amount of psychological readying to taking the plunge. She bolstered herself, silently.

“You’re here.”

“You might as well get started.”

She thought that may be she was a lonely soul, an old soul. She craned her head over a shoulder to look at a vacant lifeguard stand, imagining a chiseled sun bleached body, shading his eye contact in Ray-Bans. The sign read, No Lifeguard—Swim At Own Risk. She was swimming, at her own risk.

I like the lonely feeling of the place, that certain stretch of beach, and the sense of looming risk that she stalls from facing. Her response to the sign — swimming, at her own risk — sounds like it could be a theme in the story. Good practice!

Thanks John. Yes, you nailed it. The theme for a story that is…

Hope this develops into a short story (.meant as one of the highest compliments) … want to hear more…want to know where this goes!

Thank you, Tami. I kind of cheated. This is part of a larger piece I’ve been working on for years. It was not an impromptu writing effort.

I was able to step into the image and the feelings you impart in the paragraph describing her staring at her feet, hugging her elbow,etc. Thank you.

Thanks JC. Again, writing can be so creatively charging!

Loved the primitive clay monster feet. I got to experience those when I went to Michigan with my daughter so you gave me a chance to revisit. And I almost felt like I had to brush the sand off my feet even now. Thanks for your piece. And stalling. I know stalling.

I liked how that came out too, Anne. Isn’t it great fun to create something out of the blue? Wouldn’t know it was there if I hadn’t started typing. And the word, ‘stalling’, I had to use that. It is a strong verb.

Mister Computer says it’s 34 degrees Fahrenheit. The rain hasn’t started yet; they’re saying it could be worse than at the 2011 Superbowl. If it sleets/snows, the office will be closed and he won’t have to go and repeat yesterday’s terrifying wrestling-match: answering calls, first-day panic, taking questions he didn’t know the answers to yet — he answered phones for the gubm’t for nine years through sheer force of will, Before. Does he have it in him to do it again? He kinda hopes it snows.

He remembers how much fun it was this morning helping with the produce at Seniors, wrestling three dozen frozen turkeys into an upright position so his partner could slip a wal-mart bag over it. He broke a sweat, he’d have you know. It’s good to work for your dinner.

It’s gonna be a tight couple of weeks due to car registration, high heat bill, just too much dang month left at the end of the money. But that sackful of food from this morning is gonna help a whole lot. He’ll make it. He always makes it.

He’s just a little less self-confident at the moment, with the new job, new people to deal with, and the memory of backing into that man’s pickup in the bank parking-lot Monday morning isn’t helping. He keeps worrying at it in his mind. His fault. Insurance likely to go up. Is he losing his edge? Should he give up the car and start riding the bus? Did it for five years in the ‘nineties, and has less problem with the idea than some would.

He’ll never get too old to make a mistake. And he’ll never escape change.

Definitely a man aging back and forth. I like the word picture you use in the first paragraph of the office zone being like a wrestling mat. I also like the line about too much dang month at the end of the money.

Aging back and forth, yeah, exactly, I like that! Age coming on, but the youth hasn’t left the building. Thank you!

Agreed, I loved the line “too much dang month…”. I actually did a double-take when I read it, thinking “huh?” Then it hit me and I smiled (maybe a little jealously 🙂

It’s amazing how self-doubt creeps in with age. That’s when you start taking a hard look at the person you’ve lived with all the years.

Yes, taking a hard look at that person — and still choosing to accept him/her! Self-doubt is a temporary state of affairs.

I can’t explain it, but I love the line (and the feeling that goes along with it), “He’ll never get too old to make a mistake”.

Today the flame went out. It had been slowly dying for quite some time. Flickering, waning… But always still there.

Today it gave up. It no longer had wind, wood nor heat. Today the fire died.

The wind should have come on the wings of laughter,

From whispered words of love, kindness and affirmation. From the sheer joy of knowing they had been SO blessed. But even then, Wind is not enough.

The wood should have been there too. It used to be. It was determination, commitment to their future together. Fuel is necessary, and it must come from

A renewable source, Unconditional and full of promise. They must have stopped gathering wood together.

The heat is gone too. Flames would sometimes rise, showing promise of the Once familiar fire… Sometimes it was all-consuming, Sometimes warm and comfortable. Now, it is neither. There is no wind, no wood, no heat.

He had big dreams, but she doesn’t know what they were. He didn’t share them with her. She’s not even sure he could because maybe He didn’t even know what they were himself.

She had dreams too…everybody does, right? Not lofty dreams, but good dreams still. And her dreams included him. What she thought they had together, Yesterday, today, and all her tomorrows.

She doesn’t know which happened first. Did the flame go out and she awakened from the cold? Or did she just become cold, And watch the flames die? All she knows is, today the flame went out. Today, the fire died.

Tami, This is so poignant. I want to mourn for what they have lost because they stopped trying and didn’t share their dreams and hopes.

Thank you, Marilyn. I realize it didn’t really follow the prompt directions, but sometimes, it’s just what comes out, ya know? Thanks for sharing.

I like the element of fire showing a relational climate. It was pleasant to follow your prose with the way you formed your lines, like a poem.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your observation. It did, indeed, evolve into more of a poetry format, though not intentionally. I often write long hand — maybe how I process things — and I decided to use the same format when

This grabbed me, a very interesting and well done way to describe a relationship and how it flickered away.

Tami, Great piece. Sadly it captures what my brother is going through. His plans included her. Hers did not. He’s hurting because the fire died. Also it reminded me of a song my son’s group just released. His words and yours run parallel. Enjoyed this.


She sits there, staring numbly into the computer screen of a random website. Noises of her father and brother are behind her along with their laughter and christmas music. But she just stares, thinking of her life, how she is beginning to see things differently. She thinks of the morning of school today, waiting for the bell to ring as her childhood friends laugh and just goof off but she just couldn’t bring herself to laugh. She yawned and just looked to her left, passed her closes friend’s face. Should she feel guilty that once she sees another friend she only known from her early years at the school she begins to laugh and enjoy herself? She questions herself in front of the computer screen. She blinks…then her mind travels to another problem:her dream. Her dream of writing short stories. She has good ideas and her mind won’t shut up but of course right when she grab that dreadful pen her mind suddenly zips up and her ideas hitch a train for nowhere. And that train would be reality.

The alarm rings, and she presses the snooze button every ten minutes for the next half hour. It’s early, way too early, but she finally gets up at 5:30 to the sound of classical music. Her chocolate lab watches as she rises, and she could hear his tail thumping against his mat. Adorable. By the time she goes downstairs, the coffee has already perked; its wafting aroma stimulating her senses.

By the time her husband comes down, the breakfast table is set, and they share the first morning brew along with some conversation. Once he’s out the door, things quiet down once again. Her mind wanders as she does the morning dishes., but as usual, it focuses on her afternoon down time because once the chores have been completed, she ensconces herself in her nook and writes. Once her imagination is liberated, it’s the highest kite she can fly…

The highest kite she can fly. Love it. I also loved the tone of your piece. It just quietly unfolded. And how nice to come down to a table set. I felt as if I were peeking in to see it all. Love the tone.

Thanks, Anne. That’s about how it unfolds.

Writing as the antithesis to chore. Love it!

Yes, JC, “antithesis” is an excellent word to describe what writing is to me as compared to other things. Thanks.

He could have taken the car to work. But that meant sitting in traffic, and a hefty slice out of your savings for the parking. After all, his retirement, or call it by its real name, retrenchment, loomed. At his age he’d never find anything. He sits on the upper deck, among all the youngsters. Not for the company, but for the view. From there he can see into people’s houses, how they scramble around to be in time at the office. He tried sitting downstairs once, but it wasn’t the same. He was lower than them; it felt as if they were watching him. So he went back upstairs among those boisterous youngsters, who spoke about which club they’d been to the previous night, and other mindless things. Energy is wasted on the young, he often thought. Rather give it to us adults, who’ve had a lifetime learning to put it to good use. On the way back there’d be those drunkards heading for that rough working class neighbourhood on the route He later found that if he buried his nose in a book they left him alone. And the noise faded into the background as the youngsters excluded him from their sphere of attention. Now that his pension days were around the corner he’d like to turn the clock back and do things he should have done. And undo those things he shouldn’t have. He’d spent his life as a passenger, becoming part of what went on around him by being a spectator.

And now it’s time to pull out all those treasures you’ve been storing up through all those years of spectating, sort them out, categorize them, and share them with the world. No time for retirement! You have work to do! I agree, energy is wasted on the young. Those of us with things to tell need the energy to do it!

Thanks for the advice.

The room is small, cozy. The air is still, having not yet been disturbed by the travels of the people still sleeping in the darkness. Looking out the window he sees the trees reaching up towards the grayish sky waiting for the rain as a young boy would be as he watches a ball falling toward him, anticipating catching it. His back is achy despite a few hours of rest. These 15 minutes of tapping on the keyboard a pleasant new exercise, for his brain if not his body. Despite the quiet of the day, the current task at hand, the single light on in the darkened house illuminating his desk he is struggling to keep his mind on the task at hand. So much work ahead of him in the next 12 or 14 hours. Shortly he will get up from this silent moment and awaken the day. Start the rushing process of making sure she is ready for the bus. A lunch to make, to approve of an outfit, breakfast to prepare, dressed warm enough for the day, the hair!, the hair is always the delay, even at a young age of 11. He marvels at how hair is a concern everyday for him despite him losing his 15 years ago. The anticipation of the craziness that is about to begin has his mind racing already, a warm cup of coffee adding to the adrenaline rush starting to kick in. He glances at the clock, 2 minutes and this quiet day will kick into overdrive very quickly. Off to the races, time to put the silence back to bed for another 24 hours.

I like that your writing cocooned you with silence at the start of the day.

She sits in the quiet. The darkness still surrounds her but she knows in time the darkness will give way to light. It always does. Oh sure, sometimes it takes its sweet time like when the cold embraces us. Days like today.

She pecks away at the keys watching stories slip out of her head. Wondering all the time how they got in there and then she remembers. She used to run to stories when life was hard, when life was scary. She ran to stories a lot.

And now she does what she has to do again. She waits. She waits to see if the test results are good for her brother. She waits to hear that the procedure went well. She waits to breathe again.

She can’t afford to lose any more people she argues. But she knows that she knows nothing compared to the one who holds the keys to life and death. She knows, but still she argues. It’s the one thing she can do. The only thing she can do.

And yet, there is this place inside her. This room that she goes to when she’s afraid. She sits there waiting and knows He will show up. And she won’t be alone. He always comes. He always sits with her when she’s afraid. Always.

He was there when she stood at her mother’s coffin at 16. There as she said goodbye to her father at 24. She was there as she revisited the cemetery again and again. Too many times to count and yet she does.

It’s easier to count the remainder. Two. There are just two left. There were five of us siblings and then Peggy was gone. Domestic violence. Brutal thief. But years in between another huge loss. And those years got her used to living. Well, kind of.

Then she saw cancer rip away one brother. Watched as it took his health day by day. Had to remind him he was dying when he’d say, “Get my coat, let’s go home.” And later he’s say, “Oh yeah, we ARE home.”

And then there was February when she sat in a hospital bed with anxiety. Something new that keeps pestering her life. Something that causes her blood pressure to spike when should flow steadily. Yes anxiety had visited her. Intruded and refused to leave.

Anxious about her one brother getting a heart procedure. Unaware another brother clutched his heart and died.

Two. There are just two of them left. And while she tries not to think about it, that thought bullies its way in her mind and pushes out all the other thoughts. No thoughts like to be bullied.

She sits quietly and as she suspected she senses His presence. And hears His voice remind her she is not alone. He’s right there beside her. Just as He promised He’d be. And He never broke one of His promises. Not one.

Anne, this line caught me: ‘She can’t afford to lose any more people she argues,’ yet not in the way that I think you intended. I guess I put myself in her place. I mentally added the word, ‘with’ at the end of that line. As if the people, or God himself, being the ones we argue, love, and struggle with are the ones who cost us the most. They are the ones that we stand to lose the most of ourselves. Like a part of us dies with each one.

I should have put a comma after the word “people.” She is arguing with God.

I wasn’t correcting you. I got what you were saying, I just liked the twist of arguing with everyone, including God and self. hugs…

Sorry, Susan. I didn’t mean for it to sound abrupt. I was actually angry at myself for not putting in the correct punctuation. I also like the twist of arguing with everyone. Thanks.

Anne, You introduced us to a lifetime of grief and loss so great that it could rip your soul apart.

And except for the fact God was in it, you’re right. And do you know what he brought out of it? Poetry.


Thank goodness that you have experienced Him — so much love !

Joe, Loved your piece. There were so many things about it that made it alive. Loved the continual thankfulness that just had to ooze out of you. Absolutely loved how you ended your piece. The piece just flowed so evenly. Actually inspired me to even sit down and take part.

Joe Bunting

Thanks Anne. 🙂

Bob DeSpy former Spycacher

So, here he sat again in front of the screen. Open the last page of his book. Words appearing in succession, staining the whiteness with characters burping from the brain.

For some time now he was aphasic to open it, almost scared. He might have turned on, to check emails and to play solitaire, but even that reluctantly. Many, some several months old, particularly those related with writing were loitering in the list of unopened mail. There was no reason for it.

A slap of life had smashed all desires to write.

I have to commence writing again. Now! And in the same sentence: Why write? It will not contribute to be alive. Arg! Too damn trumpery and useless! Thought of impotence heaped his mind. Had a bad mood, even snappy. It took awhile for him to grind down the disappointment and in the end accept he had to live a life whatever the circumstances. The end will come soon enough.

Some days ago, he started again reading the book with an earmarked leaf, which was lying around for a while. That night, he couldn’t sleep, and for him, reading was the best somniferous. Soon, ideas invaded the spirit, and he made notes, searched words, concentrated in modisms. That night and many after, he did not sleep enough.

Bad habits were kicking in again.

But there was a difference. He realised, just today, a big difference. Before, when his wife asked what he was doing, the answer had been: Working! Nowadays he says, Writing!

What a difference a misfortune makes!

Misfortune? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? He remembered the old Chinese saying.

The energy is back with vigour. Carelessly ignoring the numbness his backside and the urge of nature. Barely walking to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. He has to prepare it. It takes too long. Better, some water, he decides and is back to the frantic clicking on the keyboard in one corner of his bedroom. The music plays away. It’s cold. His heart has, though, been warm and palpitating to the rhythm of the script.

Hey! Of that, life is all about!

I love what you wrote….a bit of mischief is getting ready to happen, I think…..

Here is what I wrote for 15 minutes:

She sits at the desk in front of the laptop almost everyday. But nothing comes to her mind. There is too much going on around her – even the dog and cat prevent her concentrating on what she needs to say – what she must say. There is a story inside her somewhere. But she has no time to dwell on its location, to find out where in the body or mind such a story could be. She is a writer. She has always been a writer, even if she rarely puts pen to paper. She has been a writer since she was very young, sitting on the back porch on a hot summer day with nothing but chores to do.

She used to wonder about eternity. The concept of eternity was troubling her when she was only eight or nine years old. Sitting on that back porch in the heat of the summer in Dallas, wondering about eternity. She would imagine the world never, ever ending, like the nuns told her classmates and her, but somehow she could not get a true connection. What would eternity look like, she wondered, forgetting that she was only in the third grade…what could it be like?

Well, it had to be better than just sitting on the back porch, waiting for her mom or dad to come yell at her for not doing anything. They had small patience for little girls, especially for her, since she was the eldest girl in the family and should be helping her mother to care for the younger kids. Man, what a life for a kid! But that is what an adult would have thought, had an adult been sitting on the porch with her, sharing those eternal thoughts. Kids had not much of a past, so they had little to refer to. Still, she knew that whenever there was not much work to do, the little kids were asleep, and she had finished her homework (funny that she could not remember doing homework, for the most part!), she ought to have a bit of time for herself. Time to swing on the swing set before her dad opened the screen door and hollered for her to get her butt inside and do more work.

Little did she know, however, what lay ahead. And that was definitely a good thing. A damned good thing. Because if she had known even a little bit, she might have found the courage in her heart to take a short cut while walking home from school and end up elsewhere.

Funny because I’m listening to Above and Below, which seems to go along with this.

Where would I find “Above and Below”? I am a newbie here. Thank you for your comments.

It’s by The Bravery and there is a moon version and a sun version. Youtube has both.

The murky shape of a fish torpedoes through her peripheral vision and is swallowed by the clouded lake waters. She cranes her neck in its direction, hair following suit in a dull golden cloud and coming to rest in front of her eyes. Her back arches as she kicks deeper where pressure begins to replace sunlight and the sandy bottom full of discarded clam shells beckons as a silent refuge. Her elbows come to rest against the gritty surface as she releases her air from its chambers, watching it flee to the surface in a shimmering cloud of light. She could beat it if she wanted to; kick up from the bottom and satisfy the dull ache in her chest, but she doesn’t want to. Not yet anyways. She closes her eyes and the water seems to disappear, swaying around her with the same heat which runs in her veins, melting itself against her skin until the two are indistinguishable. She could lie here forever, in her secret, dim world. But it isn’t hers. Her lungs tighten to remind her that hers is up there, into the sun which shines so far away from this place. She jumps off the her throne of sand, rising into the surface.

You must know something about diving. I would not have been able to create this scenario without having been underwater myself. Good job !

Thank you, It’s one of my favorite pastimes and I bought my first monofin last summer.


She wakes reluctantly, feeling him stir by her side. The familiar feeling of heaviness returns as the reality of their life now seeps into her consciousness through the last wisps of sleep. Further rest will elude her now. Should she get up and try to use the time when he is asleep to do some writing? She is bone tired, but she knows there will be little chance for time alone later in the day. She turns to watch him sleeping and thinks of other Saturdays when he would be first to wake, always active, vital. Perhaps after some leisurely lovemaking he would return to her with a cup of tea and her favourite – hot buttered toast with marmalade. Then off to get the paper, maybe stop for coffee on the way. Now he can’t get out of bed by himself anymore or pee alone. This horrible disease is taking its time to kill him. She watches his dear face, at peace in merciful sleep for a while. She is sad but angry too. Maybe she will get up and write, despite her weariness.


While I have no really experience of what this is like your writing doesn’t use such fancy words that make it seem like a show. Yours seems real, but still showing how you feel underneath the words. I like it.

Carole Dixon

She stood at her computer, wishing she could feel comfortable in her own body. The room is lit with natural light and her husband is listening to the book Wise Blood on AudioBooks. She needs to jump start her energy, needs to get her blood moving. The calendar tells her it really isn’t good day to do anything, unless it is to work on her own set of personal challenges – releasing her bad habits, for god’s sake.

How does one work on one’s bad habits, she wonders. They are there, the patterns of behaviors. She circles around them and then gives in to nap. It is like earlier this week when her calendar asked her to retrieve her soul. Retrieve her soul? That is a long process, but she tried. She went through every memory she had – sitting on the front porch when scarcely older than a toddler, wondering what is infinity. Come here, little girl, she entreated. She remembered the last time she wet her pants after they stopped letting her wear diapers; squatting under a shrub, being amazed there was no diaper to catch it. Come back to me, she asked. Playing in her sandbox, riding her bike for the first time, climbing a skinny tree to get away from either a small snake or a big worm. Come back to this big empty spot in me, she asked. The memories of her life flooded her and with each memory, she invited herself home. Some of the memories weren’t so good and she hadn’t behaved admirably. She invited that girl back too. Get them all here, retrieve them, she told herself. Before long, all the retrieved people she could ever remember being gathered in her solar plexus and built a bonfire. They raked the coals around. This made her nervous. She wanted to fill that hole, not burn a bigger one. Oh well, all those soul pieces were in charge of this, not her. Just let it happen and she did.

Is she more whole now? More of one cloth? Who knows. There is an ache in her left back side. She feels full, lethargic. What are her bad habits? Is procrastination really that bad or is it her creative process? Certainly eating potato chips, her new vice since quitting gluten, could be something she skipped today.

Her husband stops listening to his story and comes over to the computer and wants to talk about the parade Saturday and had she told her youngest granddaughter they were staying in town, so now they could all go to it. Leave me alone, she finally explodes. Just 15 minutes, that is all I want. 15 minutes to write this exercise. And it is done. He goes away and the 15 minutes are gone.

Sorry for posting so late on this. I loved the exercise! I did it a day late and then my internet was down for an entire day. Finally this morning, I have internet!

Christina Chenier

She sits, reclined on the couch, trying to escape reality for the umpteenth time that week. Not that it’s been a hard week, or that she doesn’t love her life or anything, she’s actually enjoying life; she just likes to pretend it’s different sometimes. She picks up the book on the table and shimmies down into a position that says, “leave me alone. I’m reading.” A frown crosses her face as she struggles to drown out the sounds of her five younger siblings and piano-playing dad by immersing herself into a different world.

Later she will probably try to drain her emotions through writing, allowing the paper of her beloved notebook to carry some of the burdens weighing on her heart. Typical teenager burdens: love, hate, wonder, and longing. Regret too. And Nostalgia. All of these mixed up feelings trapped inside her will flow out onto the blank pages in inky words that will somehow sooth everything. She’d like to think she was unique, but she has the same problems as every other teenage girl. And then some.

Left to her own mind is much too dangerous these days. It’s a trap that ensnares her at her weakest times when she’s alone. Which is most of the time. There are certain people who help her though, and she’s seen them all this week. The greenish grey eyes of her best friend. The grey ones of her beloved music teacher. These are the people who put a little bit of light into her dark mind and draw her back into reality: the good reality. They keep her safe from the trap her mind has set for itself and remind her that love is a very big part of life. Not being loved necessarily, but loving. Being the one TO love is what matters most and it makes all the difference.


She lays with her knees up, covered in three army surplus wool blankets and an old, yellow stained feather blanket she’d known for years, though it wasn’t hers. Her bed, which takes up most of the room, is on the floor, the bare dirty white walls sometimes remind her of one of those old, padded asylum rooms. The kind that don’t exist anymore. And while that might have once really bothered her, even scared her, it amuses her now.

The room sits in the back half of the “house,” which is actually an old trailer, half of one, where they used to hang the plants to dry. The front half of the house is wooden, with wooden walls and floor and a high ceiling. Behind her, cold air comes up through the cracks between the wall and the chipping lanoleum floor. Last night, she had made a feeble attempt to remedy this with another rolled up wool blanket, but then figured out that a sheepskin did the trick.

It’s her idea of luxury. She’d been sleeping on the floor for years, with intermittent mattresses here and there, but she preferrs the floor. Maybe it’s just that it reminds her of the last place she called home, where they slept on the floor, and ate meals together in a circle around a fire or a woodstove. Where things made sense.

The house is finally quiet. It’s her favorite time, when she doesn’t feel the pull of anyone. Somewhere inside of her, the tug of an impending decision making time. She has no idea where to go from here. This little room, which for some reason she can remember seeing for the first time three years ago, when it was filled with April’s willow baskets and craft making materials, is starting to feel like hers. Even the weather seems to be comforting her here all of a sudden.

Fall in Northern California is strange for her, someone who has never missed a real winter. It’s sunny and warm, and her body kept expecting the change. Something, anything to signal that it was this time of year, and not another. But it never came here, and it felt like she was somehow stuck in time. The wintery slant of the sun was strange in the heat. Finally it changed.

This morning she sat outside on the porch, the sun just barely coming over the horizon but nowhere near her, those huge, intimidating redwoods stood in the east and shaded everything. Her afternoon cigarettes were the time where she could find a tiny patch of sun. this morning the wind howled, and she put on a wool hat and wool shirts and felt the crispness, and imagined brown leaves falling. She had never been so happy for a brisk morning chill. And wind, actual wind, blowing a fall hello. Her body swayed with it as she smoked her cigarette and the smoke didn’t matter. She didn’t want to smoke with all this weather calling .

She needs to get back to that piece, due tomorrow morning. She hears Susan sneeze in the other room, and Chris beside her shifts. They whisper to each other, and then go silent. She hears the hot water heater, and feels at home.

I like the phrase about her room – “where things made sense”.

Her childhood was a happy one, filled with pine forests and pussy willows, shading trees and deep shadows, bright sunlight and fairies. Her mind was a blessed country where music filled the air and magical creatures were waiting with secret smiles around every corner, offering new adventures. A little sister was a ready and willing companion in her exciting fairy world.

As she grew, reality pressed in with dawning dismay. Too late, she discovered that her childhood world had been one of the imagination, and in the business of growing up the door grew narrower until it closed altogether. The only way she could alleviate the anguish was to write – anything and everything.

Her one delight in the agonizing world of puberty became a pure white sheet of paper before her, and a pen poised in readiness. It was only then that her soul could be at ease.

With her teenage years came the realization that she must find an identity for herself, or perish, and that involved searching with every bit of strength she possessed.

The search lasted for many years, tumultuous, exhausting and filled with some bitter sorrows and some unspeakable joys, but the search bore fruit. She discovered who she was at last!


Outside her office window the sun is blazing. The temperature is frigid, below freezing. Her garden appears shocked, the plants struggling to breathe outside of their designated zone. Whoever decides what will thrive through winters in the Pacific Northwest probably didn’t have a day like today in mind.

The sun is a mixed blessing for her. In her chest she wants to run outside, through her arms open wide and hug those rays for the weather forecast indicates the usual gray clouds will return in just a few days. Yet, she looks at her desk. A half-done presentation awaits, due on Monday. Follow-up with a creative team on her new website is tugging at her “let’s play inside” persona. And then there’s the prospect of a trip to Costco to get the wreath, the garland … the overdue beginnings of the whole holiday decoration process. In the next room her husband lingers over the New York Times. They only subscribe to the Sunday edition so she looks forward to that leisurely read every week (and, she just learned, having something to look forward to can increase your personal baseline for happiness).

Happiness, she decides, shows up physically today. Sun rays streaming through the window. A second cup of coffee resting on her desk. The prospect of unpacking the Christmas decorations makes her smile inside. Finding a place for the crystal snowman, the mantletop garland, the collection of German smokers – a yearly ritual that signals the holidays have arrived, along with that endless of to-do’s that never quite get done.

WOW ! I love especially the image of the sun streaming through the windows. And yes, we have the have just the perfect place for each Christmas item, don’t we? I wish I could read more !!

AC Barrett

First job on a dark winter morning: tending fire. The fires of evening languish after midnight and leave the big house chilled in this snow country. She is the designated early riser.

She stirs hot ash to wake red coals, then adds wood scraps that in a moment will blossom into flame. Coffee goes on while she waits. Once the fires start up again she adds firewood, small and then larger pieces. When they catch she damps the flow of oxygen back down for a slow burn. The fireplace in the family area is first, followed by the wood stove in the entry way. Family first.

A glance outside the window answers the pivotal question: is it falling, blowing snow today, or are bright snow fields already dimly visible down the hill? Her favorite is dry snow that glitters under the sun. It’s like a field of cool white velvet thickly strew with tiny opal chips.

Maybe this will be that kind of day. Warmly dressed now, she does a few minutes of yoga while the others stir and wake. An hour before dawn, with the sounds of day rising and the first cup of coffee in hand, she sees a small herd of deer cross the field below. They are graceful dark silhouettes in the dusky blue. As a small child she once cried for wild things outside in the snow, at the unfairness of it all, and sometimes she still wonders how they manage. Often, she knows, they don’t. Perhaps that germinal sense of fairness has wandered over time. Perhaps it’s merely been polished by emery grains of experience.

These deer, though, seem lively and inquisitive, at ease in their travels today, unperturbed by human habitation near by. Her kitchen is warm, bright, and yellow, and there’s a day of writing ahead.


Jealous of that morning routine! Maybe I wouldn’t be over time, but it sounds like such a perfect way to ease into the day: a little work to get a fire going. Some exercise. Then recollection.

Thanks, Brett. I’m a little conflicted about it, though. Having read some of the stunning entries here (plus almost all of Glimmer Train Issue #89, which to my mind has kind of a bleak feel) this little practice piece seems “fluffy” in comparison. I’ve taken it aside to give it more than 15 minutes. Notwithstanding my encultured training to convert lemons to lemonade, the hand of a darker angel rests on this character’s shoulder. It deserves observation. These prompts are great practice, but I think practice only works for us to the depth we actually dive.


It’s 5:49am and about 39 minutes behind schedule. My coffee never seems to be as warm as I want it to be. By the time I top it off and sit back down, it feels like it needs to be nuked.

The Bible and journal next to me, open to Isaiah. It’s mostly confusing to me right now, but slowly meaning pops out. My car journal is to my right. It’s a little spiral bound notebook that I keep in the car while I listen to podcasts. Texting and driving is unsafe, but I hope note taking on the center console isn’t. The laptop is open between them.

The lights are off and I’m typing in the dark. This space between 5:30am and 6:00am is tricky in our house. One of my children, were I asleep, would wake and crawl into the big king bed between my wife and me. But since I’m up, he might hear me and come downstairs for some attention.

I’m selfish. At least, I try to be selfish prior to 6:00am, or 6:15 if I play my cards right.

Across the dining room table is a my belt, my t-shirt, a children’s Bible, and a couple spiral notebooks that the kids like to write in. Plush green and white candy canes barely visible, are hanging in the dark underneath the light fixture.

I know the condensation is puddling around my water glass. This is my second day trying to write first. 500 words daily before I do anything else. I should probably get an earlier start and take a walk or do some stretching. It always seems I’m much more inspired after some early exercise. My brain seems to function. I’m using this prompt from deep in my Gmail because the cupboard was bare. And writing as a discipline, apparently, is tough the first couple mornings especially since I don’t have a clear end game. The last thing I want to do is write for work. And I’m not excited to write for my personal blog that centers around living a simpler life. And the blog on the url for my name has been in technical difficulty for over a year.

Consequently, I’m on Evernote practicing.

It’s 5:49am and about 39 minutes behind schedule. His coffee never seems to be as warm as he wants it to be. By the time he tops it off and sits back down, it feels like it needs to be nuked.

To his left is the journal open stacked inside the Bible, also open, opened to Isaiah. That ancient book is mostly confusing to him right now, but slowly meaning pops out. His car journal is to his right. It’s a little spiral bound notebook that he keeps in the car while he listens to podcasts. Texting and driving is unsafe, but he hopes note taking on the center console isn’t. The laptop is open between the two books of records.

The lights are off and he’s typing in the dark. This space between 5:30am and 6:00am is tricky in their house. One of his children, were he asleep, would wake and crawl into the big king bed between his wife and him. But since he’s up, his young son might hear him and come downstairs for some attention.

He’s selfish. At least, he tries to be selfish prior to 6:00am, or 6:15 if he plays his cards right.

Across the dining room table is a his belt, my t-shirt, a children’s Bible, and a couple spiral notebooks that the kids like to write in. Plush green and white candy canes barely visible, are hanging in the dark underneath the light fixture.

He knows the condensation is puddling around his water glass. This is his second day trying to write first. 500 words daily before he does anything else. He should probably get an earlier start and take a walk or do some stretching. He always feels much more inspired after some early exercise. His brain seems to function better. He’s using this prompt from deep in his Gmail because his idea cupboard was bare. And writing as a discipline, apparently, is tough the first couple mornings especially since he doesn’t have a clear endgame. The last thing he wants to do is write for work and his insurance blog. And he’s not excited to write for his blog that centers around living a simpler life. And the blog on the url for his name has been in confounding technical difficulty for over a year, so that’s not an option.

Consequently, he’s on Evernote practicing.

Sandra D

The coffee part was funny. Towards the end you wrote me instead of he. Also I did not like the last paragraph as much of the rest of the story. Maybe there are too many details in it. I’m not sure. The writing overall is good and I can feel the balance between being dutiful to the family and also having a special time to do one’s own work. And the grappling with is it selfish to hope the boy stays asleep a little longer.

He knows the condensation is puddling around his water glass. I think it would be better to say: Condensation is puddling around his glasses. He knows feels like it slows it down to me.

Byju V

He wants to be a writer. He knows wanting to be a writer is not the same as being a writer. He sits in front of the laptop every morning before the birds have begun singing, before the sense of duty comes alive to distract him. But he always ends up posting, commenting, arguing.. on the facebook, anything to avoid actually writing. His other hobby is reading. He reads everything, with no discrimination. His childhood heroes were not cricket players or action heroes, but writers. While his friends admired Amithabh Bachan and Kapil Dev, he worshipped R K Narayan and Arthur Conan Doyle. In his dreams, he saw himself publishing Sherlock Holmes stories. But he could never convert these dreams to reality.

The moment he cherished most from his childhood was when he won a writing competition inschool. More than the prize itself, what he remembered was the praise he got from a famous writer, a judge for the competition. Yet he could not write.

Recently, he suffered a mental break down. It dawned on him that he wa 40, he had passed the prime of life, perhaps crossed the half way mark. He realized with surprise that he could not recapture time, recreate the past, that he was locked in a day time job that he loathed, that he was also shackled by the sense of duty from which thete may not be any escape.

very moving, and throughout I could sense the struggle and the longing to be formed and changed (thinking of a caterpillar/butterfly) seeing what you know you need to be, but also feeling not there yet. And then the sad realization of not being able to go back in time was a good ending paragraph.

All around her, the air was still. Not just still, but paused, muffled. All the world seemed to be put on mute. It was probably because of the snow outside, padding the roads and the sidewalks with white fluff. She didn’t mind- the quiet was a nice break from the noise and the cluttered mess. She sits beside the window this morning, curled up into a tight ball underneath a patchwork quilt, in a too-large chair. The heater is blowing out warm air besides her, and she can’t help but be a little reassured at the gentle hum of it running. Not that she needed it- her dachshund was curled up in the crook of her legs, acting like the miniature space heater she was. She couldn’t sit there forever, she knew. As she typed, the list of things she needed to do pressed on the front of her mind with continuing urgency, barrating her with a buzz of reminders and loose ends. But a little time for herself couldn’t hurt, could it? A thin strand dangled in front of her eye, and she blew it aside in mock irritation. Maybe this wasn’t the best time for this. Maybe this was just her way of procrastinating while she had real work to be done. That was very probable, and very like her. She knew there were real things to do, things that had to do with nasty words like ‘school’ and ‘chores’, but for the moment she was fine with brushing them off with a flick of her wrist and delving deep into her writing.

good job using the five senses so someone can really feel your environment. That makes it cozy. And even though there is a lot of stuff that the writer knows will have to get done, you could feel how she was still very immersed in her writing, and not getting overly stressed by it.


She sits at a funny little place – too small for a window seat, too large for a windowsill. Her cheeks press against the cool dampness of the glass, her fingers curled into the nails which she had been painting a few hours ago. It was the holidays – she should be relaxing, why was she agitated anyway? There wasn’t any homework assigned anyway. Her family ignore her and her own little ramblings, they only treat her ponderings and opinions as ‘teenagerdom’ and something ‘bound to change when she grows up’. They’re too busy in front of the television, intent on ‘The Wizard of Oz’, unaware of the clock ticking on the wall, that the children they have in their arms will eventually be doing the same. Perhaps it is only her who can glimpse into such thoughts. Perhaps it’s due to how she is in that time in adolescence when you know that you’re going to grow up, and that you’re nervous about what it will bring. Perhaps… She slides off the seat, and plops onto the sofa. Her younger sibling comes to her lap, bringing the scent of warm milk and love, something which will outlast all time. She smiles. Love, which can outlast all time.

yes. I like this. The writing is good, it doesn’t have unnecessary words. And also I like how you go into the feeling of fear of growing up and leaving what is known and people loved.

S.M. Sam

He, sits. He thinks. He ruminates. What is he doing with his life? Come Jan 24, 2014 and he would be completing 23 years of existence on planet Earth. But what has been accomplished so far? A bachelors degree, a film school diploma and now on his way to gain his Masters in Marketing and still he doesn’t feel very accomplished with himself. Still leaving at home, feeding of Dad’s income with absolutely no work experience as such, was he worth anything?

The fact that the girl he really had a thing for not only rejected his romantic advances but went on to say that “I will never like you” didn’t help his cause. He needed to find his ‘eureka’ moment where he finds the true purpose of his life. Maybe it lies in the world of words. Maybe that’s why his heart always kept tugging at this direction but he was too lazy to sit and let the words flow. Maybe it’s time for him to realise that there is no point in trying to rush and see what his future is going to turn out like. Live life and Just let it be.

I could really relate to this and the feeling of not yet being there, at that place where one wants to end up.

Lucy Crabtree

The blue chair was her throne, her childhood home her castle. Right now, just for right now, there were no doors opening and closing. No pounding on the stairs as parents and/or a brother made their way to the second floor. Not even the hum of the dishwasher or the thump of the washing machine intruded into her time.

All she heard was silence. That blissful, marvelous silence that came from just being. Not doing or crying or wondering or worrying. Just being.

For these few minutes, she could pretend. Pretend that it hadn’t been almost a year since she had to move back home. Pretend and remember what it was like to live in her own space, among her own things, free to think her own thoughts or even to dance in the kitchen with no one watching. If she wanted to, she could even watch an entire episode of “Glee” without any eye rolls or scoffs thrown her way. Or questions. She was so relieved, really, to have this time without questions about how had her day been, and who did she eat lunch with, and why did she like this show or that so much, and had she heard from so-and-so lately?

Not even the temptation of having the family TV all to herself was enough to pull her away from her words. The words were there, always waiting. She just had to sit still long enough to see them. To feel them, run her hands over them, testing their strengths, their weaknesses.

She wasn’t always sure of what she was writing, or why she was. “Writers write to be read,” she remembers telling a friend, many moons ago. But somewhere along the way, she stopped. The writing fizzled, save for a sporadic blog post here and there. She didn’t remember when, exactly, but she had lost herself, and was always, always in search of the She she used to be.

The blue chair didn’t have any answers. Neither did the blue walls, or the red mantle. My mother is a colorful woman, she thought. The fake greenery arranged artfully around the room also offered no secrets, no clue to the person she was looking for.

So she ignored them all — the reds, the greens, the blues — and leaned her head back and closed her eyes. The searching could wait another moment. For now, there was just being.

This was really intriguing and interesting to me.


Love the opening line


Life is complicated for her, if not physically, then on the inside. Between work stress, school priorities, and guys, she doesn’t always make time just to talk to God, and often suffers for it. She struggles with finding her identity. Her family is always supportive and loving, and that gives her strength and hope.

She is inside now. She wishes she were drinking coffee but she thinks it a waste of time to make some for just a few spare minutes of writing. She loves the outdoors though. She also loves people. Everyone coming from different places with different ideas, many she had never thought of. She loves how life changes. But she is starting to realize somedays things don’t seem to change. At least not for her, not always. Someone told her once life doesn’t hand us a new lesson until we first master the one given. Perhaps she was stuck on something. But perhaps she just expected too much from the universe.

Her garden is being eaten away by bugs, and she has been working to get ahead of it. And even though she had gotten the bugs under control, the plants look damaged and many have died. Can the plants catch up and be in time for the harvest time, she wonders.

Isaac Palmer

This one is actually quite, quite mad, but I’m literally just writing the first things that come to me on these prompts!


22, single, Bristol! Straight up social construct looking for love. Seeking the sort of love that can be conceived of as a ‘lagoon’ or ‘oasis’. Enjoys music and gambling, always up for a PARTYYY! Young displaced whisper floating among suburban streets. Massive Kanye fan, second biggest hero probably Messi!! Youthful fun-lover carried invisibly by a discourse I can’t remember. Travelling, traveller forever <3 .


he was lying in bed. another day is over.every night it occurs to him that he hadn’t been giving much attention to the the passing of days, to opportunities he missed. but then he admits that counting them wouldn’t really make a difference. you’d think it will end there and he’d go to sleep now, but it never does, because he always needs to do something about it or at least think about doing something about it. why is it that he never feels satisfied at the end of the day? may be because he’s not doing something he likes, may be because he is not doing anything, or may be because it doesn’t matter what he does as long as it is HE who’s doing it. he’s not dissatisfied with life, he’s dissatisfied with being.


three body in the small dim room- two sleeping. one sits cross-legged, her fingers tucked in around the cover of her small neon notebook. her eyes constantly gaze around the object that surrounds her and for a second she wondered why she loves to write in the dark so much when there’s plenty damn lights in the daytime. her heavy eyes darts to her brother’s sleeping figure, his snore low and she always find it funny in some way; maybe because she could tease him about it later and she always wonders about her sister’s eyes when she sleep; they’re never fully closed and she still think about it at some point. suddenly, her hand pauses and she took a short breathe, reciting what she had just wrote in a careful whisper. it’s almost three in the morning. she felt a familiar feeling of wishing she could just drift away to her beauty sleep haunts her every night, though she could never come close to stop thinking about so much things.


Sunlight gently streams into her room, caressing her face. Her eyes flutter open; another day has begun. She carefully selects the outfit she will wear; the dress must match her shoes while the earrings must offset the color of her hair. Everything must look perfect because in reality nothing really is.As she carefully applies her make-up she notices tears glistening in her eyes. She smiles weakly and although her eyes shine with life, the lace of death within them is unmissable. Try as she might she cannot hide the pain that is always with her.

She tries to remember a time when laughter was her life’s song, and hope was her constant companion. A time when she had a spring in her step, a trunk full of dreams and a heart bursting with love. Reality intrudes on her wistful musings and she remembers she must get to work. She carefully tucks away the pain and meticulously hides her bleeding heart, and once the burden of loss is tightly secured on her back, makes her way to work.

‘laughter was her life’s song’- beautiful


He sits on his computer all day his mum says, wondering out his window, what is actually out there? look, whats that and whats that? it looks like a rock falling from the sky in the distance burning with fumes of smoke, the rock is the same size as Africa I heard on the news, it was cooling but they say it could cause collateral damage on a major scale, like one we’ve never seen before, this is the end call it judgement day, the end of days, the second coming. I didn’t care for that one moment I knew what to do with my life…

Sophia May

“Wake up, you lazy mongrel! Time for school!”

Those blaring words, coupled with a rigorous jolt made against her shoulder, ends her long sleep nestled with a dream. It seems to her that her mind stiffens as still as a frozen figure before it adjusts to reality. In other words, the brain waves take a long while to recognize what is happening now.

Slowly, eyes half-closed and struggling with her depleted energy, she reaches out for the alarm clock which is situated on her bedside table. It is now six o’clock in the morning, when she realizes it is fifteen minutes too late to get up. A thought dawns on her: must she go back to sleep or head for school? With a quick burst of energy, she dashes off for a good bath and after ten minutes, emerges from the bathroom all wet, with a wrapped towel on her wet hair and another covering her naked body. Without further hesitation, she dresses into her school uniform and stamps out of her room with her bag in tow.

While having a breakfast with her family, her thoughts are on her assignments, which are almost complete at that moment. She leaves very little time to ponder on her dreams as doing this would waste precious time. Having finished with all the usual preparations, she skips off outside.

Steve E

He shows up to job that moved him across country, that he was unsure of. He graduated from school July 2011, and didn’t get a call from a company until January 2014. He wasn’t sure if it was the right decision. He believes the move part was right but the job, the job is boring and doesn’t challenge him like his last. Their is a lot more down time and sitting around. He often jokes with is coworkers he has watched more tv the past year and a half than he has in the previous five combined. He doesn’t know what to do. He went to school to work on planes, but he doesn’t like it. It is not what he expected. Coming on to the age of 30 what does he do? Does he stay in this career path or find another? He doesn’t have any special skills or hobbies to make a career out of. He kind of misses his old way of life. Doing electrical wasn’t so bad always busy at work, did not have to work second shift and sit around until 2-230 am while his supervisor fucks around on the internet, just because.

His old boss knew how to take care of his men. He would buy a few thirty racks for the guys every week, sometimes twice depending on how thirsty we were that week. Occasionally he would takes us out to dinner. It was a fun environment to work at. Its funny how things work he tries to better himself and make himself happier but all he has done is made him more frustrated. He is a city 850 miles away from his friends and family. He has a smaller social group. He loves the city of Chicago and is glad he made the move. Because it’s a fun city and always something to do. And if he didn’t take this risk, he could look back at his life 10 years from now regretting he never took this risk.


On the sofa laptop in place cats at his feet yearning for touch

Warm summer night air invited in through fully opened windows cars speed past passersby talk in swift whispered tones

He finds words to add to a new poem some fall from his fingertips with ease others drop haltingly fishing for the right word in this first draft

like he usually does uncertain where he’s going fear to share to much, not enough thinking, thinking of the point

of why his writing this poem words battle in his mind for recognition to be chosen

to show the feeling he’s trying to capture with words on a laptop in place cats at his feet yearning for touch

He stops and strokes them they need him now


She’s sitting on a bed with a mac on her laps. Her toes are freezing even though she’s on a tropical island with the ocean in a safe distance hiding in the dark, frogs quietly perfecting their tunes, and the wind coming in and out of a little house without using the door.

Solitude. Silence. Nature. Time. She has almost everything a writer could be dreaming of.

Has she written much since she came here about a year ago? A few Facebook posts. Three probably. No. Four.

In her defense, she’s just recently discovered that ‘morning pages’ or the stream of consciousness that helps get rid of what’s obstructing the writing and is intended to be kept private just like a diary does not count as actual writing. Who knew?!

Plus she was busy with work. The work she loves. And can conveniently hide behind.

And often times it just felt pointless. Someone else surely wrote about the things she wanted to write already. Or will write about it very soon. And better than her.

And doesn’t she need to learn more, understand more, become more, better, enough to write the book she wants?

She also had to finish reading yet another book about creativity, sincerely wishing it was longer. Or endless. And read more about writing. And how all the above and below should be solved by a simple motion of typing word after word, sentence after sentence, otherwise known as writing.

This evening all she wanted to do was write. But then she had to find the log-in details (that haven’t been used for two years) to the unfinished online course on how to create a blog that makes a difference. And think about a perfect topic. And a WordPress theme. Just to kill that urge to write. Something. NOW. Nobody would read that blog anyway with the plentitude of brilliant ones out there to choose from.

Maybe she’s not that passionate about writing after all. She could definitely survive without it. She could keep updating the list of things she wants to write about and share, and keep exploding about not doing that on those private pages that will never be shared.

She would survive. But would she thrive? Another year might be given for her to find out.


She puts her headphones in as she types away on her laptop. The music drowns out her problems and the writing washes away her pain. A cold cup of coffee sits beside her, but it’s been long forgotten as she absorbs herself in the lyrics that were made to speak to her hurting ears. She imagines the life of her characters and fantasizes about slipping into her precious books and never coming back to reality.

The messy kitchen that surrounds her is suffocating and she thinks of just walking out of the house and starting a new life somewhere else. Her mind is in a million and three places all at once. Right now, all her mind is filled with is the fantasies of her dreams and the music that calms her soul.

Her frizzy, curly, brown hair is in a messy bun and her brown eyes sparkle with inspiration. Her mind has doubts about society finding her pretty and talented, but the writer in her has a different personality and she has a confidence in her that only comes through in her writing.

As she sits in school, her headphones have been banned and the only writing she does is equations and the answers to problems that are not her own. She watches the other people and envies their happiness. Everyday’s a struggle not to snap under the pressure of having straight A’s and expectations that her shoes are too small to fill. Day to day this is the same feeling, the same agony.

Someone changes her though. When she’s around this person, the pain fades and not a keyboard in sight, her problems are forgotten and the headphones she so often turns to are abandoned as she embraces this person. True happiness can be seen in her eyes, but of course this is just another fantasy that will fade as quickly as the door is shut and she once again is left in the messy kitchen with her writing and headphones.


She always has a smile on her face. Sometimes it’s real and sometimes it’s not. The truth is that, deep inside, she’s a warrior. Her head is a battelfield. One might think she’s always optimistic, like her life is a musical where a happy tune is playing in the background. But no. She’s constantly at war with her mind, struggling with keeping her innocence intact. She likes to think of the world as an ocean. But she’s not fooled by it’s beauty. She knows very well that the ocean isn’t such a scary place if one’s solely observing it from the shore. She knows she’s not brave enough, not strong enough. She knows she can’t dive in, even in her wildest dreams. So she lays there, on the burning sand, watching the sunset, thinking about love, as if she were in a fairytale. Thinking about reality terrifies her. Thinking that there’s a world out there where only few know happiness makes her want to stay forever in her little happy place where people desperately get out of the ocean looking for someone to make them see the good in the world again. And the fact that she hopes to be that someone, for any stranger who’s struggling with life, makes her who she is. And that’s why she makes it a point to put a smile on her face and laugh, no matter what war she’s in.

A very real scenario a lot of us will identify with

She always has a smile on her face. Sometimes it’s real and sometimes it’s not. The truth is that, deep inside, she’s a warrior. Her mind is a battlefield. One might think she’s always optimistic, like her life is a musical where a happy tune is playing in the background. But no. She’s constantly at war with herself, struggling with keeping her innocence intact. She likes to think of the world as an ocean. But she’s not fooled by its beauty. She knows very well that the ocean isn’t such a scary place if one’s solely observing it from the shore. She knows she’s not brave enough, not strong enough. She knows she can’t dive in, even in her wildest dreams. So she lays there, on the burning sand, watching the sunset, thinking about love, as if she were in a fairytale. Thinking about reality terrifies her. Thinking that there’s a world out there where only few know happiness makes her want to stay forever in her little happy place where people desperately get out of the ocean looking for someone to make them see the good in the world again. And the fact that she hopes to be that someone, for any stranger who’s struggling with life, makes her who she is. And that’s why she makes it a point to put a smile on her face and laugh, no matter what war she’s in.

Cogito Ergo Sum

He sat staring in to the laptop screen. It’s dull light painting his face a subtle shade of cyan. Was it dull though? Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the afternoon sun streaming its heat in through the three wide windows behind him, in his bedroom, was just too bright. Everything was relative. None of it constant. He realized as his fingers, now slightly oily with sweat, drew circles on the touchpad and traced the edges of the black ‘accutype’ keys. Sweat was trickling down his forehead too, forming droplets on his thick eyebrows, dampening them and blurring his vision. He didn’t wipe them off with the handy towel he kept nearby, as was his custom. Let the heat burn this sickly feeling inside of me, he thought.

He couldn’t think of any other way to get rid of the feeling. What had he done? He had said his good byes to her. That’s what he had done. That’s what he had accomplished with his morning. Ended something that had kept him human and alive for a year. He had destroyed something he might have on this very day, in the previous year, sworn to keep true forever. Why had he done it? The flurry of strong, sharp, pointed reasons that had left his quiver of logic and pierced the bond that tied them together, seemed flaccid now. Strangely impotent. Was he happy now? He could tell that if only he could feel his heart. It had gone silent, and numb.

The blinking cursor on the white screen gave him no comfort. Write! His head screamed at him breaking the silence. Write something! Let it out!

What would he write about? Every word seemed to form around her, framing themselves around her face and her smile.

Find something else to write about.

Look it up. Find a prompt. He finally moves and the fingers that were caressing the plastic keys before him, began to press them with vague intent taking shape in him. Find a prompt, he thought, wiping the droplets of sweat hanging from his brow, and trickling down his face. Let it out…

Elif Aşkın

She keeps biting her nails. And she doesn’t know why she just cant quit this disgusting habit. Disgusting. Do you really write it like that? She doesn’t remember. Its already 5oclock in the afternoon and she still is in her pjamas, too lazy to even get off the couch and get a glass of water, she is much too comfortable. She feels ok, but the rainy day outside makes it hard for her not to think about negative things, like her break up and the fact that she hasn’t written for such a long time. She even forgot how to use the keyboard properly. Why did she quit? Was it because of him? Maybe he wasn’t encouraging enough? Too full of himself as a writer? That he made her feel like she isn’t good enough? No. He did a lot of things wrong, but not this. It all comes to herself and her lack of self confidence. What happened now? What changed? She did. She is herself again, because it all depends on her. How she feels, how she behaves, how she speaks. Its kind of like karma. What goes around comes around. She hates cliches, but its true. If you don’t love yourself, who will love you truely in the end of the day? If you don’t believe in the story you are telling, how can you expect others to fully believe it?

She is too lazy for everything, or maybe not lazy but too scared. Scared of trying, scared of losing, of disappointment. Maybe thats why she keeps biting her nails, doesn’t even try to quit it, because she knows that she will not be strong enough and start it again anyway. But you know what they say, if you don’t try you will always wonder why. Another cliche. But thats why right now she is writing, because she doesn’t want to be the one to not even try. Who knows, maybe putting her fingers on top of the keyboard instead of in her mouth, might even help her to overcome that disgusting habit. She still doesn’t remember how you write that word, and she is still too lazy to look it up.

Malcolm Hodnett

He sits in a dimly lit room, typing on a dimly lit laptop. He is lost in himself and lost in the world. He finds himself lost in a maze he doesn’t understand the dimension of. Up is darkness and left is melancholy. But he still types.

He has always been numb. He has always been detached. He was ok with how it was before. He is a thinker. Once a problem presents itself he decides right then whether to pursue it or to wipe it from his consciousness. But he knows he can’t wipe The Question away.

The Question is why he has always read. He hopes to find a glimpse of an answer. He doesn’t have any other choice. Someone else must have had The Question before. Therefore, there must be instructions or directions or a fucking path to follow to lead to an answer. But he has come up short. 21 years of searching and he has only just grasped the simplicity of The Question.

“Who am I?”

It haunts him. It lies behind every word, underneath every step, and right at the edge of his vision. He sees the world as nothing but a mirror by which he can maybe hold fully catch a true glimpse of the answer. Before high school, books were the mirror. Then it was that hurricane of a woman. Now it is in friends and maybe just maybe he won’t need a mirror for much longer.

But it is hard work. To drown but to hold off on getting help. To suffer but to refuse to ask the pain to stop. He knows the answer to The Question is in these experiences. He writes for the same reason he once read.

Hopefully the answer arrives soon. Treading water isn’t easy.

Really well written. I find this so easy to follow a see the growing emotions and battles.


He;s sitting quite content in a sense. Throughout turmoil being anything but rare state of mind. As he sits here computer in lap writing, he feels home again. Trying to chase various paths of life throughout the past couple years, yet always knowing in the back of his head that he will end up home. Writing. Doing what he has always truly loved since he first discovered it in elementary school. Funny thing is; he discovers this in the most humorous way, at his best friends house, regardless of the fact that he is 2000 miles away at school. His best friends name is Andrew, and he goes to school in Colorado. Andrews house was always the 2nd home in his life. Single mom, raising 3 kids Andrew being the oldest. The boy on the bed, yeah over here *waving*[trying to use imagery], he on the other hand is home from school taking part time classes after being a full time student for the past 2 and a half years. You see, he was in a dark place for a while. Lots of things going on in his life, battling unhealthy relationship with long-time girlfriend, various family medical situations, trying to catch up on sleep from being a student-athlete with a rigorous schedule constantly. On top of all that he is being told these will be the best times of my life, yet all he feels is a cloud of depression over his head glooming larger and larger as the day goes on. Throughout all this, he decided it was best to come home for the semester. He has had a lot of time on his hands; a lot of support from his one and only woman he will ever need in his life, his mother. The true best friend. He has come to realize a lot of things about life. Life is what you make it, there’s only so much opportunity out there that you have to be willing to put the work to achieve your true goals. The right people relationship wise will come to him. All he needs is his family of five sisters and one brother with two loving parents behind his back. He can achieve anything he wants. Throughout the past couple days, he had a chance to think very deeply. He decided he’s going to attend college to play lacrosse, while majoring in business with a minor in some sort of english or writing. He feels like this is the right thing for him to do. He is very personable, and feels he can excel in the business world by day and by night take care of his body, be athletic, and destress and by night doing what he loves most, writing. And heck, if he ends up being good at it and maybe pursue a career in that path, then screw it. Life is what you make of it, you have to do what feels right, and what truly at the end of the day put a smile on your face and make you happy.

Sarah Elizabeth Vivino

Her Bed is made. That’s a change. It isn’t always. For once she made it. She dared to tame unruly blankets that had twisted and tangled themselves throughout the night. Confined to her room, quarantine self imposed, she lay on her neatly made bed. Propping her head up on pillows she angled her laptop to just the right angle for bearable squinting. Her glasses were annoyingly smudged, but un-cleanable on the black Batman t-shirt she wore. She gave them a once over. Better than they were before, good enough, she pushed them onto her face. There. Comfortable.

She sighs. What is she doing anyway? Music plays over the internet radio. There is so much passing through her mind that the firewall is up to keep the virus from corrupting essential programming. So far high functioning. So far so good. Processing power is diverted to essential tasks, managing the menial necessities. Depression is a daily deviant she fights.

Alia Far

Around 15 minutes long:

She sits on a soft and cushioned couch, legs close together, eyes staring at an electronic screen of white and light. A glass of water rests close by. In her mind, words gush forth like a national gyser, and her hands shake with excitement on top of the black keyboard keys. She could already imagine the clickity-clack sounds they make after each of her fingers’ caress.

She clicks her tongue, and carefully navigates the keyboard, placing each fingure on a well travelled path. Usually, she does so with confidence, joyfully skimming the web and dreaming of a future of transformation and delight.

Today, she tilts her head and clucks her teeth, straightens her back, and glares. She glares at the notepad from left to right, tilting her head to and fro. Her toes start fidgeting, and she moves her knees up and down, as she searches her house for inspiration.

She sighs, and blinks. The cursor blinks back. She cradles the mouse carefully in her hands, preparing to place a few words to look at.

“Come on,” she thinks. “I can do this!”

She types one word, “She”, then another. And it seems as if she has finally broken through the dam holding her vocabulary hostage. Then she stops, and takes a look at her work.

After what has felt like weeks of travel from one country to another she sits looking out of a huge floor to ceiling window at the undulating tropical ocean. Despite the air con, the room feels warm and the air close. After a fortnight on European shores yearning for the heat on her back the unerringly grey and stormy weather has put a dampener on her mood. Whenever she feels like this, she reminds herself of how many people would give their right arm to be living in a tropical island paradise, but on days like today its hard not to remember the laughter, ease and shared history of familiar faces back home.

Man’s best friend commands her attention by snuggling his face on the seat in front of her. He misses his Daddy and with only one human in the house today to look after him he’s insistent on commanding her full attention. His eyes wonder to his ball. The intention is clear, “Play with me then?”. A game ensues of ‘throw and fetch’. She’s amused that he hasn’t quite mastered bringing the ball back; he takes it back to his bed each time then pushes it slightly with his foot and draws her eye as if willing her to take action through his glance.

Her thoughts wonder to the feelings this furry friend stirs inside her: maternal instinct. Is it a desire that will ever be fulfilled? Does she even want to disturb the calm freedom with which they lead their lives? Maybe nature should decide. Is that selfish or human nature she wonders?

As her mind fogs with the racing of thoughts inside her head, she hears a gentle snoring from the furry mound on the floor. Life is so simple for him she thinks, maybe they should both take a leaf out of their pet’s book and stop thinking too far ahead. “ Enjoy the moment”, she thinks and smiles to herself as she remembers how many times an online article has advised her to do just that.

Jae Ram

I’m so alone. I thought death would bring me peace but instead it is a constant torment. I thought finally after all my pain and suffering I could have an endless sleep, an infinity of nothingness. But no. I’m stuck, forever here to watch drones get married, start families, fall in love… Why am I here? What did I do to endure this suffering? I’ve been here for centuries. Watched the decimation of my family line, the rape of my sister, murder of my father, things I probably would have been able to prevent if I was there.

It’s so lonely here on the other side, I haven’t spoken a word out loud for almost 80 years. Because what’s the point? The worst thing about it is being able to see everyone progress and not being able to interact with them, or maybe the inability to have someone touch love and care for you. It’s just nothingness.

Live your life to the fullest as this is what is in store for you, an eternity of torture and torment, oh well.

She is restless. Sitting in front of a computer monitor trying to contain a lifetime in 15 minutes. Trying to squeeze in a few words a life that was lived and a life that wasn’t. Her heart can’t contain it, her mind can’t, her room can’t contain it either. How could then a few words do it?

She is writing about the hope that is renewed as the dawn is re-birthed every day. The faith that hasn’t yet seen it all. About her real self that is yet to be manifested in a whole new way as she is becoming more and more who she was born to be.

The pictures on the wall remind her of the special moments she has lived. The sleeping man next to her reminds her of all that is yet to be lived. The silent hot night is just one of the many that she has lived; yet it is special. She can hear it whisper to her : “you are blessed”.

Clive Webb

He woke up in the morning, and looked up at the damp patch in the corner of the room. He then wondered who was going to show up on this day, would it be white lightning, or the green eyed monster. White lightning was the mad wild white stallion that he was trying to break in, he is attempting to get a saddle and reins on this wild horse, but white lightning is a feisty beast, and doesn’t like to be controlled. But given time, he hopes that they can learn to respect one another, and white lightning won’t give him to much of a bumpy ride.

He knows that there will be times when he will loose control of the wild horse, and loose grip of the reins, and fall off. But he hopes that with help from his family, he can stand back up, and dust himself off, with only a few minor cuts and bruises. He hasn’t named the green eyed monster, as he doesn’t want to be familiar with him. This beast turns up unannounced, and at anytime, night or day. He was doing so well riding white lightning, and he was approaching the finish line, when the monster showed up, and ripped the reins from his hands. This is how he describes what it’s like living with bipolar disorder.


This mental state of hers is deteriorating, falling apart as she types. Another pretty face taken for granted, and lost in a wonderland of words. Only sure about one thing, she is alone. Alone because she pushes them away, the human race. She picks up a book and is lost again. She reads to escape this world, and writes to turn it into something else. Looking close, while she grips this pencil in her hand, a familiar feeling, it shakes. If you trace her fingers to her arm you see the cuts that bury deep into her wrist and forearm. Three months have passed and they have only faded a little. If only you could see into her body, you would notice the crack in her rip cage, and the collapsed lung that threatened to take her life two years ago. But the only visible scars from that night lie among her face, busted cheeks and scarred temple. Bruises long gone. Her shoulders start to cave with the weight of her mothers relapse, her dads disappearance and reappearance, death following her in every step along the way. She made her peace with him, why can’t he make his peace with her. People threaten to take her life and he said no. She tried to take her own and he said no. Begging to put her out of her misery. Wondering if she is here for a reason. Only time will tell.

Every form of creating is an escape, from what she still doesn’t know. She’ happy, mostly, even though she knows she shouldn’t be. There is a weird sadness and yet poetic justice about her situation. Moved from one entrapment to another, never sure which is worse. Yet here she is, still smiling and laughing because that’s all that she can do. To say she find’s this world disturbing is pushing it a bit far. There is a lot in this world she finds beautiful and there is so much to be happy about. Overly emotional and a weirdo in her own right, that’s what she is growing to accept. People come and go in her life, she watches her own life progress as if she is an on looker for things her body says and does without her permission. There have been so many late nights where she sits up cringing over thing’s she’s said and done anywhere from 2 minutes ago to 18 years ago. That in itself making her cringe. There are those around her, her friends and peers that she sees changing, being so different from who they used to be. So many of them posting their lives on social media, filling up folder after folder of selfie and fun yet hers lay bare, the latest upload 3 months ago of raspberries on her fingers because they looked like people. The childish curiosity and amusement still there. She sees all the statuses, while she sits on the sidelines of everyone else’s life, as pathetic as that is, and watches as they post how dweeb-y they USED to be and here she is, unable to say those words because the truth be told, she still is. Her weird, erratic behavior covering the scars and loathing. A volatile concoction of bitterness, love and naivety. The happy mess she’s made her life.


The same wind that scattered the leaves outside accompanied by the sounds of a passing train fills the room accented by the crisp fall air. The vibrant aroma of a fresh cup of coffee seemed to have extricated itself from the thick, cream coating over the surface, penetrating deep into his nose, watering his mouth. He craved the subtle undertone of caramel, and his cup showed a festive color. He wraps his fingers around it, enjoying the heat spreading through his hands. But without a conscious thought, it is in his hand, and the first milky sip creeps over his taste buds and down his throat. After only a few minutes he is bathed in the kick of the caffeine.

With cookies and candy nearby, he begins typing on his computer. At first his thoughts flow free and smooth like a quiet stream. But after twenty minutes or so his creative thought process hits a road block. He turns to his outline he made only minutes before hoping for more creative words. Checking the online timer he still has about ten minutes before the planned time runs out.

He has a to do list perched on his desk to serve as a reminder to stay on task. He loads some of his favorite mood music on his computer into his headset. The creative center of his brain stimulated by the music provides him with the visual and emotional thoughts he now types onto the page. Words begin to flow more freely and faster. Soon paragraphs, even chapters are written. Lost in his own world he can feel, taste, and experience every nuance his characters are experiencing.

As he types, the deep emotional thoughts translate onto the page bringing his characters to life. The timer runs out indicating a red flashing message on his screen. He stops typing. While taking a break, he reads the words his mind had provided him.

His eyes tear up as he reads what he created realizing the beauty of the words. Reading them aloud almost brings them to life.

If only he could enter that world.


She was the type of girl who was loud and outgoing. Her curly smokey brown hair and dark chocolate brown eyes that everyone though was always happy. when someone would look at her she would always be smiling , as if she had no worries in the world. At least thats what people thought. She was the happiest yet the saddest person. She never knew what she felt. she once mentioned she was seeing a psychologist to help with whatever she had,that didn’t help, it just confused her more than she already was. She was alice in wonderland but in her own world. she didn’t know whether she was mad sad or happy so she just smiled the pain away. No one ever seemed to ask how she felt because they didn’t care, but when it came to them she was the one who was always there. she was an excellent student, she played sports, and was loved by her family, yet she hated herself. Why? who knows. all she knows is that she doesn’t lover herself. she wishes that she could be the perfect picture of a teenage girl that society looks for. Those curves,flat stomach, colored eyes, etc. she had extremely nice features yet she wasn’t satisfied, she didn’t like what she saw when she would look into the mirror. all she saw was a hideous girl starring back at her. she’d would wake up knowing that she would be the same girl in the mirror. she worked out everyday and ate so little to meet societies expectations, but no matter what it wasn’t good enough for her or society. Her only escape was writing and music, she couldn’t describe her feelings or thoughts, she was emotionally and mentally muted. she would talk about anything and everything except herself. she doesn’t feel loved , she feels as if shell never be good enough for anyone or that no one will ever see her for who she truly is. On the outside she’s beautiful, smart, funny, outgoing etc. yet on the inside there is the ugly part of her that consumes her more and more everyday, she was sinking into a dark hole that no one knew about. she would take pills that would make her feel good, she would smoke pot and eat edibles, it didn’t complete her. she’s missing something that completes her but what could it be? Love? Attention? she doesn’t even know the answer to that, all she wants is to be left alone but at the same time she wants to be happy, she doesn’t want to portray to be something she’s not. She’s tired of it! She wants to be set free and be that little girl that everyone knew she was, she doesn’t want to be this rotten 16 year old girl. Her mother always tried to figure her out but she never got anywhere because she would never try to talk to anyone. Instead of talking to someone she goes to sleep or goes to work out. Her body says one thing yet her mind and soul say another. She is searching for ways to communicate through her actions yet no one understands her complexity, but thats what makes her who she is. Her complexity of emotions and mentality make her beautiful.


She sits on her couch. Goes for the remote to watch news. News is not her kind of thing but today she needs to watch. She feels the urge to see what’s happening to the world. How can she be so interested today in news? She asks herself. Deep down, she is scared. Not sure of what to do with her life. She has just finished campus and does not know what life ahead has in store for her. All she is sure of is that she wants the best life. She doesn’t want to look back and regret one day. As she sits there, she sees this cockroach just fumbling around her living room. It hits her that she has dirty utensils. Utensils from the previous day. Nothing nags her than doing the utensils but does she have an option? She let’s go the thought and picks her phone to call her little brother to see how he is doing. As she goes through her contacts, her phone vibrates..she looks, it is her boyfriend calling to ask her to meet up tomorrow they need to talk. What is it that he wants to talk about? What had she done? This freaked her out. The nervous feeling inside her does not allow her to watch the television in peace. She walks to her bedroom, lies down and lets the night slip away..

Hara Tsoukaneri

She always remembered herself listening to music. By now she pinned it down to the fact that she dreaded being alone. It wasn’t fear of the dark or any other shady thing that might be luring in dark corners, she had her own personal demons to keep her entertained. Those vengeful entities with such free will but no sense of boundaries that kept reaching out to gradually more sacred and untouched parts of herself. No music in the world could stop them today. The turntable was whistling jazz tunes and coffee was bubbling on the stove-top. She looked outside the window and the sharp stillness felt like failure. She felt the failures she’d experienced and all the failures yet to come weighing down on her. All those opportunities she’d missed and all of those she’d never gotten. Why? What was she afraid of? For one, she was afraid of answering that question.

Jacob DeMille

He sits in his newly-furnished living room. Alone, as always. Of course, this is a burden that he has always bestowed upon himself. He could not be lonely, people like him enough. But nevertheless he is alone. Perhaps subconsciously, for his consciousness constantly dreads it, this is the way that he wants it to be. He silently types out his “creative” piece, only listening to the conversation within his mind and the only-occasional clicking of keys. You see, he wants to be a writer; ever since he was a small child he has dreamed of touching people’s hearts in the way that his heart has never been touched. A weird sentence? Yes, but truthful nonetheless. He has always had a sort of appreciation for the art of creative writing and reading, an appreciation that grew into a desire, not a desire to entertain but more of a desire to awe people, to make them think. Unfortunately, his laziness is the only thing that has ever stopped him from achieving his own potential. He certainly will never be the person who bows down to society and proceeds to lick it’s sweaty, fungus-ridden puss-covered toes but the least he can do, he thinks to himself, is work so that he eventually will not have to. There has always been this game he has played in his head. One where he writes something that is truly phenomenal, a piece that nobody in their right minds would ever dare to pass up, and then he shows it to a teacher or professor, somebody with power. Of course, they would be so impressed by it that they rush out of their office or classroom, wherever they are reading it at the time, and drive straight to their friend Steve-The-Editor’s house and he is so impressed by it that he immediately bestows a book deal upon the boy and he makes it big. Within two years time, he is talking movie-deals, daily interviews, widespread acclaim and above all else, a more than ideal living situation. But instead, the boy just sits alone in his newly-furnished living room, thinking of his glory-days and all they are meant to be.


An Exorcism

He listened to the audio tape, wandering idly in this crypt, that extended under the Parisian bedrock-the ossuary giving the city a foundation of bones. “This historic place was originally a quarry, a place where stone was dug…” He ignored it, too focused on exploring. He was not usually like this, but there was a difference lurking in his actions, something strong, something elemental, something overpowering. Fear-He was scared, not of the grinning skulls that littered this labyrinth, nor of the musky scent of the already decomposed skulls and bones, not even of the long narrow corridors, and leaking pipes.

He feared what the skulls implied; they were identical, forgotten, alone, and He prayed for them. For everything has a past, an origin, and with any beginning comes an end. With that realization He prayed. This time for himself. For his beginning was known, but his end, that was uncertain. Would He end forgotten, alone, indistinguishable, an enigma, from the rest, in the eternal conformity of death?

With these thoughts relentlessly agonizing him, He slowed, his extensional crisis not yet resolved, instead looming over him, in an insidious invasion. He felt meaningless, after all, without humanity the sun would still shine, space would still expand, and the mantle would still convect. What was the worth? Why were they here? What was life if not an exercise in futility? These Toxic thoughts pained his soul, and He could find no answer-no reason for his self-importance in the face of these fears and questions. It seems fitting that in a place of death, these questions haunted him.

He felt alone, until He looked at his family, and thought of his friends, and in a flash of realization, his blindness to the beauty of humanity lifted, and He remembered. He remembered the beauty of our endurance, dauntless in the face of a hostile world, a species that rose from the bottom of the food chain to the ones that create it. A race that when faced with nature’s wrath, they rebuild, and repopulate in the exact same places. Using the god-given tool of innovation, to create a society that links the world together. Rising above all that burdened them until they were smart and resilient enough to ask these questions.

With that, He realized that the answer to his crisis was in the company of his fellow man. He wouldn’t die as a nobody, because the people He loved would remember him. His life had barely begun, He had an opportunity-no a gift-to make an impact, and to change the world. With that his demons had been exorcised, that in an odd juxtaposition, his restoration of hope, occurred in a place of sadness, mouring, and death. But He supposed, that is the nature of humanity, finding inspiration in the oddest places.

Ssarthak Suri

He was lying in his bed, listening to the voice of newspaper flickering through the wind of ceiling fan. He was tired and having a sever headache. But was determined to learn how to write since he is very close to giving an entrance for a college. When I talk about his frame of mind, he is very scared, someone who has a confidence with a sense of doubt – “Will I be able to achieve this?”. He thinks and longs for sleeping, but there is a burning sensation, a desire, a goal that keeps him awake during the nights, gives him a typical of 4 hours of sleep every night. After all, what keeps him alive is the what kills him the most – desire to achieve success.

Zach King

He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know where else to go, who to tell or who even to trust. So he panicked. Without a second to think, he quickly grabbed the phone out of Uncle Jack’s coat pocket and dialed 9-1-1. The phone hardly rang before a operator answered. ” 9-1-1 what’s your emergency?” “Yes! can you please send medical help to 123 Main Street, my uncle has been shot and he’s not responding! There’s blood, a shit load of blood, everywhere.” he cried. After, he ended the call, quickly wiped the phone clean of any fingerprints and placed the phone in a wooden drawer near the closet.


She sits alone at a desk, a dual-monitor computer flickering lazily in front of her as she scrolls through websites online. Her eyes are tired, for such a young soul. She has had enough. The dark circles under her eyes made her seem like an infant panda, or possibly a raccoon, and no matter how much makeup she used she could never quite rid herself of them.

Often, she finds herself wandering aimlessly in her own mind; the mind itself seemingly a vast expanse of intrigue and wonder. Thoughts can linger for hours, or disappear as quickly as they come into being. After a while, she often forgets herself in her thoughts and lets time pass her by.

The stress of exams lingers over her, a hovering overlord dooming her to fail. She, however, ignores it. With a wave of her pen, she writes facts and figures to remember for the next day. A flicker of her weary eyes across a page gives her a sense of reassurement as she realises she knows more than she once thought.

The clock ticks seven. Her revision session is over. She is content and prepared, even if she looks physically exhausted.


She wakes up every morning at six o’clock sharp. Not a little bit more nor less. She likes doing that,even if its not a school morning or a day necessary for her to wake up so early. She thinks by doing that, she can catch up with time and run alongside it, not behind. She’ll sleep very late at night and wake up with the sun, a constant routine she’s careful not to break. Afraid that if she did, one precious hour will passed without her enjoying her favorite youtube channels, usually talking about different psychology topics or the meaning of her birth chart explained by amateur astrologers. She likes the silence that comes with the early morning, when everyone in her family is still asleep. For a moment, she knows that she’s safe, with only the sun and sounds of someone speaking through her iphone screen or sometimes, just her own thoughts ringing in her ears like small bells reminding her that she’s alive and all the reasons why she should be glad of that. Breathing in and out, opening and closing her eyes, a small smile tugged at her lips, and birds singing, vaguely signaling that a new day is approaching.

vinod koul

He is sitting in the separate room as a study room .He looks joyful remembering his family, his child and of course his parents too. Even he tries to ignore the some cuts he received in his fresh battle with his spouse. As he is somehow determine to overcome by this. Now again the question which makes him vociferous is what to do.. It is very long time ago now as he remembers his old work job. Because there is nothing credibility left in that concern or by that job. As it is morning time,he has to do some rituals but completing some more sentences. Of course he is now determined man. who has seen all gritty petty of life. He tries to answer his questions then why he is sitting ideal.


She sits back in the same seat she always sits in at 1:10pm. She scans the room around her. “What am I doing here?” she questions herself. “I belong somewhere bigger, better, faster.. most importantly more creative.” She begins to think of everything she’s ever been through and then moves onto thinking about everything she deserves. This girl had been through hell and back and never really seems to get a break. In her 7th grade year she was told that she needed to move to a house almost 20 miles away from her whole life, not extremely far.. But it was a lot for a 12 year old. There was something revealed about her parents. They were addicts. They were addicted to the effects that heroin gave them. The way it made them feel, but they realized they needed help and there was only one place their child could go and still have some sort of way to go back and forth to her school that she couldn’t just drop. Her heart dropped to her stomach every time she ever started to think about the place she was sent. She felt sick of everything she’d been through because she fears every day she’ll have to go back. The girl was sent to her aunt’s house. Sounds all great and family oriented until you realize the way she was treated and what she had to go through. When she first stepped foot into the home that she would live in for the next 6 months, she felt ery. She cried herself to sleep for a majority of the nights spent in the basement of their home. She contemplating ending her life more than once but she continued to hold on, “For mom,” she would remind herself, “Stay Strong for mom” She paced around the basement trying to figure out how to get out of her hell on earth. She was treated as a red headed step child… some would even call it a life like cinderella. She was told to make a meal once a day for the people she was staying with. She had family counselors that would come to the house and speak with her, they would find any way to possibly help her. She was in the deepest depression… nothing seemed to pull her out from the dark depths she had entered. Now the day she was taken out of the home was the most traumatic experience she had encountered. “TWO WORDS. THANK. YOU.” These words rang through her head to this day. Her aunt screamed these words at her whilst in a family counseling session. She now struggles keeping herself together everytime someone raises their voice even in the slightest bit directed towards her. Her body trembles occasionally throughout the course of her life due to these events. She doesn’t remember breathing this day. She just remembers crying and balling herself up for self protection. She was rushed into the basement to collect what she could grab. “You are the most ungrateful, disrespectful, selfish kid I’ve ever met!” The young girl still thinks about herself like this. She takes one look in the mirror. Disrespectful. Selfish. Not good enough.. This is what she sees. New things have been added to the ways she sees herself because her self esteem was destroyed. Ugly. Untalented. Rude. Broken. That word… Broken. There was no way to unsee this word written across her forehead. She never thought she would be able to be loved again. After she left her aunt’s house she moved from one house to the other of her family. She was moved to another aunt’s house, this time her mom was with her. Her mom had to leave the recovery house she was staying in because the broken hearted girl wasn’t able to keep herself together anymore after the horrifying memories that blocked her state of mind. After a few months they were asked to leave there as well, due to having a relationship with her father. He was also a recovering addict and wasn’t the best with keeping his old ways under keeps. He had stolen about 200 dollars in change from the woman who allowed his girlfriend and daughter to stay. They moved forward from this and the young girls grandmother allowed them to enter her home. At this time in her life she was about 13 now. Her mother was diagnosed with an unknown disease that caused her brain to swell. Her mom fell back into a deep depression and the only way she knew how to cope with this was to begin using again. She was constantly in and out of the hospital and her young daughter struggled with the idea that she had no clue what could happen to her mom. Eventually she was released and all was well, except that fact that they were sooner than later kicked out of this home they were staying in as well. Her heart broke. She wasn’t good enough, her mind flew to the conclusion that her family didn’t love her. Hate grew in her heart. She began to come off as hard and unloving. Her heart looked black. She didn’t feel anything anymore. She definitely believed no one would love her anymore. Here comes the part where we fast forward 2 years. She falls in love with a boy she never thought she would even have noticed. She fell in love with not only this boy but his family, his heart, his looks, and his interests. He put on the cover of loving her more than anything. She opened her heart to the boy, she gave him everything. Near the end of the relationship she gave him her body, her heart, her soul and her mind. He was the first boy she’s ever gave these things to. She valued herself more than expected and took these things very seriously. But not long after she did this he decided it was time for things to come to an end. She never saw this coming… she had planned so far in advance for them. She started planning for next year, next summer, their one year. She truly believed that he was the one to help her through everything. He lightened up her life in ways that hadn’t been lit up in years. She found herself in a dark space again. She didn’t really understand why it hurt her so bad to have her heart broke over and over again. Her mind told her this would become a normal thing. The broken girl never really stops being broken right?


At the moment, she was worried. It felt like everything was all too much and not enough at the same time, and it was overwhelming in a way that was seemingly impossible to explain. She was sitting in a chair with ugly red flowers sewed onto a grey fabric, and she was contemplating her life. It felt like so much had already happened, but there was still more to come. It was an exciting thought, but it was also what was frighting her. She had everything planned. A college acceptance letter was tacked onto her wall above her bed; her future was ready to begin. She would attend an unreasonably expensive school, live in mediocre dorms with a room mate she feared she would hate, but she would survive. The college wasn’t far from home, so any time she felt her sanity slip she knew her mother was only a twenty minute drive away. Her mother could always help her clear her mind, and she knew within the next couple of years, she was bound to need plenty of clearing. College wouldn’t be easy. She would be working on her writing, investing herself into the one thing she truly loved, even though she knew it was a bad idea. That this tacit rarely worked, and it rarely worked for people like her. People with so much doubt in themselves that the feel that maybe everything would just be easier if they gave up and did something smarter. Maybe she could do something easier with her life. Major in math, like she always thought she would, maybe become the veterinarian she had dreamed herself to be for so many years before she got it in her head that she wanted to be a writer. Still, as she considers quitting on her dream and doing something that would be more successful in the future, she can’t ignore that fact that she wouldn’t be happy in any other life. She’s passionate about writing, more passionate about creating her own words than reading others, and this is saying something because she can often be found hiding somewhere with a book in her hands, ignoring f all of the responsibilities of high school and life. She wishes that it would be easy to get where she wants to go, but she knows it won’t be, and all she can do is hope that she can keep her doubt at bay for long enough to do something amazing, because she knows she can. But she doesn’t know if shes strong enough for that. Strong enough to ignore the world and all the judgmental people in it who are trying to hold her back. Doesn’t know if she can ignore herself for that long. This is what scares her. Herself. So she sits in her ugly chair and prays that she doesn’t get in her own way of changing the world with her own words.


Behind a desk loaded with papers, she sits in an office chair looking anywhere but at those files waited to be sorted through. She wonders, ‘How much paper would it take to completely barricade me into this office I despise? Could I stop my boss from popping in periodically if I flooded this room with papers, making it impossible to open the door without risking a paper cut frenzy?’ She wouldn’t mind the paper cuts if it meant more autonomy and less need for these useless details depicted on every form. She sips her coffee, which the receptionist brewed too strong (again) and will surely cause a queasy stomach as she taps fingers and feet, hoping to make 5 o’clock come more quickly. Coffee is no time machine though – merely a morning ritual which always seems like a comfort until she’s at the bottom of the cup, realizing it actually brought her almost no comfort at all. ‘Oh well’. she thinks. ‘Maybe tomorrow’s cup will help the time pass faster.’ And yet time passes at the same rate it always has, ticking away her life, file by file, cup by cup.

Annalia Puser

Eleven Years Ago They make it seem like a past can just be forgotten. They don’t truly realize what it really was like. Smoke. Silence. Constant pain and fear. Hungers of a child compel her out of the safety of the closet. Creeping past the slumbering Bringer of Agony and Rare Love, she trips over imagined escapes. Scouring the kitchen, she looked for something – or anything to eat. But a roar of the mother’s wrath interrupted her anxious search. A fist met her stormy blue eye. Cries of confusion and agony echo in the sparse and bare apartment. She falls face first into the cruddy, grey shag carpet, fresh cigarette butts singing her cheekbones. She whimpers like a kicked puppy, trying her hardest to not let The Woman see her tears carving canyons down her pale freckled face. She knows this to be her life, and that it will never change. At the tender age of five, she already knew that her mother couldn’t and wouldn’t love her, and each day will follow like the one before it. Abuse would’ve been her eternity. But she also did not know of hope. She didn’t realize that the unexpected can occur in the deepest, darkest of midnights. When the silver moon was just a glowing crust, the storm in her eyes brewed. A thought rose like the tide, and an idea crashed down in waves. Before her mind could rationalize the idiocy, she crawled out of the sleeping bag in the closet. The Woman had left the child alone that night, again. Grabbing her coat, shoes, and a cereal bar, she climbed out onto the steel ladder going down the five story apartment complex. Her footfalls made little to no noise as she clambered clumsily. A tomcat yowled and hid when she stepped out onto the pavement. She looked both ways. The stars winked mischievously as she disappeared down the unknown alleyway, escaping from the frying pan and into the great and terrible fire itself.

Now She sat in her creative writing class. Creative non – fiction, huh? Sounded interesting. She recalled the stolen file hidden under her mattress. She knew she was adopted. Her parents knew that at seven years old, she was bound to remember something and thus didn’t keep it a secret. But they also never gave her any details. They say they really never knew the background of the little blonde child they opened up their arms for. It wasn’t until she was older that she recalled memories of eating rotten apples and discarded, half eaten sandwiches in the darkness. She remembered grey shag carpets, and a ripped sleeping bag in a tiny closet. Images that she couldn’t have imagined on her own began sprouting up from nowhere. She didn’t dare tell her parents. They always assumed her overactive imagination tended to skew her version of reality. They thought they knew better than to trust her words. So just the other day, when her parents were gone, she poked around in her dad’s office looking for the keys to the intimidating file cabinet prowling in the corner. She didn’t believe that her parents were as ignorant as they portrayed themselves to be. Besides, when you go through a huge financial and legal change like adopting a child, don’t you usually keep records of everything? They had to be in that filing cabinet. She had shuffled around through the desk drawers and the bookshelf beside her computer. She saw a ring of little keys beside a small wicker basket filled with other random brick-a-brack. Excitedly, she tried the first key. It didn’t even insert. She heard her mom open the garage door. The second slid in easily, but refused to turn. The dogs were sitting at the laundry room door expectantly. Her heart racing, she almost dropped the keys before using the last one. Slippery like butter, it turned. The drawer popped open. Her eyes glanced at all the different files, and saw the one titled Annalia. The file was heavy, and she thrust it into her shirt. The papers felt cold and sharp against her sweaty back as her mother walked into the house, laden with groceries. “What are you doing in dad’s office?” Her mom was definitely suspicious. “I was getting printer paper for a drawing. It looks nicer than the lined notebook stuff.” She nodded. “Ok. Help unload the car please, then get started on your homework. And remember, it’s trash to the curb night, and you have to be at choir practice at 6:30…” After school that day, she plopped herself on to her bed and pulled the thick file out from under her mattress. She didn’t know what she expected to find, but this – this was something else entirely. It was a record, from the day she was introduced to the family on their doorstep in the August air, to just few days ago while she was working out at the Dojo. She read her mother’s handwriting, of every single conceivable mistake and error she made, and was picked apart and analyzed. There were even notes from some parental class she was taking, something about child development and discipline. She read every single day entry. Then behind the notebook there were medical reports dating 2001 – 08. It was a little hard reading the messy handwriting of a doctor, especially with the older technology of photocopying fading the paper. The day that she put into state custody, apparently there was a very thorough physical examination. She had purple and black bruises all along her arms and legs and stomach and back, and even rings around her neck from a chokehold. The were long red streaks, presumed by the writer as proof of a constant whipping from a belt. There was also damage to her lungs from secondhand smoking. She had three deep puncture wounds on the bottom of her left foot that were infected. She vaguely remembered crying on brick steps, holding a bloody foot and smoke curling around her tear stricken face. She was horrified. She always dreamed of finding her parents, and meeting them again. She imagined herself to be like Annie, where her parents would come back for her someday. She knew that she couldn’t just go back to live with them again, but she liked the idea of both sets of parents all sitting down at the dinner table, laughing and eating delicious food together. She could see her adoptive dad taking out the monopoly game board, and both of them having conversations about boyfriends, and moms sharing their own mother’s chocolate chip cookie recipes. Her fantasy was destroyed. That could never be. Her own mother was only thirteen years older, young enough to be an older sister. Her father went unmentioned throughout the file, as if he only existed to bring her into the world, then ceased to exist. There were also gaps. 2006 and 2007 weren’t recorded. She knew she was going to have to learn more. This file – this wasn’t enough. Her hunger for the truth to be dragged out only increased when she snuck the file back to the cabinet after making more copies of every single page. She stored her copies between the layers of spare sheets on the top shelf in her closet. They couldn’t know. Not yet. She needed to know more. This couldn’t be the end.


  • 10 Best Creative Writing Prompts - […] See the writing prompt: Write About Yourself […]
  • 100 Writing Practice Lessons & Exercises - […] Write About Yourself [writing prompt] […]
  • In Which I Pretend To Be Someone Writing About Me | Medium Rare Robot!Medium Rare Robot! - […] love to write more but the prompt I based this post on called for fifteen minutes and I’m about […]

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Writing Forward

Self-Expression in Creative Writing

by Melissa Donovan | Aug 6, 2020 | Creative Writing | 4 comments

creative writing my self

Do you use creative writing to express yourself?

A lot of people first come to creative writing because they want to express themselves. Emotions are running high, ideas are flying, and opinions are in full supply. What better way to get it all off your chest than writing it down?

Self-expression is the act of giving form to our thoughts, ideas, experiences, and emotions, and it’s the heart and soul of all forms of art.

Creative writing is one of the most flexible and accessible mediums for self-expression. We can put our feelings into abstract poetry or share our real-life experiences in personal essays. We can explore the human condition by writing fiction. And of course, we can delve into our own inner workings by keeping a journal.

The Benefits of Self-Expression

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” ―  Joan Didion

There are numerous benefits to self-expression, and the benefits are different for everyone. Some people use morning pages (three pages of handwritten stream-of-consciousness every morning) to purge the clutter from their minds, which can enhance concentration and focus, while others use storytelling to understand sociological and humanitarian issues. Here’s a look at a few common benefits of self-expression:

  • Therapeutic: Through writing, we can better understand our problems, focus on fixing them, and find the solutions we need.
  • Self-Development: Journaling is encouraged in many fields of self-development, from fitness to career growth. Writing allows us to articulate our goals and track our progress toward achieving them.
  • Liberating: It’s liberating to give yourself a personal writing space that isn’t influenced by the possibility of someone else reading what you’ve written. There’s freedom in writing without inhibition.
  • Discovery: The act of writing forces you to articulate your thoughts, which often leads to new discoveries. You might discover forgiveness through writing, or you might unearth viewpoints that you didn’t realize you held.
  • Catharsis:  Creativity, in general, is cathartic. There’s something thrilling about creating something. But there’s also catharsis in expressing bottled-up feelings and suppressed thoughts, and freeing the mind of its clutter.
  • Relationship-building: We cannot forge a relationship of any kind without communication that includes self-expression. Each of us needs to feel understood and heard. By sharing our self-expressive writings with others, we build connections, but it’s just as important to have a healthy relationship with oneself.
  • Sharing: Our self-expressions can include knowledge or experiences that we share to benefit others. Our writing could make someone else feel less alone or offer valuable information or wisdom that helps people.
  • Validating: Even if we don’t publish or share our written self-expressions, putting our thoughts and feelings down in words can help us acknowledge them and feel validated. Although we might share our writing with others and get a sense of validation from their reception, we don’t need external validation; it’s more powerful if it comes from within.
  • Relief: Holding in difficult thoughts and emotions is not healthy. We certainly don’t want to obsess over them and write incessantly about negativity — but it’s healthy to explore these feelings and then find a way to heal and move on. The act of writing about our challenges can be a relief, especially when dealing with private matters that we might not want to share with others.

Best Practices for Self-Expression with Creative Writing

Self-expression can be an exercise in exploring our beliefs, sharing our values, or offering our experiences. You might also want to turn your self-expressions into poems, stories, or essays that people will read. Or maybe you just want to keep a journal that nobody except you ever sees. As you pursue self-expression through creative writing, here are some best practices that you can apply:

Identify a purpose. If you’ve decided to use creative writing for self-expression, take some time to consider your purpose. Are you working through feelings? Sorting out your thoughts? Creating stories and poems that contain your beliefs or values? Are you journaling for self-development or for therapeutic reasons? It always helps to know why you’re doing something and what you hope the results will be.

Be creative. Journals are by far the most common creative writing tool for self-expression. But most types of creative writing contain self-expression, so consider writing essays and poems and stories.

Establish boundaries.  Are you writing for yourself? If you don’t want to share your writing with others, or if you just want to keep it private, take steps to ensure that others don’t have access to your writings. Create a password-protected digital journal or create a burn journal (a notebook you burn when you’re done with it).

Be reflective: If you’re writing about your lived experiences, include your thoughts and feelings about those experiences.

Honesty is the best policy: The best writing is full of truth. Even fiction and poetry, however abstract or fantastical, contain a kind of honesty that comes from the writer being forthright. That means we must embrace who we are. We have to be ourselves. Don’t write what you think people want to hear and don’t hold back your personal truths.

Don’t hold back:  When writing material that is self-expressive, let your truth flow. If your writing is so personal that you’d never want anyone to read it, you can always burn it afterward. If you want to share it, you can always revise it to clean it up for publication. But feeling open and free to express yourself during the initial writing often results in a more cathartic experience.

Acknowledge and appreciate the experience: With self-expression, the act of writing is its own experience. It feels good to let it all out! This is why honesty is the best policy and you shouldn’t hold back. Sometimes it’s painful, other times it’s thrilling, but it’s always a ride. So be present for the experience and take it all in.

How Do You Express Yourself in Writing?

Do you practice self-expression in creative writing? What do you write? Do you keep a diary or journal? Do you write personal essays or poems? Have you ever burned (or otherwise destroyed) a piece of writing that you didn’t want anyone to read? Have you ever produced a self-expressive piece that you wanted to share or publish? Share your thoughts and experiences with self-expression in writing by leaving a comment, and keep writing.

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing

Hello Melissa

You wrote a very interesting article about expressing yourself through your writing.

I am not a great speaker, but I can express myself much better through my writing.

I like writing fiction stories because I have an overactive imagination.

Thank you for this helpful article.

R.G. Ramsey

Melissa Donovan

Thanks for your kind words, R.G. I think a lot of writers are more comfortable with written expression. I’ve thought about this a lot over the years…writing forces us to sort through our thoughts and feelings, which allows us to communicate more clearly and make sure we’re expressing ourselves accurately. Thanks again!


Oh let me count the ways! I have been away from doing any writing to speak outside of intermittent journaling. I scrapbook, but haven’t been able to go to my usual getaways thanks to COVID, and when I am home from work, household duties and appointments interfere with any “brainwork”. But reading this is sparking some of the old desire to put pen to paper. (That requires “butt in chair,” and I sit all day in my paying job, so I like to be more mobile!)

COVID has many of us discombobulated. I’ve lost count of articles from writers saying they haven’t written or they’ve lost their flow or discipline. I’m a bit torn on this: Sometimes I think it’s best to push ourselves and stick with our plans and routines–even in difficult times, doing so can keep us grounded. But other times, world events are just so overwhelming, it’s unreasonable to expect ourselves to be unaffected. We all must find our own balance. The most important thing, of course, is to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and our loved ones.

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How To Write About Yourself: Step-by-Step

This step-by-step process will take the pressure out of writing about yourself.

“Tell me a little about yourself?” This request sounds so simple, a real softball question, but it leaves many people tongue-tied. Whether it’s a job application cover letter, a brief biography for a website, a blog entry with a personal touch, or countless other situations, periodically, you will face the challenge of writing about your own life.

If you’re a memoirist, you might even be challenged to write three hundred pages about yourself. But, on the other hand, it may be even tougher, to sum up the entire subject on which you are the world’s foremost expert (yourself) in just a few sentences. 

Regardless of the length or format, creative writing about yourself doesn’t have to be a daunting task. The following six steps will help you tackle any personal writing project with ease and confidence.

Step 1: Identify The Reader And Their Expectations

Step 2: identify your goal, step 3: choose your topic, step 4: dig for details, step 5: self-promote with humility, step 6: write with style, the final word on how to write about yourself, should i write about myself in the third person, what should i write in my introduction.

How to write about yourself?

Apart from journaling, most of the time, when you write about yourself, it’s for a practical reason. If there’s a reason for writing, then there is also an intended reader. 

The intended reader might be one specific person or group of people, such as a scholarship committee or hiring manager. On the other hand, it might be a large unknown audience, such as anyone who follows your blog or searches for a specific topic. Or it might be a targeted unknown audience, for example, a cancer survivor who writes a memoir essay meant to inspire other people fighting cancer.

Regardless of the form or purpose of your writing, you should always start by identifying the reader. Then keep their perspective in mind as you plan and write. You want to give them what they expect, but at the same time, you must not give them what they expect. What does that mean?

You must give the reader(s) what they expect. Why is the reader bothering to read your writing about yourself? Stay focused on delivering on their expectations. The Costco hiring manager isn’t interested in how your family members beat cancer, and the cancer-surviving memoirist would be foolish to include a long digression about her breadth of customer service experience. 

At the same time, you must not be predictable or rely on cliché. Your cover letter is probably in a stack of hundreds, and memoirs are not in short supply. Your goal is to deliver on the reader’s expectations, and at the same time to surprise them with the detail that makes your story unique.  

How to write about yourself?

Sometimes this is easy. In a cover letter, you want to persuade the reader to offer you an interview, and ultimately the job. In a dating profile, you want the reader to swipe right.

Other times the objective might be a little less transactional. For example, in comments on your blog articles, perhaps you’ve noticed that your readers respond positively when you include personal anecdotes, and you want to improve real-life engagement. Or maybe you just want to make some stranger with an experience similar to yours feel a little less alone. 

Another way to look at it is to identify the particular emotion you want to inspire in your reader. If it’s a cover letter, perhaps you focus on conveying your competence and enthusiasm. If it’s a scholarship application, you might want to inspire sympathy and belief in your potential. If you are presenting a seminar in a crowded time slot at a conference, you want your program bio to be impressive and intriguing.

Thinking about your writing’s purpose concretely is an essential step in choosing the right tone, style, subject, theme, and details for your writing. 

You might think that once you’ve identified the audience and purpose for your writing, this question answers itself, but that isn’t true. Often prompts are so broad that they allow you to approach the answer in many ways. 

The first rule when writing about yourself is that your first thought is rarely your best thought. Force yourself to write a list of at least ten ideas. Even if you believe that your first or second idea is what you want to write about, forcing yourself to make a longer list can help you find unexpected connections that will elevate your writing from cliché to insight. 

Check out this article ADD HYPERLINK for more suggestions on brainstorming and developing ideas for writing about personal experience, including prompts.

When I was a kid, my father explained the impact of a vividly evoked memory by quoting Firesign Theater : “Then it all came rushing back to me, like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist.” Thirty years later, I remember that quote. Details have an impact; generalities don’t. 

Just like when you choose a topic, the first detail you think of is rarely the best. Usually, it is a cliché. Same with the second and third. Stick with it.

It is of paramount importance to be specific and creative and choose the right details. Not all details are useful. Some are distracting. Some might be offensive. Some are mundane. The right information provokes a reader to react, not just generally but in the way the author intended. 

For example, as a legal aid lawyer, I applied for many program grants. I learned that it was ineffective to write, “Our program has provided legal representation to 243 demographically diverse victims of domestic violence in family law cases.”

On the other hand, it was effective to write something like, “Louise became a client of our program at age seventy-eight when she sought help in divorcing her abusive husband the day after her first great-grandson was born.” Both statements were factual, but only one used detail to enable the reader to understand that truth at a gut level, and so only one brought in grant money.

Vivid, personal, targeted details slow the reader down. They focus the reader’s attention. They provoke an emotional response. But, above all, they are memorable.

Usually, if you’re writing about yourself, it is a form of self-promotion. Maybe it’s an author bio to be published with your byline, which you hope will inspire people to check out more of your writing. Perhaps it’s a personal statement for a grant application. Maybe you’re creating an online dating profile that will help you find your true love. Regardless, you are portraying yourself in a positive light for a purpose. You are selling yourself.

It can be a challenge to walk the fine line between egotism and confidence and to show the right amount of humility. Here are a few tips.

  • Use specifics rather than generalities.

Avoid: I am a writer with years of experience.

Instead, try: I wrote my first spooky story at age six and have worked on my craft ever since.

  • Leave out anything unnecessary.

Avoid: The following is a list of my accomplishments, beginning with my second place ribbon in the junior high science fair…

Instead, try: Among other awards, last year, I won second prize in a robotics competition using technology related to the project I would pursue if hired as your postdoc.

  • Focus on external metrics, not only your subjective opinion.

Avoid: You won’t find another server with better customer service skills.

Instead, try: I was the highest-tipped server at my previous job, ten out of the last twelve months.

  • Inject humility, vulnerability, and humor where appropriate, without undermining yourself.

Avoid: My blog is based on my experience as a world-renowned expert and influencer regarding feline breeding, temperament, and training.

Avoid: Don’t listen to me; I’m just a crazy cat lady!!

Instead, try: I may have literally “written the book” on training cats, but even I can’t get my cats to scoop their own litter box.

Your style should be consistent with the intended reader and the purpose of the writing. A short author bio for your blog is a good place for whimsy. An application for a federal research grant is not. 

A cover letter for a Halloween costume store and a cover letter for a law firm have the same purpose (to get a job interview), but the style should be different because the intended reader is different. The Halloween store manager is looking for reliability and a deep appreciation of the spooky, while the law firm is looking for a professional with strong attention to detail. Your cover letter’s style (even when separated from the content) should demonstrate that you understand the job.

Sticking with a clear, easy-to-read style is almost always the right choice. Your primary expression of style should be through your choice of details. However, the standard rules of good writing apply. Vary your sentence length and structure for pacing and emphasis. Choose active verbs. Avoid cliché. 

Above all, be brief. As tempting as it may be to write a three-page cover letter or a twenty-page personal essay about your dying cat, nobody wants to read that. So when you write about yourself, use restraint. Then cut your draft by half. Then cut it some more. Then even more. If you end up too short, that’s great! Now you have space to add in one or two of the shiny new details that occurred to you during the revision process. You might also find our guide on how to write a business proposal helpful.

It is a cliché that most people’s favorite subject is themselves, but that doesn’t make it easy to write about yourself under pressure. However, if you stay focused on your audience and the purpose of your writing and use well-selected details, you’ll get it right. 

FAQ About Writing About Yourself

Write in first person unless either (1) the prompt specifies that you should use third person, or (2) there is an established convention in that genre for third-person writing. 

For example, if your boss asks you to write your mini-bio for the company website, and all the rest are written from the third-person perspective, use third-person for your bio. For most purposes, however, it is not appropriate. For example, a cover letter written in the third person could get mixed up with letters of recommendation and confuse the reader, costing you a job.   Being creative and memorable is great when it is consistent with the purpose of the writing. But, at the same time, you want to avoid standing out for the wrong reasons. For example, a cover letter for a retail job written in the third person or the form of a poem might make your cover letter memorable, but in the way a glitter bomb is memorable.

Your content is where you want to stand apart, rather than your form. Unless experimental writing style is a qualification for the job, keep it simple. Stick with first-person.

That said, sometimes it feels awkward writing about yourself, and in that situation, writing in the third person can be a great first draft strategy. Write about yourself as if “yourself” was actually not you but a friend you are proud of and happy to recommend. Or choose an actual friend, and imagine how they would write your bio. Then create a second draft by rewriting it in the first person.

Some writing has no real introduction. A sixty-word mini-bio, for example. When writing a longer piece, however, you need to give a lot of thought to your lead-in sentences.

Not knowing where to start a piece can be a huge stumbling block. For some writers, this happens because of a lack of ideas, but the problem is often too many ideas. I’ve written dozens of different beginnings for a project before settling on one.

For many writers, that is a workable process. No writing is wasted if it is a step on the path to a good final draft. That said, eventually, you will have to make a decision.

While the choice of where to start your first paragraph is entirely personal, here are five examples of ways you could approach the problem of the introduction.

  • Introduce the topic by stating it plainly. Jane Austin didn’t exactly bury the lede with the title of her book (Pride and Prejudice) or its famous first line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” She announced her themes, making promises to the reader right off the bat, and then delivered, and you can do the same thing when writing about yourself. 
  • Set up your story with a separate but related story. If you’re writing an essay about your grief after your father’s death, you might start with a memory of him teaching you to fish. There should be a clear thematic or substantive connection between the teaser and the primary subject matter of your writing. Make sure to call back to the fishing story, even if briefly, at some later point in the essay.
  • Begin with the most dramatic detail. Sometimes the best order of information is the simplest (chronological), but more often, you want to choose and order the information you include based on its impact. If you don’t grab your reader right away, they might stop reading, so don’t save the best stuff for the end. 
  • Start with a question. Don’t get too literal or cutesy with this, but writing an introduction that engages with a question the reader finds meaningful is an excellent way to get the reader interested fast. 
  • Establish the stakes. You’ve worked holiday retail before and know how badly one unreliable employee can mess up a manager’s week. Start your Halloween store cover letter acknowledging those stakes. Then mention that one of your references can confirm that you worked there for a year without being late once. 

For some more specific prompts for writing about your own experiences, check out this article on Writing About Personal Experience. 

creative writing my self

Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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Writing Prompts About Yourself: 27 Ideas to Spark Your Creativity

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on August 3, 2023

Categories Writing , Journaling

Are you struggling to find inspiration for your writing? Look no further than yourself! Writing prompts about yourself can be a great way to explore personal identity, relive memories, examine relationships, and express gratitude. Whether you are journaling for self-reflection or working on a creative writing project, writing prompts about yourself can help you grow as a writer and as a person.

Exploring personal identity through writing prompts about yourself can help you gain a deeper understanding of who you are and what makes you unique. Reliving memories through writing can be a powerful exercise in self-reflection, allowing you to examine past experiences and learn from them. Examining relationships through writing prompts can help you understand the people in your life and how they have shaped you.

Writing prompts about yourself can also be a great way to set goals and explore your future aspirations. Whether you are focusing on personal growth or career development, writing about your goals and dreams can help you clarify your vision and take action towards achieving them. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing prompts about yourself can help you explore personal identity, relive memories, examine relationships, and express gratitude.
  • Writing about your goals and aspirations can help you clarify your vision and take action towards achieving them.
  • Whether you are journaling for self-reflection or working on a creative writing project, writing prompts about yourself can help you grow as a writer and as a person.

27 Writing Prompts About Yourself

Here are 27 writing prompt ideas to help you write about yourself:

1. Describe your personality in 3 words. Explain why you chose those words.

2. Write about your biggest accomplishment so far in life. What did you do and why was it meaningful?

3. Describe a time you failed at something. What did you learn from that experience?

4. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Provide examples.

5. Who has had the biggest influence on your life so far? Describe how they have impacted you.

6. What are your goals and ambitions in life? Why are they important to you?

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why?

8. What is your favorite childhood memory? Describe it in detail and why it stands out.

9. Write about a time you felt truly happy. What made you feel that way?

10. Describe your ideal future. What does your life look like 10 years from now?

11. What is your biggest fear? Where does this fear come from and how has it impacted you?

12. What is your best and worst habit? How have they shaped your personality?

13. Describe your family background and how it has influenced you.

14. What is your most valued possession and why? What memories does it hold?

15. What is your favorite book, movie, or song? Explain why it resonates with you.

16. Who is your role model or hero? Why do they inspire you?

17. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose to live? Why?

18. What is one skill you would like to get better at? Why is this important to you?

19. Write about a time you felt courageous. What gave you courage in that situation?

20. Describe one of your quirks or eccentricities. How does this contribute to your personality?

21. What is your biggest regret so far in life? If you could, what would you do differently?

22. What are you most passionate about? How does this passion influence your life?

23. Describe your ideal day. Consider what you would do, who you would see, and how you would feel.

24. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

25. What is one misconception others often have about you? What is the truth?

26. Describe a challenge you have overcome. How did you manage to do it?

27. What is a lesson you had to learn the hard way? What happened and what did you learn?

Understanding Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is a process of introspection that allows you to connect with yourself, gain clarity, and develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is a powerful tool that can help you improve your self-awareness, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence.

Importance of Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is important because it helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and understand how your experiences have shaped you. By reflecting on your thoughts and emotions, you can gain a deeper understanding of your values, beliefs, and goals, and make more informed decisions.

Self-reflection can also help you develop a more positive outlook on life. By focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, you can build self-confidence and self-esteem, and feel more optimistic about your future.

Self-Reflection Through Writing

One of the most effective ways to engage in self-reflection is through writing. Writing allows you to capture your stream of consciousness and express your thoughts and emotions in a safe and private space.

To engage in self-reflection through writing, you can use writing prompts that encourage you to explore your thoughts and emotions. For example, you can write about a challenging experience you had and how it affected you, or reflect on your values and how they guide your decisions.

Writing prompts can also help you connect with yourself on a deeper level. By asking open-ended questions, prompts encourage you to explore your inner world and gain insight into your thoughts and emotions.

Overall, self-reflection is an important tool for personal growth and development. By engaging in self-reflection through writing, you can connect with yourself, gain clarity, and develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Exploring Personal Identity

When it comes to writing prompts about yourself, exploring your personal identity can be a great starting point. Personal identity refers to the characteristics, traits, and beliefs that make you who you are. By reflecting on these aspects of yourself, you can gain a deeper understanding of your own identity and values.

Traits and Personality

Your traits and personality are a fundamental part of your personal identity. Take some time to reflect on your character traits, such as whether you are an introvert or extrovert, and what values and beliefs guide your actions. Think about your strengths and weaknesses and how they contribute to your personality. You can use prompts like “What are your top five strengths, and how do they contribute to your identity?” or “What is a character trait that you admire in others, and why?”

Appearance and Style

Your appearance and personal style can also be a reflection of your personal identity. Consider the clothes you wear, the way you style your hair, and any accessories you use. Think about how your appearance and style contribute to your sense of self. You can use prompts like “What is your favorite outfit, and why?” or “What is a physical feature that you love about yourself?”

Personal Beliefs and Values

Your personal beliefs and values can shape your identity and guide your actions. Think about what you believe in, whether it’s a religious or spiritual belief, a political ideology, or a personal philosophy. Consider how your beliefs and values impact your decisions and interactions with others. You can use prompts like “What is a personal belief that you hold dear, and why?” or “What is a value that you try to live by, and how does it impact your life?”

Reflecting on these aspects of your personal identity can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and personal growth. By gaining a deeper understanding of who you are, you can become more confident and knowledgeable about yourself.

Reliving Memories

Reliving memories is a great way to get to know yourself better and explore your past experiences. Writing about your memories can be a powerful tool for self-discovery, and it can help you gain insight into your personality, values, and beliefs. In this section, we will explore some writing prompts that can help you relive your memories.

Childhood Recollections

Childhood memories are some of the most vivid and powerful memories we have. They can shape our personality and our beliefs, and they can influence the way we see the world. Writing about your childhood memories can help you understand how your past experiences have influenced your present self.

Here are a few writing prompts to help you relive your childhood memories:

  • What was your hometown like? Describe the sights, sounds, and smells that you remember.
  • Who were your grandparents? What memories do you have of them?
  • What was your favorite childhood memory? Why was it so special to you?

Memorable Life Events

Memorable life events are those events that stand out in our lives. They can be positive or negative, but they are always significant. Writing about these events can help you gain insight into your personality, values, and beliefs.

Here are a few writing prompts to help you relive your memorable life events:

  • What was the most significant event in your life? How did it change you?
  • What was the happiest moment of your life? Why was it so special to you?
  • What was the most difficult moment of your life? How did you overcome it?

By exploring your childhood memories and memorable life events, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your past experiences. Use these writing prompts as a starting point to explore your memories and gain insight into your personality, values, and beliefs.

Examining Relationships

When it comes to writing prompts about yourself, examining your relationships with others can be a powerful exercise. Relationships play a significant role in shaping our lives, and reflecting on them can help us gain a better understanding of ourselves.

Family Dynamics

Your family is often your first introduction to relationships, and the dynamics within your family can have a lasting impact on your life. Consider the following prompts to explore your family relationships:

  • What is your birth order, and how has that affected your relationships with your siblings?
  • How has your relationship with your parents evolved over time?
  • What are some of the values and beliefs that your family holds, and how have those influenced you?

Friendships and Social Connections

Friendships and social connections are also essential relationships that shape our lives. Consider the following prompts to reflect on your friendships:

  • Who are the people in your life that you consider to be your closest friends, and what makes those relationships special?
  • How has your social circle changed over time, and what has influenced those changes?
  • What role do you play in your friendships, and how does that impact your relationships with others?

Love and Romance

Love and romance can be some of the most complex relationships we experience. Consider the following prompts to explore your romantic relationships:

  • What are some of the qualities you look for in a romantic partner, and how have those evolved over time?
  • How have your past relationships influenced your current views on love and romance?
  • What role does communication play in your romantic relationships, and how do you navigate conflicts?

By taking the time to reflect on your relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and the role that relationships play in your life.

Personal Growth and Future Aspirations

As you reflect on your life and personal growth, it’s important to consider your future aspirations. This can help you set goals and work towards achieving them, as well as give you a sense of purpose and direction. In this section, we’ll explore some writing prompts that can help you delve into your future plans and aspirations.

Overcoming Challenges

Challenges are a natural part of life, and they can help us grow and develop resilience. Think about a time when you faced a challenge and overcame it. What did you learn from that experience? How did it shape you as a person? Write about how you can use that experience to overcome future challenges and achieve your goals.

Setting and Achieving Goals

Setting goals is an important part of personal growth and achieving success. Think about some short-term and long-term goals that you have. What steps can you take to achieve those goals? Write about the progress you’ve made towards achieving your goals, and any obstacles you’ve encountered along the way. Reflect on how you can adjust your approach to overcome those obstacles and stay on track towards achieving your goals.

Dreams and Aspirations

Dreams and aspirations are a powerful motivator for personal growth and success. Think about your dreams and aspirations for the future. What steps can you take to make those dreams a reality? Write about the skills and knowledge you need to acquire to achieve your dreams, and how you can work towards acquiring those skills. Reflect on the impact achieving your dreams would have on your life and how it would make you feel.

By reflecting on your personal growth and future aspirations, you can gain clarity and direction in your life. Writing about your challenges, goals, dreams, and aspirations can help you stay focused and motivated, and give you a sense of purpose and meaning. Keep writing and exploring these topics to continue growing and achieving success in your life.

Expressing Gratitude and Acknowledging Accomplishments

Recognizing your strengths and accomplishments is an important part of building self-awareness and self-confidence. One way to do this is by expressing gratitude and acknowledging your successes. Here are some tips on how to do it:

Recognizing Strengths

Take some time to reflect on your strengths and what makes you unique. This can be challenging, as we often focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. However, recognizing your strengths can help you build confidence and feel more positive about yourself.

Here are some tips for recognizing your strengths:

  • Make a list of your strengths and read it regularly.
  • Ask friends or family members to describe your strengths.
  • Think about times when you felt confident and successful. What strengths did you use to achieve that success?

Appreciating Successes

Acknowledging your accomplishments is another important aspect of building self-confidence. Celebrating your successes, no matter how small they may seem, can help you feel more positive about yourself and your abilities.

Here are some tips for appreciating your successes:

  • Keep a journal of your accomplishments, no matter how small.
  • Celebrate your successes with friends or family members.
  • Take time to reflect on how you achieved your success and what you learned from it.

Expressing gratitude is another way to appreciate your successes. Gratitude can help you feel more positive and optimistic about your life, and it can also help you build stronger relationships with others.

Here are some tips for expressing gratitude:

  • Write a thank-you note to someone who has helped you or inspired you.
  • Take some time to reflect on the things you are grateful for in your life.
  • Practice gratitude daily by keeping a gratitude journal or sharing what you are grateful for with a friend or family member.

By recognizing your strengths, appreciating your successes, and expressing gratitude, you can build self-confidence and feel more positive about yourself and your life.

Exploring Interests and Passions

When it comes to writing about yourself, exploring your interests and passions can be a great starting point. By focusing on what you love, you can tap into your creativity and imagination, and come up with unique and engaging writing prompts that reflect who you are.

Hobbies and Talents

Think about your hobbies and talents. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Do you have any special skills or talents? Perhaps you love playing an instrument, painting, or cooking. Maybe you’re an avid reader or a sports enthusiast.

Consider how you can incorporate your hobbies and talents into your writing prompts. For example, if you love cooking, you could write a story about a chef who discovers a new ingredient that changes the culinary world. If you’re a musician, you could write a novel about a struggling artist who finds success through their music.

Travel and Exploration

Travel and exploration can also be great sources of inspiration for writing prompts. Think about the places you’ve been, the cultures you’ve experienced, and the people you’ve met. Have you ever had a life-changing travel experience?

You could write a memoir about your travels, or create a fictional story set in a place you’ve visited. Alternatively, you could write a blog post about your favorite travel destinations, or create a guidebook for travelers.

Art and Creativity

Art and creativity can also be great sources of inspiration for writing prompts. Whether you’re a visual artist, a writer, or a musician, there are many ways to incorporate your creativity into your writing.

For example, you could write a short story inspired by a painting or a piece of music. You could also write a blog post about the creative process, or share tips and tricks for other artists and writers.

By exploring your interests and passions, you can come up with writing prompts that are unique, engaging, and reflective of who you are. So take some time to think about what makes you tick, and start writing!

Health and Wellness

Taking care of your health and wellness is essential for leading a happy and fulfilling life. Writing about your health and wellness can help you keep track of your progress, identify areas that need improvement, and celebrate your successes. Here are some writing prompts to help you reflect on your physical health, mental health, and self-care practices.

Physical Health

Your physical health is an important aspect of your overall well-being. Writing about your physical health can help you identify patterns, track progress, and make necessary changes. Here are some physical health journal prompts to get you started:

  • What did you eat today? Did you make healthy choices?
  • How much water did you drink today? Did you stay hydrated?
  • Did you get enough sleep last night? How did you feel when you woke up?
  • Did you exercise today? What kind of exercise did you do?
  • How do you feel physically today? Do you have any aches or pains?

Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Writing about your mental health can help you identify triggers, track progress, and develop coping mechanisms. Here are some mental health journal prompts to get you started:

  • How are you feeling emotionally today? Are you feeling happy, sad, anxious, or stressed?
  • What is causing you stress right now? How can you manage that stress?
  • What are you grateful for today? What positive things happened to you?
  • What are your goals for the day/week/month? How can you achieve those goals?
  • What self-care practices can you incorporate into your day to improve your mental health?

Self-Care Practices

Self-care is essential for maintaining your health and well-being. Writing about your self-care practices can help you identify what works for you and what doesn’t, and develop a self-care routine that is tailored to your needs. Here are some self-care journal prompts to get you started:

  • What self-care practices do you enjoy? How often do you do them?
  • What self-care practices have you been neglecting? Why?
  • What self-care practices can you incorporate into your day/week to improve your overall well-being?
  • Write a letter of gratitude to yourself for looking after your own well-being.
  • What helps you slow down and feel more present? Can you incorporate that into your daily routine?

Remember, taking care of your health and wellness is a journey, not a destination. Use these writing prompts to help you reflect on your progress, identify areas that need improvement, and celebrate your successes.

Engaging the Senses

When it comes to writing about yourself, engaging your senses can be a powerful tool to help you connect with your experiences and emotions. By focusing on the sights, sounds, tastes, and textures of your memories, you can bring your writing to life and create a more immersive experience for your readers. Here are some prompts to help you engage your senses and bring your writing to life.

Sight and Sound

When writing about yourself, describing the sights and sounds of your experiences can help your readers feel like they are right there with you. Think about the colors, shapes, and movements that you remember from your experiences, and try to capture them in your writing. You can also describe the sounds that you heard, including the tone of voices, background noise, and music. Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • Describe a place that you love using vivid colors and shapes.
  • Write about a memory that is associated with a particular sound.
  • Describe a time when you felt overwhelmed by the sights and sounds around you.

Taste and Touch

Our sense of taste and touch can be powerful triggers for memories and emotions. When writing about yourself, think about the tastes and textures that you remember from your experiences, and try to describe them in detail. You can also describe the physical sensations that you felt, such as the warmth of the sun on your skin or the softness of a blanket. Here are some prompts to help you engage your sense of taste and touch:

  • Write about a food that is associated with a particular memory or emotion.
  • Describe the feeling of a particular texture, such as sand or silk.
  • Write about a time when you felt a physical sensation that was particularly memorable.

By engaging your senses in your writing, you can create a more immersive experience for your readers and connect with your experiences on a deeper level. Use these prompts to get started, and experiment with different sensory details to find what works best for you.

Random Prompts and Ideas

Looking for some writing prompts to help you explore yourself? Here are some random prompts that can get your creative juices flowing.

Fun and Light-hearted

  • Describe your favorite season and what you love about it.
  • Write about your favorite food and why it’s your favorite.
  • Who is your very best friend? What makes them special to you?
  • If you could have any pet animal in the world, what would it be and why?
  • What is your favorite holiday and why?
  • What’s the story behind your name? Is there a special meaning or reason why you were named that?
  • Do you believe in astrology? What’s your astrological sign and do you think it fits your personality?
  • If you could take any course or class, what would it be and why?

Deep and Thought-Provoking

  • Write about a time when you had to confront a fear or challenge. How did you overcome it?
  • What is your biggest regret in life? What have you learned from it?
  • What is something that you are currently struggling with? How are you working to overcome it?
  • Describe a moment when you felt truly happy. What made you feel that way?
  • Write about a time when you had to make a difficult decision. How did you make your choice?
  • What is something that you are really passionate about? Why is it important to you?
  • Describe a moment when you felt truly grateful. What were you grateful for?

These prompts are just a starting point. Use them to delve deeper into yourself and your experiences. Remember, writing about yourself can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and personal growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique experiences that have shaped who you are today.

Your unique experiences are what make you who you are today. They may include things like traveling to new places, meeting new people, overcoming challenges, or experiencing loss. Reflecting on these experiences can help you understand how they have shaped your perspective, values, and beliefs.

How do you envision your future self?

Envisioning your future self can help you set goals and work towards achieving them. Think about where you want to be in five, ten, or twenty years from now. What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of life do you want to have? Visualize yourself achieving your goals and living the life you want.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments and why?

Your proudest accomplishments may be big or small, but they are all important. They may include things like graduating from school, getting a job, completing a project, or overcoming a personal challenge. Reflect on why these accomplishments are important to you and what you learned from them.

What are some challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?

Challenges are a natural part of life, and overcoming them can help you grow and develop as a person. Think about some of the challenges you have faced in your life, whether they are big or small. Reflect on how you overcame them and what you learned from the experience.

What are some important values or beliefs that guide your life?

Your values and beliefs are the principles that guide your decisions and actions. They may include things like honesty, respect, kindness, or justice. Reflect on what values and beliefs are important to you and how they influence your life.

What are some things you are passionate about and why?

Passions are the things that bring you joy and fulfillment in life. They may include things like hobbies, interests, or causes that you care about. Reflect on what you are passionate about and why these things are important to you. Pursuing your passions can help you live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Authority Self-Publishing

87 Self-Reflective Prompts To Help You Write About Yourself

Having trouble deciding what to write about yourself ? 

Whether you’re writing for your journal, your memoir, or a class assignment, you have plenty of topics about yourself to choose from. 

You’re more interesting than you might think.

So are the people you live with, work with, and meet — if only for a moment. 

Once you look through the prompts listed below, the real challenge will be choosing which one to write about first. 

What Is a Unique Way to Write about Yourself? 

The point of writing about yourself is to grow in self-knowledge and understanding of where you are and where you want to be. 

With that in mind, it makes sense to write about what you’ve learned so far and how you learned it.

It also helps to explore what you’re good at as well as what areas need work. 

Consider the following categories of self-knowledge: 

  • Mistakes you’ve learned from
  • Changes to your beliefs and the catalysts behind them
  • Painful experiences and what you’ve learned from them
  • Favorite things and why you love them
  • Things that make you angry or that motivate you to fight for change

Things to Write about Yourself: 87 Writing Prompts 

Enjoy these all about me writing prompts . Start with one that leads your mind to a specific, vivid memory. Then free-write to your heart’s content. 

1. Describe something you’re good at. 

2. What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

3. How do you want people to remember you?

4. What personal beliefs of yours have changed over the years?

5. What would you like to invent and why?

6. If you won $1 million, what would you do with it?

7. If you had all the money you needed to create a nonprofit organization, what would its mission be?

8. What would you change about school or your country’s education system if you could?

9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go first and why?

10. Where do you want to live, and what kind of lifestyle would you like to afford easily?

11. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever learned from?

12. Would you rather get paid well for a job you can tolerate or paid little for work you love?

13. What is your favorite food and why? Do you make it yourself, or do you prefer paying others to do so?

14. What superstitions do you believe in or have you believed in, and why? 

15. Do you believe in luck (good or bad)? If so, do you think a higher power is pulling strings on your behalf — or working against you? How much control do you have over your life?

16. Describe your first job, what you learned from it, and whether (and why) you’d recommend it to anyone? 

17. What do you love about yourself? And who in your life sees that in you? Who doesn’t?

18. Describe your best friend and how you met. What keeps your friendship going?

19. Write about an animal with whom you’ve felt a close kinship and describe the relationship between you. 

 20. If you could design your own home, what would be its most important features?

21. What’s your favorite outfit (including footwear and accessories) and why? 

22. What’s your biggest dream for the future, and what are you doing to get closer to it?

23. What makes you angry? When was the last time something made you so mad you took action to change it? 

24. What’s your favorite holiday and why? What do you do to celebrate it? 

25. If you have a romantic partner, what do you love most about them and your relationship? What would you change if you could?

26. What do you most want to accomplish in your life and why? 

27. Have you ever gotten something you wanted, only to realize it wasn’t what you really wanted after all?

28. Do you want to be more like one of your parents or grandparents? Why or why not?

29. Describe one of your earliest childhood memories. 

30. Write about the benefits and challenges of having siblings — or of being an only child. 

31. How much of your body are you comfortable with people seeing? Has that changed?

32. What do you find gross that other people don’t — or vice-versa?

33. Are you interested in marriage, or would you prefer a romantic partnership without marriage? What are your reasons?

34. If you could design your own end, what manner of death would you choose and why?

35. How do you want your body dealt with after you die? Do you want your remains buried or scattered, and why?

36. Describe a favorite game from your young childhood (aged 0 to 10). 

37. Write about something you succeeded at because you did NOT GIVE UP. 

38. Write about a favorite elementary school classmate and what you liked about them. 

39. Write about an interesting high school classmate and what you liked about them. 

40. Write about the best coworker you’ve ever had and why you loved working with them. 

41. Write about the best job you’ve ever had and what you loved about it. 

42. How would you build the perfect sandwich (with or without bread)? 

43. Write about a death in your family and how it impacted you. 

44. Write about a birth in your family and how it affected you. 

45. Write about a marriage or divorce in your family and how it impacted you. 

46. Write about your intimate social circle, how it was formed, and how it influences you. 

47. Write about your chosen family — the people in your life who have become family to you — and how they have become so important. 

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48. Is your living space usually neat and tidy or messy and disorganized? Are you comfortable with it as it is, or what steps are you taking to change it?

49. Write about a personality trait you inherited or picked up from a parent. 

50. Explain whether you think it’s ever morally acceptable to lie, and — if yes — in what situations?

51. Write about a way in which you’re different from a parent or both parents. 

52. Do you believe in astrology? And, if so, what do you love about your sign?

53. Do you find any value in tarot cards or rune stones? If yes, which is your favorite, and what have you learned from it? 

54. Do you collect anything? If yes, describe your collection, how it began, and what it means to you. 

55. What is one thing you’re most likely to splurge on — clothes, food, skincare, entertainment, etc. — and why?

56. What do you think of your hometown? Is it a good place to live, and would you live there again? Why or why not?

57. What’s one quality you think everyone should look for in a romantic partner? 

58. Write about what you wish more people knew about your chosen job/career. 

59. Write about an external struggle that’s been wearing on you lately. 

60. Write about an internal struggle that’s been distracting you and wearing you down. 

61. Describe something you love — or don’t love — about the people in your country. 

62. Would you ever consider leaving your country and changing your citizenship? Why or why not?

63. How do you define patriotism? Would you redefine it if you could, or do you consider the word more or less toxic? 

64. What do you think of dress codes for school? What do you see as their purpose, and what would you do if a student’s attire was a clear violation of that code? 

65. What do you think of hair codes for school? Should someone be excluded for having a non-white hairstyle that honors their culture?

66. When it comes to voting for a presidential candidate, what qualities and beliefs do you look for in a candidate? What are the dealbreakers or non-negotiables?

67. Tell a story about when you had your heart broken. Who did it, what happened between you, and what kind of relationship do you have with them now?

68. Tell a story about when you lost a friend. What happened, and have either of you reached out to the other since then? 

69. Describe the benefits and challenges of being an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert (whichever you are). 

70. Write about a habit or addiction you’ve been struggling with for years. What has helped you fight or change it? Who has helped? 

71. Write about a kind of physical exercise you enjoy? What do you love about it? Is this something you do (or would love to do) regularly?

72. Describe a time you spoke up for something you believed in. Do you still hold that belief? How do you feel when someone else stands up for it or a contrary view?

73. Describe — in vivid detail — your dream home.  How is it perfect for you?

74. Write about a teacher, coach, or mentor who inspired you. How has their influence shaped you and the life you’re living? What do you wish you could tell them?

75. Describe something you did in the past year (or past five) that made you proud. 

76. Write about someone you admired — until you learned something morally offensive they said or did (racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, antisemitic, etc.).

77. Write about someone you thought little of until you learned of something brave, heroic, or generous they said or did.  

78. Do you consider your adopted animals as pets, companions, or family members? Explain why and offer some history on your past relationships with animals. 

79. If you were to travel around the world, would you rather go alone or with company? If you’d like a traveling companion, who would that be?

80. Are you more likely to listen to sad music or happy music when you’re feeling low?

81. When was the last time you took a risk to show someone how you feel about them? 

82. When was the last time someone made a grand gesture to get your attention or show their regard for you? How did you respond, and why?

83. Tell a story about a time you got into trouble at work or school. Do you regret what you did, or does the memory make you proud? Who else was involved?

84. Write about something you believe that isn’t a widely-held belief. 

85. What terrified you most as a child? Does it still scare you? 

86. Has anyone ever made a snap judgment of you based on your appearance? What did they say? And how did you respond?

87. Describe your personal style (clothing, hair, nails, etc.) and how it’s changed over the years. 

Now that you’ve looked through these about me ideas for writing , which one will you write about first? 

You can even make a shorter list of your favorites and tackle one each day for your journal . Or use your favorites as chapter topics for your memoir. 

The important thing is to grow in self-knowledge and to forgive yourself for not being perfect. No one is. Just keep learning. 

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Michelle Polizzi

How to Write a Creative Personal Bio (with Examples)

creative writing my self

Writing a personal bio requires you to look inward at the passions, goals and desires driving your work. For that reason, even just thinking about writing a bio can cause a flurry of fear and self-doubt.

Despite this, one truth remains: Having a professional bio that you’re proud of can open new, fulfilling doors for your creative career.

Whether you’re a maker, a designer or simply someone who feels creatively driven, this non-intimidating guide will make it easier to explain yourself and your life’s work.

Brainstorming questions

If your bio writing efforts have never gotten further than a blank page or a blinking cursor, I totally get it. Fortunately, writing about yourself is much easier when you have a little bit of inspiration and direction.

These are questions I’ve devised to help you think deeply about your personal and professional passions:

  • Think back to your oldest memory of using this passion or skill in action. (If you can’t think of a specific moment, a general timeframe is just fine. Ex: I loved writing personal essays in the sixth grade.)  What was happening in your life at this moment? Why did this particular thing mean so much to you?
  • What people have inspired you throughout life? It can be a parent, a friend, teacher or mentor. This person doesn’t have to be real, either. It could be a hero/heroine, or a character in a book or movie.
  • After you’ve chosen your muse(s), you might consider: what would your career path look like without this influence? This might help you better compartmentalize this figure’s contributions to your creative life.
  • How does it feel to do the work that you do? Why do you do it?  Consider the aspects of your daily life that are enhanced by this special talent or passion. How does this inform and enhance your creative mind?
  • How does your work benefit the lives of others? Why is their life a little bit better after experiencing your work/products/services?

As you explore these questions, try not to get too caught up in writing something perfect.  As author and columnist Meghan Daum once suggested in a memoir writing workshop I took: w rite with the liberation of complete privacy.

Articulating your skill sets

Every professional bio should discuss creative skills , knowledge and expertise. I’m not just talking about including your college degree, either. In fact, the knowledge you’ve gained out in the world and in a professional context is likely more impressive.

Despite the importance of a well-articulated skill set, however, this is an area where we humble creative folks often struggle. I know this both from personal experience and from working with creative professionals and entrepreneurs. One reason this is so difficult is because skills sometimes feel intangible. For example, let’s say you formatted a PDF in InDesign once – does that mean you can put  graphic design under your list of skills? Maybe you oversaw an important design project at your last job – are you allowed to put project management on your resume?

Its normal to feel unsure about whether or not you’re qualified in a certain area. To make the process easier, only include a skill in your bio if it meets the following criteria:

  • It plays an important role in your creative goals
  • Knowing the skill makes you more competitive or helps you stand out professionally
  • You have a specific example of how you’ve employed it in a professional capacity
  • If someone were to ask about that skill, its easy for you to explain how you used it and what effect it had (and can provide visual examples where applicable)
Write with the liberation of complete privacy. -Meghan Daum

Formatting your professional bio

Now that you’ve worked through some (if not all) of the questions above, its time to make these ideas coherent. One way to organize your thoughts and ideas is to separate them into different categories.

Try to copy/paste or rewrite the ideas you’ve penned into the following categories:

Personal history

ex: my grandmother handed me a paint brush at age 8, we often went to plein air oil painting classes together, this cultivated my love of painting nature scenes

ex: freelance designer working with multiple agencies in the health and fitness space

ex: Social media curating, digital illustration, gallery management, Adobe Creative Suite

You’ll then want to put these notes and ideas into a hierarchy within each category. You’ll likely have to cut some things out in order to keep your bio short and sweet, so prioritizing them will make that process easier.

What’s the standard bio length?

I’ve found it helpful to first write a longer, more detailed bio that’s around ~200 words (try not to go longer than that). Once this go-to bio is nailed down, you can repurpose it into short tag lines or briefs when needed.

Using the same base text will help you create a consistent and powerful brand identity across social media, LinkedIn, creative portfolios, company about pages and the like. Plus – it’ll save you the stress of writing a new bio every time someone asks!

Next, its time to articulate your passions, work and skills into smooth, coherent sentences.


Personal and creative bio examples

Looking at examples of other people’s personal bios can help your own creative vision take shape. Here are a few examples of how bios can differ across different creative categories:

The marketing business

For an example of a bio in the consulting and marketing world, visit Marie Forleo’s  fresh and inspiring about page.

The maker/creator

I’m especially proud of Spelunk Jewelry’s succinct and passionate small business bio . It does a great job of explaining Alyssa’s history, maker skills and creative vision. These personal details are then balanced with a heartfelt promise of what her jewelry can offer. Achieving this balance is a great way to overcome that fear of oversharing.

The Digital Designer

For a sleek and minimal creator bio, check out the about page of multi-talented product designer Katerina Jeng .

A personal bio you’re proud of

Perhaps you’ve stalled on publishing your website, because you can’t get your personal bio just right. Or, maybe you’ve let an opportunity slip by because your artist statement didn’t make you feel proud. These tips will help you finally publish a bio so that you never miss out again.

For more guidance on writing a creative professional bio, feel feel to contact me – I’d love to help!

13 responses to “How to Write a Creative Personal Bio (with Examples)”

Kylani Avatar

So helpful! I almost always struggle with writing things like bios so i’m definitely coming back!

jesspanian Avatar

This is so helpful! Thanks so much for sharing. The examples are especially great. I have my blog, a design site, and a photography site that all have bios and it can be tough to come up with relevant/interesting ones.

michellekpolizzi Avatar

So true! Thanks for reading 🙂

Thanks, Serenity! I hope this helps you write an amazing bio!

Hi Ginger! I definitely agree with your point about the creative spark. Figuring out what your creative skills are is so hard, but it’s such an important aspect of pursuing a creative profession.

Ginger Avatar

I love the prompt questions. It is hard to know what to put in about yourself personally and professionally. I also think that for creatives we often shortchange ourselves in owning our skills because they don’t feel special since many of us are born with the creative spark (even if it has taken lots of training and effort to refine them). Thanks for the guide and encouragement to write a more compelling bio.

Serenity Dawn Avatar

Great tips!! This will definitely come in handy. This is something I’m not quite good at is writing about myself!!!

Michelle Stallings (@mich_stallings) Avatar

Being able to articulate skills is so important! Especially when it is down creatively and interestingly.

Michelle Stallings Avatar

Thanks Nicole! So glad it could help 🙂

Nicole DaRosa Avatar

Writing bios is such a challenge! This is a great resource – I’ll definitely be coming back to this. 🙂

Thanks, Amber! Writing about yourself can be stressful, but having a little bit of self-confidence and direction certainly goes a long way 🙂

Amber|Pen and Parent Avatar

Some really great tips here! I personally have a hard time writing bios!

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, how do i write a good essay about myself.

I'm struggling with writing my college essay. How can I write a compelling and genuine essay about myself without it sounding boring or braggy? Any tips would really help!

First, I understand that writing a personal essay can be challenging, but with a little guidance and practice, you can create a compelling piece. Here are some steps to help you write a strong essay:

1. Choose a unique angle: Instead of providing a broad overview of your life, focus on a specific experience, interest, or aspect of your personality that has shaped who you are. This will make your essay more focused and memorable.

2. Show, don't tell: Instead of simply stating your qualities, provide concrete examples of how you've demonstrated those characteristics. Use vivid details, anecdotes, and sensory language to bring your story to life.

3. Be authentic: Be genuine in your writing and don't try to present yourself as someone you're not. Admissions officers want to get to know the real you, so let your personality shine through.

4. Reflect on your experiences: Point out the lessons you've learned and how those experiences have influenced your growth and decision-making. This will show maturity and self-awareness, which are traits that colleges value.

5. Avoid clichés: Steer clear of overused phrases, ideas, or experiences. Make sure your essay stands out by giving it a fresh and original perspective.

6. Edit and revise: Once you have a draft of your essay, review it for clarity, grammar, punctuation, and flow. Make sure that each paragraph supports the central theme of your essay and that your writing is concise and engaging.

7. Get feedback: Share your essay with teachers, family members, or friends to gain different perspectives. Incorporate their feedback to help refine your essay and ensure it's an accurate representation of yourself.

For example, if you have a passion for community service, you might write about a specific volunteer experience that had a significant impact on you. Talk about the challenges you faced, the people you helped, and the lessons you learned. Make sure to incorporate personal stories and reflections to give your essay depth and substance.

Remember, a good college essay showcases your personality, values, and growth. By following these steps, you can create a compelling and genuine essay that will leave a lasting impression on admissions officers. Good luck!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

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Essay on Myself: 100 Words, 250 Words and 300 Words

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  • Updated on  
  • Mar 12, 2024

essay on myself

We are all different from each other and it is important to self-analyze and know about yourself. Only you can know everything about yourself. But, when it comes to describing yourself in front of others many students fail to do so. This happens due to the confusion generated by a student’s mind regarding what things to include in their description. This confusion never arises when someone is told to give any opinion about others. This blog will help students and children resolve the confusion and it also includes an essay on myself. 

While writing an “essay on myself” you should have a unique style so that the reader would engage in your essay. It’s important to induce the urge to know about you in the reader then only you can perform well in your class. I would suggest you include your qualities, strengths, achievements, interests, and passion in your essay. Continue Reading for Essays on myself for children and students!

Quick Read: Essay on Child Labour

Table of Contents

  • 1 Long and Short Essay on Myself for Students
  • 2 Tips to Write Essay on Myself
  • 3 100 Words Essay on Myself
  • 4 250 Words Essay on Myself
  • 5 10 Lines on Myself Essay for Children
  • 6 300 Words Essay on Myself

Quick Read: Trees are Our Best Friend Essay

Long and Short Essay on Myself for Students

Mentioned below are essays on myself with variable word limits. You can choose the essay that you want to present in your class. These essays are drafted in simple language so that school students can easily understand. In addition, the main point to remember while writing an essay on myself is to be honest. Your honesty will help you connect with the reader.

Tell me about yourself is also one of the most important questions asked in the interview process. Therefore, this blog is very helpful for people who want to learn about how to write an essay on myself.

Tips to Write Essay on Myself

Given below are some tips to write an essay on myself:

  • Prepare a basic outline of what to include in the essay about yourself.
  • Stick to the structure to maintain fluency.
  • Be honest to build a connection with the reader.
  • Use simple language.
  • Try to include a crisp and clear conclusion.

Quick Read: Speech on No Tobacco Day

100 Words Essay on Myself

I am a dedicated person with an urge to learn and grow. My name is Rakul, and I feel life is a journey that leads to self-discovery. I belong to a middle-class family, my father is a handloom businessman, and my mother is a primary school teacher .

I have learned punctuality and discipline are the two wheels that drive our life on a positive path. My mother is my role model. I am passionate about reading novels. When I was younger, my grandmother used to narrate stories about her life in the past and that has built my interest towards reading stories and novels related to history.

Overall I am an optimistic person who looks forward to life as a subject that teaches us values and ways to live for the upliftment of society.

Also Read: Speech on Discipline

250 Words Essay on Myself

My name is Ayushi Singh but my mother calls me “Ayu”. I turned 12 years old this August and I study in class 7th. I have an elder sister named Aishwarya. She is like a second mother to me. I have a group of friends at school and out of them Manvi is my best friend. She visits my house at weekends and we play outdoor games together. I believe in her and I can share anything with her.

Science and technology fascinate me so I took part in an interschool science competition in which my team of 4 girls worked on a 3-D model of the earth representing past, present, and future. It took us a week to finish off the project and we presented the model at Ghaziabad school. We were competing against 30 teams and we won the competition.

I was confident and determined about the fact that we could win because my passion helped me give my 100% input in the task. Though I have skills in certain subjects I don’t have to excel in everything, I struggle to perform well in mathematics . And to enhance my problem-solving skills I used to study maths 2 hours a day. 

I wanted to become a scientist, and being punctual and attentive are my characteristics as I never arrive late for school. Generally, I do my work on my own so that I inculcate the value of being an independent person. I always help other people when they are in difficult situations. 

Also Read: Essay on the Importance of the Internet

10 Lines on Myself Essay for Children

Here are 10 lines on myself essay for children. Feel free to add them to similar essay topics.

  • My name is Ananya Rathor and I am 10 years old.
  • I like painting and playing with my dog, Todo.
  • Reading animal books is one of my favourite activities.
  • I love drawing and colouring to express my imagination.
  • I always find joy in spending time outdoors, feeling the breeze on my face.
  • I love dancing to Indian classical music.
  • I’m always ready for an adventure, whether it’s trying a new hobby or discovering interesting facts.
  • Animals are my friends, and I enjoy spending time with pets or observing nature’s creatures.
  • I am a very kind person and I respect everyone.
  • All of my school teachers love me.

300 Words Essay on Myself

My name is Rakul. I believe that every individual has unique characteristics which distinguish them from others. To be unique you must have an extraordinary spark or skill. I live with my family and my family members taught me to live together, adjust, help others, and be humble. Apart from this, I am an energetic person who loves to play badminton.

I have recently joined Kathak classes because I have an inclination towards dance and music, especially folk dance and classical music. I believe that owing to the diversity of our country India, it offers us a lot of opportunities to learn and gain expertise in various sectors.

My great-grandfather was a classical singer and he also used to play several musical instruments. His achievements and stories have inspired me to learn more about Indian culture and make him proud. 

I am a punctual and studious person because I believe that education is the key to success. Academic excellence could make our careers shine bright. Recently I secured second position in my class and my teachers and family members were so proud of my achievement. 

I can manage my time because my mother taught me that time waits for no one. It is important to make correct use of time to succeed in life. If we value time, then only time will value us. My ambition in life is to become a successful gynaecologist and serve for human society.

Hence, these are the qualities that describe me the best. Though no one can present themselves in a few words still I tried to give a brief about myself through this essay. In my opinion, life is meant to be lived with utmost happiness and an aim to serve humanity. Thus, keep this in mind, I will always try to help others and be the best version of myself.

Also Read: Essay on Education System

A. Brainstorm Create a format Stick to the format Be vulnerable Be honest Figure out what things to include Incorporate your strengths, achievements, and future goals into the essay

A. In an essay, you can use words like determined, hardworking, punctual, sincere, and objective-oriented to describe yourself in words.

A. Use simple and easy language. Include things about your family, career, education, and future goals. Lastly, add a conclusion paragraph.

This was all about an essay on myself. The skill of writing an essay comes in handy when appearing for standardized language tests. Thinking of taking one soon? Leverage Live provides the best online test prep for the same. Register today and if you wish to study abroad then contact our experts at 1800572000 .

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Hi, I am Kajal, a pharmacy graduate, currently pursuing management and is an experienced content writer. I have 2-years of writing experience in Ed-tech (digital marketing) company. I am passionate towards writing blogs and am on the path of discovering true potential professionally in the field of content marketing. I am engaged in writing creative content for students which is simple yet creative and engaging and leaves an impact on the reader's mind.

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Writing Beginner

What Is Creative Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 20 Examples)

Creative writing begins with a blank page and the courage to fill it with the stories only you can tell.

I face this intimidating blank page daily–and I have for the better part of 20+ years.

In this guide, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of creative writing with tons of examples.

What Is Creative Writing (Long Description)?

Creative Writing is the art of using words to express ideas and emotions in imaginative ways. It encompasses various forms including novels, poetry, and plays, focusing on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes.

Bright, colorful creative writer's desk with notebook and typewriter -- What Is Creative Writing

Table of Contents

Let’s expand on that definition a bit.

Creative writing is an art form that transcends traditional literature boundaries.

It includes professional, journalistic, academic, and technical writing. This type of writing emphasizes narrative craft, character development, and literary tropes. It also explores poetry and poetics traditions.

In essence, creative writing lets you express ideas and emotions uniquely and imaginatively.

It’s about the freedom to invent worlds, characters, and stories. These creations evoke a spectrum of emotions in readers.

Creative writing covers fiction, poetry, and everything in between.

It allows writers to express inner thoughts and feelings. Often, it reflects human experiences through a fabricated lens.

Types of Creative Writing

There are many types of creative writing that we need to explain.

Some of the most common types:

  • Short stories
  • Screenplays
  • Flash fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction

Short Stories (The Brief Escape)

Short stories are like narrative treasures.

They are compact but impactful, telling a full story within a limited word count. These tales often focus on a single character or a crucial moment.

Short stories are known for their brevity.

They deliver emotion and insight in a concise yet powerful package. This format is ideal for exploring diverse genres, themes, and characters. It leaves a lasting impression on readers.

Example: Emma discovers an old photo of her smiling grandmother. It’s a rarity. Through flashbacks, Emma learns about her grandmother’s wartime love story. She comes to understand her grandmother’s resilience and the value of joy.

Novels (The Long Journey)

Novels are extensive explorations of character, plot, and setting.

They span thousands of words, giving writers the space to create entire worlds. Novels can weave complex stories across various themes and timelines.

The length of a novel allows for deep narrative and character development.

Readers get an immersive experience.

Example: Across the Divide tells of two siblings separated in childhood. They grow up in different cultures. Their reunion highlights the strength of family bonds, despite distance and differences.

Poetry (The Soul’s Language)

Poetry expresses ideas and emotions through rhythm, sound, and word beauty.

It distills emotions and thoughts into verses. Poetry often uses metaphors, similes, and figurative language to reach the reader’s heart and mind.

Poetry ranges from structured forms, like sonnets, to free verse.

The latter breaks away from traditional formats for more expressive thought.

Example: Whispers of Dawn is a poem collection capturing morning’s quiet moments. “First Light” personifies dawn as a painter. It brings colors of hope and renewal to the world.

Plays (The Dramatic Dialogue)

Plays are meant for performance. They bring characters and conflicts to life through dialogue and action.

This format uniquely explores human relationships and societal issues.

Playwrights face the challenge of conveying setting, emotion, and plot through dialogue and directions.

Example: Echoes of Tomorrow is set in a dystopian future. Memories can be bought and sold. It follows siblings on a quest to retrieve their stolen memories. They learn the cost of living in a world where the past has a price.

Screenplays (Cinema’s Blueprint)

Screenplays outline narratives for films and TV shows.

They require an understanding of visual storytelling, pacing, and dialogue. Screenplays must fit film production constraints.

Example: The Last Light is a screenplay for a sci-fi film. Humanity’s survivors on a dying Earth seek a new planet. The story focuses on spacecraft Argo’s crew as they face mission challenges and internal dynamics.

Memoirs (The Personal Journey)

Memoirs provide insight into an author’s life, focusing on personal experiences and emotional journeys.

They differ from autobiographies by concentrating on specific themes or events.

Memoirs invite readers into the author’s world.

They share lessons learned and hardships overcome.

Example: Under the Mango Tree is a memoir by Maria Gomez. It shares her childhood memories in rural Colombia. The mango tree in their yard symbolizes home, growth, and nostalgia. Maria reflects on her journey to a new life in America.

Flash Fiction (The Quick Twist)

Flash fiction tells stories in under 1,000 words.

It’s about crafting compelling narratives concisely. Each word in flash fiction must count, often leading to a twist.

This format captures life’s vivid moments, delivering quick, impactful insights.

Example: The Last Message features an astronaut’s final Earth message as her spacecraft drifts away. In 500 words, it explores isolation, hope, and the desire to connect against all odds.

Creative Nonfiction (The Factual Tale)

Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling.

This genre covers real events, people, and places with a twist. It uses descriptive language and narrative arcs to make true stories engaging.

Creative nonfiction includes biographies, essays, and travelogues.

Example: Echoes of Everest follows the author’s Mount Everest climb. It mixes factual details with personal reflections and the history of past climbers. The narrative captures the climb’s beauty and challenges, offering an immersive experience.

Fantasy (The World Beyond)

Fantasy transports readers to magical and mythical worlds.

It explores themes like good vs. evil and heroism in unreal settings. Fantasy requires careful world-building to create believable yet fantastic realms.

Example: The Crystal of Azmar tells of a young girl destined to save her world from darkness. She learns she’s the last sorceress in a forgotten lineage. Her journey involves mastering powers, forming alliances, and uncovering ancient kingdom myths.

Science Fiction (The Future Imagined)

Science fiction delves into futuristic and scientific themes.

It questions the impact of advancements on society and individuals.

Science fiction ranges from speculative to hard sci-fi, focusing on plausible futures.

Example: When the Stars Whisper is set in a future where humanity communicates with distant galaxies. It centers on a scientist who finds an alien message. This discovery prompts a deep look at humanity’s universe role and interstellar communication.

Watch this great video that explores the question, “What is creative writing?” and “How to get started?”:

What Are the 5 Cs of Creative Writing?

The 5 Cs of creative writing are fundamental pillars.

They guide writers to produce compelling and impactful work. These principles—Clarity, Coherence, Conciseness, Creativity, and Consistency—help craft stories that engage and entertain.

They also resonate deeply with readers. Let’s explore each of these critical components.

Clarity makes your writing understandable and accessible.

It involves choosing the right words and constructing clear sentences. Your narrative should be easy to follow.

In creative writing, clarity means conveying complex ideas in a digestible and enjoyable way.

Coherence ensures your writing flows logically.

It’s crucial for maintaining the reader’s interest. Characters should develop believably, and plots should progress logically. This makes the narrative feel cohesive.


Conciseness is about expressing ideas succinctly.

It’s being economical with words and avoiding redundancy. This principle helps maintain pace and tension, engaging readers throughout the story.

Creativity is the heart of creative writing.

It allows writers to invent new worlds and create memorable characters. Creativity involves originality and imagination. It’s seeing the world in unique ways and sharing that vision.


Consistency maintains a uniform tone, style, and voice.

It means being faithful to the world you’ve created. Characters should act true to their development. This builds trust with readers, making your story immersive and believable.

Is Creative Writing Easy?

Creative writing is both rewarding and challenging.

Crafting stories from your imagination involves more than just words on a page. It requires discipline and a deep understanding of language and narrative structure.

Exploring complex characters and themes is also key.

Refining and revising your work is crucial for developing your voice.

The ease of creative writing varies. Some find the freedom of expression liberating.

Others struggle with writer’s block or plot development challenges. However, practice and feedback make creative writing more fulfilling.

What Does a Creative Writer Do?

A creative writer weaves narratives that entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

Writers explore both the world they create and the emotions they wish to evoke. Their tasks are diverse, involving more than just writing.

Creative writers develop ideas, research, and plan their stories.

They create characters and outline plots with attention to detail. Drafting and revising their work is a significant part of their process. They strive for the 5 Cs of compelling writing.

Writers engage with the literary community, seeking feedback and participating in workshops.

They may navigate the publishing world with agents and editors.

Creative writers are storytellers, craftsmen, and artists. They bring narratives to life, enriching our lives and expanding our imaginations.

How to Get Started With Creative Writing?

Embarking on a creative writing journey can feel like standing at the edge of a vast and mysterious forest.

The path is not always clear, but the adventure is calling.

Here’s how to take your first steps into the world of creative writing:

  • Find a time of day when your mind is most alert and creative.
  • Create a comfortable writing space free from distractions.
  • Use prompts to spark your imagination. They can be as simple as a word, a phrase, or an image.
  • Try writing for 15-20 minutes on a prompt without editing yourself. Let the ideas flow freely.
  • Reading is fuel for your writing. Explore various genres and styles.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite authors construct their sentences, develop characters, and build their worlds.
  • Don’t pressure yourself to write a novel right away. Begin with short stories or poems.
  • Small projects can help you hone your skills and boost your confidence.
  • Look for writing groups in your area or online. These communities offer support, feedback, and motivation.
  • Participating in workshops or classes can also provide valuable insights into your writing.
  • Understand that your first draft is just the beginning. Revising your work is where the real magic happens.
  • Be open to feedback and willing to rework your pieces.
  • Carry a notebook or digital recorder to jot down ideas, observations, and snippets of conversations.
  • These notes can be gold mines for future writing projects.

Final Thoughts: What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an invitation to explore the unknown, to give voice to the silenced, and to celebrate the human spirit in all its forms.

Check out these creative writing tools (that I highly recommend):

Read This Next:

  • What Is a Prompt in Writing? (Ultimate Guide + 200 Examples)
  • What Is A Personal Account In Writing? (47 Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Short Story (Ultimate Guide + Examples)
  • How To Write A Fantasy Romance Novel [21 Tips + Examples)

Home — Essay Samples — Life — Who Am I — Who Am I: Creative Writing


Who Am I: Creative Writing

  • Categories: About Myself Who Am I

About this sample


Words: 1040 |

Updated: 21 November, 2023

Words: 1040 | Pages: 2 | 6 min read

Table of contents

Prompt examples for the "who am i" essays, "who am i" essay examples.

  • Self-Reflection and Identity Explore the concept of self-reflection and the journey to discovering one's identity. How has self-awareness evolved throughout your life, and what factors have contributed to your understanding of who you are?
  • Emotions and Self-Perception Discuss your emotional landscape and its impact on your self-perception. How do you experience and express emotions? How do they shape your self-image and interactions with others?
  • Self-Esteem and Self-Obsession Examine the dynamics of self-esteem and self-obsession in your life. How has your self-esteem evolved over time, and how does it relate to your self-obsession or self-care? Share personal experiences that illustrate this evolution.
  • Social Interactions and Introversion Reflect on your social interactions and introverted tendencies. How do you navigate social situations, and what happens when you step out of your comfort zone? Discuss the balance between introversion and extroversion in your life.
  • Leadership and Taking Charge Describe your experiences with leadership and taking charge in various situations. How do you approach leadership roles, and what qualities make you effective in these roles? Share examples of when you've assumed leadership and its impact on those around you.

Who am I: Creative Essay

Works cited.

  • Akhtar, S., & Akhtar, F. (2016). A critical study of self-concept and self-esteem. Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 21(7), 15-22.
  • Benson, K. (2007). The power of personality types in career success. Journal of Employment Counseling, 44(3), 98-104.
  • Cassidy, S., & Eachus, P. (2002). Developing the computer user self-efficacy (CUSE) scale: Investigating the relationship between computer self-efficacy, gender and experience with computers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 26(2), 133-153.
  • Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual. Psychological Assessment Resources.
  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 49(3), 182-185.
  • Friedman, H. S. (2010). Personality, disease, and self-healing: An integrative perspective. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(1), 5-9.
  • Howard, L. W., & Ferris, G. R. (1996). The employment interview context: Social and situational influences on interviewer decisions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(24), 2153-2174.
  • McAdams, D. P. (1993). The stories we live by: Personal myths and the making of the self. Guilford Press.
  • Swami, V. (2008). The influence of body weight on self-perceptions and partner preferences. Sex Roles, 58(9-10), 651-654.
  • Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185(4157), 1124-1131.

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  • Writing Activities

105 Creative Writing Exercises To Get You Writing Again

You know that feeling when you just don’t feel like writing? Sometimes you can’t even get a word down on paper. It’s the most frustrating thing ever to a writer, especially when you’re working towards a deadline. The good news is that we have a list of 105 creative writing exercises to help you get motivated and start writing again!

What are creative writing exercises?

Creative writing exercises are short writing activities (normally around 10 minutes) designed to get you writing. The goal of these exercises is to give you the motivation to put words onto a blank paper. These words don’t need to be logical or meaningful, neither do they need to be grammatically correct or spelt correctly. The whole idea is to just get you writing something, anything. The end result of these quick creative writing exercises is normally a series of notes, bullet points or ramblings that you can, later on, use as inspiration for a bigger piece of writing such as a story or a poem. 

Good creative writing exercises are short, quick and easy to complete. You shouldn’t need to think too much about your style of writing or how imaginative your notes are. Just write anything that comes to mind, and you’ll be on the road to improving your creative writing skills and beating writer’s block . 

Use the generator below to get a random creative writing exercise idea:

List of 105+ Creative Writing Exercises

Here are over 105 creative writing exercises to give your brain a workout and help those creative juices flow again:

  • Set a timer for 60 seconds. Now write down as many words or phrases that come to mind at that moment.
  • Pick any colour you like. Now start your sentence with this colour. For example, Orange, the colour of my favourite top. 
  • Open a book or dictionary on a random page. Pick a random word. You can close your eyes and slowly move your finger across the page. Now, write a paragraph with this random word in it. You can even use an online dictionary to get random words:


  • Create your own alphabet picture book or list. It can be A to Z of animals, food, monsters or anything else you like!
  • Using only the sense of smell, describe where you are right now.
  • Take a snack break. While eating your snack write down the exact taste of that food. The goal of this creative writing exercise is to make your readers savour this food as well.
  • Pick a random object in your room and write a short paragraph from its point of view. For example, how does your pencil feel? What if your lamp had feelings?
  • Describe your dream house. Where would you live one day? Is it huge or tiny? 
  • Pick two different TV shows, movies or books that you like. Now swap the main character. What if Supergirl was in Twilight? What if SpongeBob SquarePants was in The Flash? Write a short scene using this character swap as inspiration.
  • What’s your favourite video game? Write at least 10 tips for playing this game.
  • Pick your favourite hobby or sport. Now pretend an alien has just landed on Earth and you need to teach it this hobby or sport. Write at least ten tips on how you would teach this alien.
  • Use a random image generator and write a paragraph about the first picture you see.

random image generator

  • Write a letter to your favourite celebrity or character. What inspires you most about them? Can you think of a memorable moment where this person’s life affected yours? We have this helpful guide on writing a letter to your best friend for extra inspiration.
  • Write down at least 10 benefits of writing. This can help motivate you and beat writer’s block.
  • Complete this sentence in 10 different ways: Patrick waited for the school bus and…
  • Pick up a random book from your bookshelf and go to page 9. Find the ninth sentence on that page. Use this sentence as a story starter.
  • Create a character profile based on all the traits that you hate. It might help to list down all the traits first and then work on describing the character.
  • What is the scariest or most dangerous situation you have ever been in? Why was this situation scary? How did you cope at that moment?
  • Pretend that you’re a chat show host and you’re interviewing your favourite celebrity. Write down the script for this conversation.
  • Using extreme detail, write down what you have been doing for the past one hour today. Think about your thoughts, feelings and actions during this time.
  • Make a list of potential character names for your next story. You can use a fantasy name generator to help you.
  • Describe a futuristic setting. What do you think the world would look like in 100 years time?
  • Think about a recent argument you had with someone. Would you change anything about it? How would you resolve an argument in the future?
  • Describe a fantasy world. What kind of creatures live in this world? What is the climate like? What everyday challenges would a typical citizen of this world face? You can use this fantasy world name generator for inspiration.
  • At the flip of a switch, you turn into a dragon. What kind of dragon would you be? Describe your appearance, special abilities, likes and dislikes. You can use a dragon name generator to give yourself a cool dragon name.
  • Pick your favourite book or a famous story. Now change the point of view. For example, you could rewrite the fairytale , Cinderella. This time around, Prince Charming could be the main character. What do you think Prince Charming was doing, while Cinderella was cleaning the floors and getting ready for the ball?
  • Pick a random writing prompt and use it to write a short story. Check out this collection of over 300 writing prompts for kids to inspire you. 
  • Write a shopping list for a famous character in history. Imagine if you were Albert Einstein’s assistant, what kind of things would he shop for on a weekly basis?
  • Create a fake advertisement poster for a random object that is near you right now. Your goal is to convince the reader to buy this object from you.
  • What is the worst (or most annoying) sound that you can imagine? Describe this sound in great detail, so your reader can understand the pain you feel when hearing this sound.
  • What is your favourite song at the moment? Pick one line from this song and describe a moment in your life that relates to this line.
  •  You’re hosting an imaginary dinner party at your house. Create a list of people you would invite, and some party invites. Think about the theme of the dinner party, the food you will serve and entertainment for the evening. 
  • You are waiting to see your dentist in the waiting room. Write down every thought you are having at this moment in time. 
  • Make a list of your greatest fears. Try to think of at least three fears. Now write a short story about a character who is forced to confront one of these fears. 
  • Create a ‘Wanted’ poster for a famous villain of your choice. Think about the crimes they have committed, and the reward you will give for having them caught. 
  • Imagine you are a journalist for the ‘Imagine Forest Times’ newspaper. Your task is to get an exclusive interview with the most famous villain of all time. Pick a villain of your choice and interview them for your newspaper article. What questions would you ask them, and what would their responses be?
  •  In a school playground, you see the school bully hurting a new kid. Write three short stories, one from each perspective in this scenario (The bully, the witness and the kid getting bullied).
  • You just won $10 million dollars. What would you spend this money on?
  • Pick a random animal, and research at least five interesting facts about this animal. Write a short story centred around one of these interesting facts. 
  • Pick a global issue that you are passionate about. This could be climate change, black lives matters, women’s rights etc. Now create a campaign poster for this global issue. 
  • Write an acrostic poem about an object near you right now (or even your own name). You could use a poetry idea generator to inspire you.
  • Imagine you are the head chef of a 5-star restaurant. Recently the business has slowed down. Your task is to come up with a brand-new menu to excite customers. Watch this video prompt on YouTube to inspire you.
  • What is your favourite food of all time? Imagine if this piece of food was alive, what would it say to you?
  • If life was one big musical, what would you be singing about right now? Write the lyrics of your song. 
  • Create and describe the most ultimate villain of all time. What would their traits be? What would their past look like? Will they have any positive traits?
  • Complete this sentence in at least 10 different ways: Every time I look out of the window, I…
  • You have just made it into the local newspaper, but what for? Write down at least five potential newspaper headlines . Here’s an example, Local Boy Survives a Deadly Illness.
  • If you were a witch or a wizard, what would your specialist area be and why? You might want to use a Harry Potter name generator or a witch name generator for inspiration.
  • What is your favourite thing to do on a Saturday night? Write a short story centred around this activity. 
  • Your main character has just received the following items: A highlighter, a red cap, a teddy bear and a fork. What would your character do with these items? Can you write a story using these items? 
  • Create a timeline of your own life, from birth to this current moment. Think about the key events in your life, such as birthdays, graduations, weddings and so on. After you have done this, you can pick one key event from your life to write a story about. 
  • Think of a famous book or movie you like. Rewrite a scene from this book or movie, where the main character is an outsider. They watch the key events play out, but have no role in the story. What would their actions be? How would they react?
  • Three very different characters have just won the lottery. Write a script for each character, as they reveal the big news to their best friend.  
  • Write a day in the life story of three different characters. How does each character start their day? What do they do throughout the day? And how does their day end?
  •  Write about the worst experience in your life so far. Think about a time when you were most upset or angry and describe it. 
  • Imagine you’ve found a time machine in your house. What year would you travel to and why?
  • Describe your own superhero. Think about their appearance, special abilities and their superhero name. Will they have a secret identity? Who is their number one enemy?
  • What is your favourite country in the world? Research five fun facts about this country and use one to write a short story. 
  • Set yourself at least three writing goals. This could be a good way to motivate yourself to write every day. For example, one goal might be to write at least 150 words a day. 
  • Create a character description based on the one fact, three fiction rule. Think about one fact or truth about yourself. And then add in three fictional or fantasy elements. For example, your character could be the same age as you in real life, this is your one fact. And the three fictional elements could be they have the ability to fly, talk in over 100 different languages and have green skin. 
  • Describe the perfect person. What traits would they have? Think about their appearance, their interests and their dislikes. 
  • Keep a daily journal or diary. This is a great way to keep writing every day. There are lots of things you can write about in your journal, such as you can write about the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of your day. Think about anything that inspired you or anything that upset you, or just write anything that comes to mind at the moment. 
  • Write a book review or a movie review. If you’re lost for inspiration, just watch a random movie or read any book that you can find. Then write a critical review on it. Think about the best parts of the book/movie and the worst parts. How would you improve the book or movie?
  • Write down a conversation between yourself. You can imagine talking to your younger self or future self (i.e. in 10 years’ time). What would you tell them? Are there any lessons you learned or warnings you need to give? Maybe you could talk about what your life is like now and compare it to their life?
  • Try writing some quick flash fiction stories . Flash fiction is normally around 500 words long, so try to stay within this limit.
  • Write a six-word story about something that happened to you today or yesterday. A six-word story is basically an entire story told in just six words. Take for example: “Another football game ruined by me.” or “A dog’s painting sold for millions.” – Six-word stories are similar to writing newspaper headlines. The goal is to summarise your story in just six words. 
  • The most common monsters or creatures used in stories include vampires, werewolves , dragons, the bigfoot, sirens and the loch-ness monster. In a battle of intelligence, who do you think will win and why?
  • Think about an important event in your life that has happened so far, such as a birthday or the birth of a new sibling. Now using the 5 W’s and 1 H technique describe this event in great detail. The 5 W’s include: What, Who, Where, Why, When and the 1 H is: How. Ask yourself questions about the event, such as what exactly happened on that day? Who was there? Why was this event important? When and where did it happen? And finally, how did it make you feel?
  • Pretend to be someone else. Think about someone important in your life. Now put yourself into their shoes, and write a day in the life story about being them. What do you think they do on a daily basis? What situations would they encounter? How would they feel?
  • Complete this sentence in at least 10 different ways: I remember…
  • Write about your dream holiday. Where would you go? Who would you go with? And what kind of activities would you do?
  • Which one item in your house do you use the most? Is it the television, computer, mobile phone, the sofa or the microwave? Now write a story of how this item was invented. You might want to do some research online and use these ideas to build up your story. 
  • In exactly 100 words, describe your bedroom. Try not to go over or under this word limit.
  • Make a top ten list of your favourite animals. Based on this list create your own animal fact file, where you provide fun facts about each animal in your list.
  • What is your favourite scene from a book or a movie? Write down this scene. Now rewrite the scene in a different genre, such as horror, comedy, drama etc.
  •  Change the main character of a story you recently read into a villain. For example, you could take a popular fairytale such as Jack and the Beanstalk, but this time re-write the story to make Jack the villain of the tale.
  • Complete the following sentence in at least 10 different ways: Do you ever wonder…
  • What does your name mean? Research the meaning of your own name, or a name that interests you. Then use this as inspiration for your next story. For example, the name ‘Marty’ means “Servant Of Mars, God Of War”. This could make a good concept for a sci-fi story.
  • Make a list of three different types of heroes (or main characters) for potential future stories.
  • If someone gave you $10 dollars, what would you spend it on and why?
  • Describe the world’s most boring character in at least 100 words. 
  • What is the biggest problem in the world today, and how can you help fix this issue?
  • Create your own travel brochure for your hometown. Think about why tourists might want to visit your hometown. What is your town’s history? What kind of activities can you do? You could even research some interesting facts. 
  • Make a list of all your favourite moments or memories in your life. Now pick one to write a short story about.
  • Describe the scariest and ugliest monster you can imagine. You could even draw a picture of this monster with your description.
  • Write seven haikus, one for each colour of the rainbow. That’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. 
  • Imagine you are at the supermarket. Write down at least three funny scenarios that could happen to you at the supermarket. Use one for your next short story. 
  • Imagine your main character is at home staring at a photograph. Write the saddest scene possible. Your goal is to make your reader cry when reading this scene. 
  • What is happiness? In at least 150 words describe the feeling of happiness. You could use examples from your own life of when you felt happy.
  • Think of a recent nightmare you had and write down everything you can remember. Use this nightmare as inspiration for your next story.
  • Keep a dream journal. Every time you wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning you can quickly jot down things that you remember from your dreams. These notes can then be used as inspiration for a short story. 
  • Your main character is having a really bad day. Describe this bad day and the series of events they experience. What’s the worst thing that could happen to your character?
  • You find a box on your doorstep. You open this box and see the most amazing thing ever. Describe this amazing thing to your readers.
  • Make a list of at least five possible settings or locations for future stories. Remember to describe each setting in detail.
  • Think of something new you recently learned. Write this down. Now write a short story where your main character also learns the same thing.
  • Describe the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your whole life. Your goal is to amaze your readers with its beauty. 
  • Make a list of things that make you happy or cheer you up. Try to think of at least five ideas. Now imagine living in a world where all these things were banned or against the law. Use this as inspiration for your next story.
  • Would you rather be rich and alone or poor and very popular? Write a story based on the lives of these two characters. 
  • Imagine your main character is a Librarian. Write down at least three dark secrets they might have. Remember, the best secrets are always unexpected.
  • There’s a history behind everything. Describe the history of your house. How and when was your house built? Think about the land it was built on and the people that may have lived here long before you.
  • Imagine that you are the king or queen of a beautiful kingdom. Describe your kingdom in great detail. What kind of rules would you have? Would you be a kind ruler or an evil ruler of the kingdom?
  • Make a wish list of at least three objects you wish you owned right now. Now use these three items in your next story. At least one of them must be the main prop in the story.
  • Using nothing but the sense of taste, describe a nice Sunday afternoon at your house. Remember you can’t use your other senses (i.e see, hear, smell or touch) in this description. 
  • What’s the worst pain you felt in your life? Describe this pain in great detail, so your readers can also feel it.
  • If you were lost on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, what three must-have things would you pack and why?
  • Particpate in online writing challenges or contests. Here at Imagine Forest, we offer daily writing challenges with a new prompt added every day to inspire you. Check out our challenges section in the menu.

Do you have any more fun creative writing exercises to share? Let us know in the comments below!

creative writing exercises

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

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So you’re ready to write an autobiography ! Congratulations; this can be a gratifying personal project. And just like any creative endeavor, it’s a great idea to start by getting inspired. 

In this article, we’re sharing 15 stellar autobiography examples to get your wheels turning. We’ll also share some need-to-know info on the different types of autobiographies and autobiography layouts, and we’ll leave you with a list of catchy ways to start your book. Let’s get going!

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In this article, we’ll explore:

What are the different types of autobiographies .

As it turns out, there are many different ways to write a book about yourself. You can go the traditional autobiography route, which is a chronological account of your entire life. Or you can write a memoir , which zeroes in on specific themes or time periods in your life. 

If you’d like, your autobiography can be composed of individual personal essays, or you can blend your autobiography with literary techniques to create a piece of creative nonfiction . 

There are graphic autobiographies that use comics or other combinations of images and text to illustrate your life story, or you can simply publish an edited version of your journal or diary . 

You can write a travelog that documents your life through your adventures or blend elements of your life with made-up stories to create autobiographical fiction . 

When it comes to sharing your life story, there are few rules!

How can I lay out my autobiography? 

Did you know there are multiple ways you can structure your autobiography? The most common is to put it in chronological order . But you can also lay out your book in reverse chronological order or even jump around in time .

Here are a few other layouts to consider: 

  • Thematic or topical . As you outline your autobiography, pay attention to themes that emerge. You can lay out your autobiography by central ideas rather than by time. 
  • Flashback and flash-forward. This nonlinear approach can be a great way to create some excitement and intrigue in your life story.
  • Cyclical structure. Is there one event that you feel defined your life story? Why not try circling back to it throughout your book? This can be an interesting way to demonstrate how your perspective changed with time. 

If you need a little more help laying out your autobiography, we have free autobiography templates and free book templates to help you. 

Related: 50 Eye-Catching Autobiography Titles

15 Autobiographies to inspire your own 

Ready to get your creative juices flowing? Here are some examples of autobiography to add to your reading list. 

1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Autobiography Examples-The Diary Of A Young Girl

One of the best-known autobiographies, The Diary of a Young Girl, is an excellent example of a journal-style layout. Featuring the story of a young girl who is hiding during the Holocaust, aspiring writers will find inspiration in Frank’s raw emotions and candor. 

2. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda 

Autobiography Examples-Autobiography Of A Yogi

A favorite of Steve Jobs, this autobiography details the author’s spiritual journey through yoga and meditation. It’s a wonderful example of how to blend the recounting of events with spiritual insights and philosophical teachings. 

3. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela 

Autobiography Examples-The Long Walk To Freedom

The former South African president wrote this stunning autobiography about his struggle against apartheid, his imprisonment, and his presidency. Aspiring autobiography writers who want to write a book about social change should read this one. 

4. The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi

Autobiography Examples-The Story Of My Experiments With Truth

In his autobiography, Gandhi explores his philosophy of nonviolent resistance through his political and spiritual journey. Writers will appreciate this book for the way it weaves stories of personal growth into a larger narrative of social change. 

5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Autobiography Examples-I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

One of several autobiographical works by Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings explores her coming-of-age experience amidst racism and a traumatic childhood. Writers should read this to hear Angelou’s powerful story and be inspired by her vivid language. 

6. The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller

Autobiography Examples-The Story Of My Life

Keller details her remarkable life as a deaf and blind person, sharing intimate details about her education and advocacy work. Aspiring writers will benefit from reading Keller’s sensory-rich language since she has the unique experience of navigating the world through touch.

7. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Autobiography Examples-The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

This autobiography, written in collaboration with journalist Alex Haley, tracks Malcolm X from his youth through his adulthood as a prominent activist in the civil rights movement. Read this one to learn tips and tricks for writing about your personal evolution. 

8. The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow 

Autobiography Examples-The Story Of My Life

Darrow shares his experiences as a civil libertarian and prominent American Lawyer in this enlightening autobiography. Writers should read this one to learn how to build a persuasive argument in their book. 

9. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 

Autobiography Examples-Born A Crime

South African comedian, television host, and political commentator Trevor Noah wrote this autobiography detailing his upbringing during apartheid in South Africa. This is a must-read for writers who are looking to infuse humor into their autobiographies—even when writing about heavy subjects . 

10. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Autobiography Examples-I Am Malala

In her autobiography, Yousafzia recounts her tumultuous and sometimes terrifying journey advocating for equal education for girls. If you want to write your own autobiography, read this one first to learn how to bring an authentic voice to your narrative. 

11. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Autobiography Examples-The Hiding Place

Boom’s autobiography shares the harrowing story of her family’s efforts to hide Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Writers should read this to witness how Boom weaves a historical narrative into her life story. 

12. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie 

Autobiography Examples-Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

Renowned mystery writer Agatha Christie took time away from her suspenseful novels to write a book about herself. If you plan to write an autobiography, read Christie’s first to learn how to build a sense of intrigue. 

13. Chronicles: Volume 1 by Bob Dylan 

Autobiography Examples-Chronicles Volume 1

If you’re an artist writing your autobiography, you’ll be inspired by Dylan’s. It shares his unique perspective on the creative process in music and literature and delves into what it means to maintain your artistic vision. 

14. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 

Autobiography Examples-When Breath Becomes Air

This well-known autobiography may make you cry, but it’s well worth the read. Written by a surgeon as he faces a terminal illness, it’s a must-read for any author exploring themes of mortality in their writing. 

15. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama 

Autobiography Examples-Dreams From My Father

This autobiography by the former U.S. president is a great read for anyone aspiring to write an autobiography that intertwines their personal story with a larger societal and political narrative. 

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What is a catchy autobiography introduction? 

Sometimes the hardest part of a new project is getting started. If you’re ready to begin writing your autobiography and need a good opener, here are some angles to consider: 

  • Start by describing a childhood dream and how it influenced your journey. 
  • Open with a letter to your younger self.
  • Share a formative childhood memory. 
  • Start with a thought-provoking question you’ll answer as your book progresses.
  • Talk about an object that’s meaningful to you and tie it to a larger story about your life.

With so much inspiration and so many wonderful resources, there’s never been a better time to write your autobiography. If, after reading a few books on this list, you’re not sure where to start with yours—let us help! Just sign up for a book consultation to get started.

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Essay on My Self for Students and Children

500+ words essay on my self.

Seven billion people are on this Earth, and everybody is different from the rest of others. There is nothing without purpose in this world. Everything has some purpose. Humans are the best creation, and each person is exclusive. Thus, writing about myself, I’m here to express myself that what I see, what I experience and what I plan for my life. I try myself to be modest, passionate, devoted, hardworking and honest.

essay on my self

My Family and My Childhood

I’m from a middle-class family of Bihar, I am Naresh Shukla. Nobody comes in this world, without the support of family and friends. Actually, whatever you will be, it is just because of your family. My father is a respectable businessman in our community.

My mother is a doctor. They both love their occupation. That’s I have learned from my parents the value of time, honesty, hard work and commitment to the purpose.

We are three brothers and sisters. Being the eldest I am the most liable from my brothers and sisters. I am wanted to guide and take care of my other siblings. We all are in the same school. Reading is my passion.

I am a keen reader of novels and history books as I have a strong interest in Indian History and classical architecture. I love to read books that refer to the rich history and civilization of ancient India.  At my pre-childhood, I used to listen to stories from my grandmother, and this has a long-lasting effect on me.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

My Education

I am studying at the best school in my city. I am presently in class 10th. I feel happy to be a part of this great school with the good friends, helpful and loving teacher and sound school administration. I have extraordinary skills in some subjects whereas I am very weak in the few.

My Strengths

In compare to studies, I am good at sports. so I am the captain of my class football team. I am the best football player at my school. Besides this, I am a fast runner also and I love athletics. I am in expert swimming.

The advice of my parents had a keen effect on my habits. I believe to speak the truth and try my best not to lie. My parents always advised me that if I commit a mistake, I should admit it. I try my best to do so. I know how to remain happy in every condition. Because I believe that: “Happiness is not out there; it’s in you.”

I am a very adventurous person too and like to take the risk. I like to do a creative thing besides doing old stuff again and again. Learning new things is one thing which I always enjoy. I always update myself with the news.

Along with this, I fond of reading a few children magazines in which different motivational stories are there. They taught me a high moral lesson. I am a very confident person and know how to talk. I always try to speak to every person according to his requirement so I understand people.

My Weaknesses

As every man have weaknesses, so have also. I am a little bit lazy at some places which I do not like. While playing time, I pass my lot of time there which is not a good habi t, but I try my best to overcome my weaknesses.

My Ambitions in Life

Everybody has an ambition in life . Aim or ambition is the inner aspiration of man. No man can do anything in the world without aim. So, all of us should be very determined about our aim in life.

Without good career planning, right from the start, one can’t be on the right track. One has to set the goals in accordance with his or her broad career goals.

I have studied biology and I will seat for the competitive entrance exam for admission to reputed medical college. I shall try to be a good and honest student. Then I shall be a qualified doctor. I will do all that to be a good doctor and will be sincere to it.

These are all the things which express me. Though nobody can be described in a few sets of sentences. One needs to have yet command of oneself before going to write something about his life. Life is meant to be lived avidly and with visualization to do good for your fellow beings. Keeping this aim in mind, I have always desired to serve my people in whatever capacity I can.

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Getting Write Down to It: Passion and Purpose in Writing

A personal perspective: writing as an art form..

Posted June 2, 2024 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma

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  • The act of writing is an art form that involves willingness to be part of a larger conversation.
  • The mandate to publish or perish in academia bears down on faculty, but there are things that can help.
  • There are benefits to considering the process of writing and how it is life-affirming and life-building.

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If we think about writing as having the privilege of entering a conversation and pushing it in the direction we think it needs to go, then writing—yes, even academic writing—becomes creative. It becomes our own art form, if you will. It gives meaning to our lives and is one of the ways that we contribute to the world.

Once we recognize that our writing is an art form, we need new ways to judge ourselves and our productivity . Should a painter’s worthiness as an artist be determined by how many pieces they landed in a juried show in the last year? When we think of an artist’s career , we see the arc of their art over time. Similarly, as academics, we write over the arc of our careers. It’s the way that we—as people involved in the front lines of knowledge production, construction, and consumption—make art.

Publishing monographs and articles in top-tier journals is a fine goal—in fact, even necessary sometimes to get or keep a job. But publishing isn’t the only reason for writing any more than juried exhibitions and winning awards are the sole reasons an artist goes to paint. The painter finds at least as much, if not much more, nourishment and fulfillment in the process of making art as in the external recognition, however validating and joyful those accolades. Indeed, dreaming of accolades is rarely why an artist sits down to paint. The painter makes art to thrive, to share the meaning they find in the world with others. So, too, if a writer recognizes their work as their art, they sit down to do it to share their gifts with other people and society in general. And the process of writing itself becomes a way to thrive, to contribute to the world.

To take our writing seriously, we must think about it as a core part of our life’s work. We often write for our peers, sometimes for our students, and sometimes for audiences outside of academia. Once we have confidence in our writing, that paves the way for more outward-facing scholarship, bolstering the possibility of becoming a public scholar.

Once we take seriously our art form—or craft, if the word sounds more apt or comfortable—we must make time for it. When we finish a research project, we must realize that good writing takes care, thought, and loving attention to words, phrasing, and paragraph construction. Knowing that it takes time, and is worth the time, can boost our confidence. Good writing brings our ideas, and our findings, to life.

With all of the competing demands that students, colleagues, and our increasingly bureaucratic administrations in higher education impose on us, writing can be something we can claim as our own. While our course material is housed in learning management systems with accompanying questions of control over our intellectual property, and committee work is in service to the institution, the writing we do is ours. And the time we claim for it—for cultivating and honing it—is time we’ve declared, if only to ourselves, as precious and sacred, reserved to nurture ourselves and our ability to contribute to those around us. There’s something very liberating about that.

In sum, while many faculty members see the “publish or perish” message as exemplifying the competitive pressure of an academic career, making the time to enjoy the process of writing is an antidote to some of what has become the drudgery of university life. It reminds us what turns us on in our fields of study and motivates our inquiry in the first place.

A version of this post also appeared in Inside Higher Ed with Barbara Risman.

Deborah J. Cohan Ph.D.

Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort where she teaches and writes about the intersections of the self and society.

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At any moment, someone’s aggravating behavior or our own bad luck can set us off on an emotional spiral that threatens to derail our entire day. Here’s how we can face our triggers with less reactivity so that we can get on with our lives.

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‘Creative writing can be as impactful as an academic paper’

Grassroots initiatives can promote visibility of marginalised groups, self-expression and community, writes Emily Downes. Here are her key tips from running a creative writing competition to mark LGBTQ+ History Month

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Last year marked two decades since the repeal of Section 28, a UK law that prohibited what was described as “the promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities. What this meant, in practice, was that generations of LGBTQ+ children grew up with no safe access to information about LGBTQ+ issues, no role models, no representation. They had no indication, in fact, that they could have a successful life that included employment, acceptance and community. 

Surely, as hubs of knowledge production, higher education institutions have a social and ethical responsibility to actively repair some of the damage wrought by this law. As LGBTQ+ staff in the sector continue to report  discrimination and erasure , are we providing enough opportunities for our students to see their own lived experiences roadmapped and reflected? 

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While institutional support and backing are essential in amplifying LGBTQ+ representation and visibility, staff on the ground can also make an impact through grassroots initiatives. And where better to push back against the fearmongering of Section 28 than from a place of love? For author, theorist and educator  bell hooks , all key social justice movements have promoted a love ethic: a practice that seeks to use knowledge, responsibility, care, trust, respect and commitment. How might that look in your professional context? 

In mine, I have had the privilege of coordinating a creative writing competition for LGBT+ History Month . Here’s some of what I learned.

Knowledge and responsibility

It’s natural to feel powerless against discrimination. However, take heart – there’s no one defining form of activism. You may not feel you have the capacity or physical ability to protest in the streets or the wherewithal for a strategic campaign. That doesn’t mean you have nothing to contribute to the cause of a more inclusive landscape in higher education. We each have our own offering of knowledge, skills and interests to share. These needn’t exclusively be academic pursuits.

What brings you joy? Perhaps it’s a gentle walk in nature or listening to a podcast or crocheting. I’m partial to all three…and I also enjoy using writing to make sense of my inner and outer worlds. A couple of years ago, I started facilitating LGBTQ+ creative writing for well-being sessions in my local community. Last year the chair of our university LGBTQ+ focus group asked if I would use this experience to make our campus more inclusive. We agreed that I would deliver a drop-in session exploring the importance of queer representation , and that I would coordinate a creative writing competition around the same theme. As a “late bloomer” bisexual who grew up with a dearth of positive representation, I felt a responsibility to be visible in our university community. I had first-hand experience of the possibilities that creative writing affords for healing and growth. I am also well aware of how stifling and impenetrable academic writing can feel for many. I saw the creative writing competition as an opportunity to put self-expression firmly back into the hands of a marginalised community. 

Care and trust

Over the past two academic years, I have gained important insights into developing the competition process with care and establishing trust with our participants. Working with students with protected characteristics means a vital aspect of care is gaining consent at multiple stages. For trans students , for example, being named in certain contexts could have immediate and severe material consequences. One student sought me out during graduation week last year to ensure they would be  dead-named – otherwise, they said, they wouldn’t be able to return home with their parents after the ceremony. 

This has fed into my experience with the competition. Just because someone has entered doesn’t mean they will feel willing or able to be named in a university update or read their piece at a public event. However much you think you’ve tied up loose ends, please double-check. It’s better to be mildly irritating with an abundance of care.

That said, please don’t let the need for caution be off-putting. Demonstrating this level of care is foundational to developing trust. Repeatedly checking in with participants about how they are represented also helps to build a sense of agency they may not always feel they have in wider society. Liaise with those in your initiative whenever a new context arises in which they may be named. 

Respect and commitment

University community members who participate in our writing competition are occupying a  brave space , and this demands our respect. We value our staff and students’ intersectional identities and recognise how vulnerable it can feel sharing those parts of yourself in your place of work or study. I have shared some of my own LGBTQ+ journey during the drop-in sessions. Another sign of respect has been the active and enthusiastic engagement from our executive director of communications and development, who has sat on the judging panel both years. Having buy-in from senior management is indescribably validating not just for our entrants but for the wider LGBTQ+ community at the university.

Commitment to such an initiative can take many forms, the most essential of which are reflection and learning. For example, our inaugural winner, Allison Rosewood, submitted a non-fiction piece about becoming the trans role model she had always sought herself. We platformed her work at the university Pride event – she was unable to speak in person, so we recorded her reading her work and played it during the Pride Literary Hour. We invited Allison to sit on the 2024 judging panel, and the award has been named the Allison Rosewood LGBTQ+ History Month award. Now, our winner will always be invited to read at Pride and to sit on the panel. Allowing the project to evolve has helped create space for students to have their experiences and identities validated, and to build an archive of visible role models. 

This year, our prompt invited entrants to imagine a world where Section 28 had never existed. Mac McClelland’s winning entry,  Brianna , is staggering. The piece eloquently draws a line from past to present, highlighting just how far-reaching and damaging legislation in this vein can be. Opening the door for this creative expression has resulted in something that, in my opinion, is as impactful as an academic paper. 

Knowledge, responsibility, care, trust, respect and commitment, then…what’s coming to mind for you? Perhaps you owe it to yourself and your community to explore your own initiative. One caveat to this: please also apply a love ethic to yourself. Does the thought of a project like this make you weary? You may be running low on reserves, especially as we so often expect members of marginalised communities to advocate and enact positive change themselves. Someone else can take up this mantle, and that’s fine, too. 

The legacy of Section 28 is a traumatised, under-represented LGBTQ+ community and a wider UK society that still often struggles to accept those living outside a heteronormative, cisnormative version of reality. But if you do have the energy and resources, projects like ours can be transformative for individuals and institutions. As bell hooks wrote: “When we are taught that safety always lies with sameness, then difference, of any kind, will appear as a threat…The choice to love is a choice to connect – to find ourselves in the other.” Let’s work to make our institutions a place of connection and relish all the richness of experience that entails. 

Emily Downes is senior student success tutor (academic writing) and LGBTQ+ Focus Group co-chair at Teesside University.

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The Best Student Writing Contests for 2023-2024

Help your students take their writing to the next level.

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When students write for teachers, it can feel like an assignment. When they write for a real purpose, they are empowered! Student writing contests are a challenging and inspiring way to try writing for an authentic audience— a real panel of judges —and the possibility of prize money or other incentives. We’ve gathered a list of the best student writing contests, and there’s something for everyone. Prepare highly motivated kids in need of an authentic writing mentor, and watch the words flow.

1.  The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

With a wide range of categories—from critical essays to science fiction and fantasy—The Scholastic Awards are a mainstay of student contests. Each category has its own rules and word counts, so be sure to check out the options  before you decide which one is best for your students.

How To Enter

Students in grades 7-12, ages 13 and up, may begin submitting work in September by uploading to an online account at Scholastic and connecting to their local region. There are entry fees, but those can be waived for students in need.

2.  YoungArts National Arts Competition

This ends soon, but if you have students who are ready to submit, it’s worth it. YoungArts offers a national competition in the categories of creative nonfiction, novel, play or script, poetry, short story, and spoken word. Student winners may receive awards of up to $10,000 as well as the chance to participate in artistic development with leaders in their fields.

YoungArts accepts submissions in each category through October 13. Students submit their work online and pay a $35 fee (there is a fee waiver option).

3. National Youth Foundation Programs

Each year, awards are given for Student Book Scholars, Amazing Women, and the “I Matter” Poetry & Art competition. This is a great chance for kids to express themselves with joy and strength.

The rules, prizes, and deadlines vary, so check out the website for more info.

4.  American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest

If you’re looking to help students take a deep dive into international relations, history, and writing, look no further than this essay contest. Winners receive a voyage with the Semester at Sea program and a trip to Washington, DC.

Students fill out a registration form online, and a teacher or sponsor is required. The deadline to enter is the first week of April.

5.  John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

This annual contest invites students to write about a political official’s act of political courage that occurred after Kennedy’s birth in 1917. The winner receives $10,000, and 16 runners-up also receive a variety of cash prizes.

Students may submit a 700- to 1,000-word essay through January 12. The essay must feature more than five sources and a full bibliography.

6. Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington College offers competitions in three categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), and nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). First-place winners receive $500. Grab a poster for your classroom here .

The contest runs from September 1 to November 1. The website links to a student registration form.

7. The Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest

Looking for student writing contests for budding playwrights? This exclusive competition, which is open only to high school juniors, is judged by the theater faculty of Princeton University. Students submit short plays in an effort to win recognition and cash prizes of up to $500. ( Note: Only open to 11th graders. )

Students submit one 10-page play script online or by mail. The deadline is the end of March. Contest details will be published in early 2024.

8. Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students

The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in 11th grade. Prizes range from $100 to $500.

Students in 11th grade can submit their poetry. Contest details will be published this fall.

9. The New York Times Tiny Memoir Contest

This contest is also a wonderful writing challenge, and the New York Times includes lots of resources and models for students to be able to do their best work. They’ve even made a classroom poster !

Submissions need to be made electronically by November 1.

10.  Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

The deadline for this contest is the end of October. Sponsored by Hollins University, the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest awards prizes for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school. Prizes include cash and scholarships. Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.

Students may submit either one or two poems using the online form.

11.  The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is open to high school sophomores and juniors, and the winner receives a full scholarship to a  Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop .

Submissions for the prize are accepted electronically from November 1 through November 30.

12. Jane Austen Society Essay Contest

High school students can win up to $1,000 and publication by entering an essay on a topic specified by the Jane Austen Society related to a Jane Austen novel.

Details for the 2024 contest will be announced in November. Essay length is from six to eight pages, not including works cited.

13. Rattle Young Poets Anthology

Open to students from 15 to 18 years old who are interested in publication and exposure over monetary awards.

Teachers may choose five students for whom to submit up to four poems each on their behalf. The deadline is November 15.

14. The Black River Chapbook Competition

This is a chance for new and emerging writers to gain publication in their own professionally published chapbook, as well as $500 and free copies of the book.

There is an $18 entry fee, and submissions are made online.

15. YouthPlays New Voices

For students under 18, the YouthPlays one-act competition is designed for young writers to create new works for the stage. Winners receive cash awards and publication.

Scroll all the way down their web page for information on the contest, which accepts non-musical plays between 10 and 40 minutes long, submitted electronically. Entries open each year in January.

16. The Ocean Awareness Contest

The 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest, Tell Your Climate Story , encourages students to write their own unique climate story. They are asking for creative expressions of students’ personal experiences, insights, or perceptions about climate change. Students are eligible for a wide range of monetary prizes up to $1,000.

Students from 11 to 18 years old may submit work in the categories of art, creative writing, poetry and spoken word, film, interactive media and multimedia, or music and dance, accompanied by a reflection. The deadline is June 13.

17. EngineerGirl Annual Essay Contest

Each year, EngineerGirl sponsors an essay contest with topics centered on the impact of engineering on the world, and students can win up to $500 in prize money. This contest is a nice bridge between ELA and STEM and great for teachers interested in incorporating an interdisciplinary project into their curriculum. The new contest asks for pieces describing the life cycle of an everyday object. Check out these tips for integrating the content into your classroom .

Students submit their work electronically by February 1. Check out the full list of rules and requirements here .

18. NCTE Student Writing Awards

The National Council of Teachers of English offers several student writing awards, including Achievement Awards in Writing (for 10th- and 11th-grade students), Promising Young Writers (for 8th-grade students), and an award to recognize Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines.

Deadlines range from October 28 to February 15. Check out for more details.

19. See Us, Support Us Art Contest

Children of incarcerated parents can submit artwork, poetry, photos, videos, and more. Submissions are free and the website has a great collection of past winners.

Students can submit their entries via social media or email by October 25.

20. The Adroit Prizes for Poetry & Prose

The Adroit Journal, an education-minded nonprofit publication, awards annual prizes for poetry and prose to exceptional high school and college students. Adroit charges an entry fee but also provides a form for financial assistance.

Sign up at the website for updates for the next round of submissions.

21. National PTA Reflections Awards

The National PTA offers a variety of awards, including one for literature, in their annual Reflections Contest. Students of all ages can submit entries on the specified topic to their local PTA Reflections program. From there, winners move to the local area, state, and national levels. National-level awards include an $800 prize and a trip to the National PTA Convention.

This program requires submitting to PTAs who participate in the program. Check your school’s PTA for their deadlines.

22. World Historian Student Essay Competition

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international contest open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, as well as those in home-study programs. The $500 prize is based on an essay that addresses one of this year’s two prompts.

Students can submit entries via email or regular mail before May 1.

23. NSHSS Creative Writing Scholarship

The National Society of High School Scholars awards three $2,000 scholarships for both poetry and fiction. They accept poetry, short stories, and graphic novel writing.

Apply online by October 31.

Whether you let your students blog, start a podcast or video channel, or enter student writing contests, giving them an authentic audience for their work is always a powerful classroom choice.

If you like this list of student writing contests and want more articles like it, subscribe to our newsletters to find out when they’re posted!

Plus, check out our favorite anchor charts for teaching writing..

Are you looking for student writing contests to share in your classroom? This list will give students plenty of opportunities.

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ODU Creative Writing Students Partner with Norfolk SPCA to Help Get Animals Adopted

Photo of a man holding a phone with an image of a dog displayed.

Writers from Old Dominion University’s Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing program are harnessing the power of language to help adoptable animals at the Norfolk SPCA find forever homes. The effort is part of ODU’s Writers in Community , a non-profit program dedicated to helping the diverse communities of Coastal Virginia by cultivating literacy and creativity. A branch of the Old Dominion University MFA Creative Writing Program, Writers in Community works with local organizations to reach out to children and adults who can benefit from the opportunity to express themselves artistically.

Through a social media campaign that started in May, students wrote bios for the several dogs, bunnies and a cat, who are in need of new homes, including the shelter’s longest resident, Haley, who has been with the SPCA for more than a year. Students have also shared photos of their own literary-minded pets to encourage others to adopt. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with such talented writers to share the stories of these wonderful animals,” said Tammy Lindquist, community engagement manager at the SPCA. “Animals make a profound difference in our lives and we’re so happy these writers are sharing the stories of our beloved animals and their own.”

The novelists, poets and essayists in the MFA program also shared photos of their own pets, with reflections on the impact these best friends have made on their lives. SPCA supporters are encouraged to share photos on social media of the pets they’ve adopted through the SPCA with #findyournewbestfriend.

“Our pets provide endless joy and inspiration,” said Kent Wascom, MFA in Creative Writing program director at ODU and author of “The Great State of West Florida.” “The incredible writers in our program are so excited to help these dogs and cats and rabbits find families who will care for them, and to share the ways their own pets impact their lives.”

The adoptable animals featured in the campaign and others hosted by the SPCA can be met from 1 to 4:30 p.m. each day except Tuesdays at their adoption center on Ballentine Boulevard.

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Creative Writing in the Early Elementary Grades

A project that incorporates both standard and creative elements of storytelling can help young learners strengthen their literacy skills.

Two students reading

What can creative writing look, feel, and sound like in a first grade classroom? How can creative writing become a joyful and meaningful learning experience, and how can we educators facilitate the creative process and allow young writers to use their imagination when writing?

Graphic organizers, mind maps, and storyboards are certainly great tools for narrative building and planning, but they do not necessarily scaffold the creative process that story writing requires. In reality, they might even restrict students’ creativity while they “box” ideas in predetermined templates. This year, in my class, going play-based and hands-on has turned out to be a tremendous success.

Examining Elements of Creative Writing in First Grade 

For this particular unit, my first grade students were examining literature and storytelling. After they had enjoyed several read-alouds, explored story elements, and studied the story mountain (beginning, rising action, conflict, resolution, and ending) as a team, it was time for them to write their very own stories. 

They kicked off by creating their main character and decided on the character’s appearance, personality, likes, and dislikes. They also had the choice to play the main character role in the story. In both cases, while still brainstorming, it was time for action: They drew and decorated their characters with markers and pencils, cut them out, and used a Popsicle stick to make a puppet.

They became even more motivated to continue as they saw their characters come to life. My students spontaneously started interacting with each other and their puppets—creating stories and being imaginative—they went right into storytelling mode. This created the perfect opportunity for me to step back and observe my students’ initiative, creativity, and social and communication skills, not to mention their sense of accomplishment and joy. 

Adding Artful Components to the Story

After they had engaged with their characters and interacted with others, it was time for the young writers to further develop their stories and think of a scenario leading to the rising action and resolution. This was the point when loose parts played a crucial role in the storytelling process. Counters, pipe cleaners, bits of paper, pebbles, dice, and buttons became houses, trees, magic wands, you name it. These bits and bobs from around the classroom became a valuable, zero-cost resource. 

While students actively arranged and rearranged their chosen loose parts, they wondered about what would happen next in their stories. Unexpectedly, some students chose to collaborate and co-created stories by joining their imagination and characters in one story. In this step of the creative process, the use of loose parts was truly empowering: Before jotting anything down in their notebooks, my students physically, mentally, and verbally constructed their narratives and shared them with their partners. 

Turning Ideas Into Words

With the mental representation of their narratives ready, it was all a matter of scribing their ideas. For that, we followed our usual class routines and resources such as word banks, sentence starters, and buddy support. All my students were engaged and confident, and when struggling with ideas, they resorted to loose parts again. As my first grade is a multicultural classroom, some of my students needed language support . However, with all of them hooked on their stories, supporting those who needed help with vocabulary, sentence construction, and spelling was simplified. 

I conferred with students individually and in small groups to understand their thinking and offered feedback on paragraphing and some word choice. Instead of using notebooks for their first drafts, they chose to use mini-boards, which motivated them even more and supported them to make quick adjustments to their narratives. Finally, after receiving feedback, they moved on to writing their final drafts and designing their covers in order to turn their stories into books. Each student took their book home to share it with their family after reading it with the class.

Sharing Stories and Making Memorable Learning Experiences

What good is a book if it isn’t read and enjoyed? Buddy reading was the last step of the process but certainly not the least exciting. My students read aloud to each other, commenting on their favorite bits of the story and appreciating the illustrations. The whole project, from getting their characters ready to publishing and reading their books, took around five hours divided into five days. 

When reflecting on the writing process, my students said that what they appreciated the most was the making of their puppets and illustrating their stories, highlighting the importance of integrating arts and writing. When asked about what was challenging, they replied that it was creating all the parts of the story mountain. However, they all said that using loose parts was a helpful strategy that they would use again—which they spontaneously have done in subsequent writing engagements. Lastly, when asked how they felt, some of the words they used were “proud,” “good,” and “joyful!”

A recent UNESCO report on the importance of happiness in learning refers to neuroscience research that proves our affective and cognitive domains are interconnected and interdependent. Therefore, emotions do affect learning! Joy is not a trade-off for academic achievement. Creating positive learning experiences makes learning stick.

Very often, students fear and avoid writing as a consequence of previous negative writing experiences. Combining art and a play-based approach to creative writing in first grade can set students on a path to success by building on their confidence, creativity, imagination, and sense of accomplishment. I have witnessed that the integration of art and writing has helped my students discover how writing can be a joyful and memorable experience where they can all be amazing storytellers and writers.

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5 Strategies for Writing the Parts You Don’t Like

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The creative journey is a diverse landscape. Each writer grapples with unique preferences, strengths, and challenges. The key to writing the parts you don’t like lies not only in recognizing these areas of discomfort but also in devising practical approaches to surmount them. Embracing the discomfort as a natural part of the writing process opens the door to growth and improvement. This exploration of the less likable components can then become an opportunity for honing skills, refining one’s craft, and ultimately elevating the entire writing experience.

Today’s post was inspired by a reader’s question. Sionnach asked:

How do you write things you don’t like? For example, I hate setting. Hate it. I skip over it in books I read. I can appreciate when its being done well, but I still find it boring…. I add in just enough setting so that my characters aren’t talking in empty space. One of my beta readers has said she would like a little more scenery. Maybe a little more wouldn’t hurt—except for the fact that I loathe it. I like to hear the characters. They’re the things that interest me. I read your article on setting and am going to try incorporating a bit more in my story, but every writer probably has something they hate. How do you push through it?

Writing a novel is such an incredibly complex and varied artform. It requires so many  different aspects writers must learn. We have to learn how to describe settings and people, how to mimic real-life dialogue, how to write character actions, how to share character thoughts, among so many other skills. And then there is the variety of subjects we might need to write about in any given scene—everything from romance to violence to parenting to police procedure to girls’ night out. Really, a writer might be called at any given moment to write about anything within the entire gamut of the human experience.

It’s only natural we won’t resonate or enjoy writing it  all . Part of that can come down to the fact that perhaps we haven’t yet developed the necessary skills to write something. Part of it might come down to personal preference. And part of it can even come down to personal triggers and shadows—which can show up every which way, from having trouble staying present with finicky description details to feeling resistance to writing certain subjects.

5 Tips for Writing the Parts You Don’t Like

The parts we don’t like writing will be unique to each of us. Some of us love setting and hate dialogue. The one thing that isn’t unique is the fact that most of us can identify at least one thing we feel like we’re supposed to be writing into our stories and… we really wish we didn’t have to.

Today, let’s break down the experience of resistance so we can discover possible solutions for easing the hard bits and perhaps eliminating some of them altogether.

1. Identify Why You Don’t Like Writing Something

This is always the place to start. Ask yourself, Why? Why don’t you like writing this particular part of your story? Where is your resistance coming from?

If your initial answer is, “Because it’s boring!”—go deeper. Boredom is a mask put forward by deeper motivations and usually signals a different emotion we don’t want to feel. The deeper answers can be vast. At the heaviest end of the scale, maybe there’s something here that’s triggering you or bringing up difficult memories or feelings. At the simplest maybe it’s just difficult to focus your attention when writing this specific part of your story . This could be because your skill in this area isn’t well-developed yet or because you’re trying to write something without the foundation of necessary knowledge (e.g., it’s hard to write descriptive details for a setting you don’t know anything about).

A good exercise when exploring your deeper reasons for experiencing the ick is to compare your feelings about writing a certain part of a story versus your feelings about reading that same element in someone else’s story. For example, you may discover you quite enjoy reading someone else’s love scenes but don’t enjoy writing them yourself. Most likely, however, you’ll find that what you dislike as a reader is also what you dislike as a writer.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes by exploring your experiences as a reader. Indeed, in my experience, this is the single best way to learn anything about writing and storytelling. Study your own reactions. If you don’t like reading dialogue (and, yes, I have encountered a couple people who don’t), then ask yourself  why?  If you get bored by lengthy backstories, ask why?

After a little investigation, you may realize you only dislike certain techniques or types of scene  when they’re poorly done . When well executed, they may rivet you. If so, examine what makes the difference between one author’s approach and another’s. If you find you have a blanket dislike for this part of the story experience, try to decipher why that might be.

2. Don’t Hesitate to Leave Out the Parts Readers Skip

Try to leave out the parts people tend to skip.–Elmore Leonard

A simple rule is that if you’re bored when you’re writing it, there’s a good chance readers will be bored as well. The good news is this can excuse you from having to write the parts you don’t like. The bad news is that the fact that it bores isn’t  always a sign your story will make sense without it.

If you’ve completed the previous exercise of identifying why you dislike something—as a writer, a reader, or both—you can make an educated decision about whether or not that part of the story is worth keeping. When paying strict attention to your own reading habits, notice what you’re skimming or skipping.

Personally, I’m most likely to skip rehashed backstory, unnecessary subplots, and dialogue with extraneous characters who are just there to add color. From that, I can easily deduce the reason I’m skipping is because, as a reader, I don’t care about this stuff. Put another way, this is the stuff that takes me  away from what I really do care about—the main characters in the present-day plot taking actions to further the heart of the story. Even a cursory examination tells me the reason I’m skipping is because these elements are poorly presented within their stories. I’m skipping because the inclusion of these elements is just bad writing.

And who knows? Maybe these authors were  super bored and  made themselves write these scenes when really their stories would have been so much better off without them. (Of course, it’s also possible the authors wrote these scenes with their self-indulgence glasses on, believing readers would love anything they loved writing.)

The point here is that if you’re writing something you wouldn’t enjoy reading then… don’t. Cut the filler. Instead of a couple paragraphs of setting description, hone the skill of identifying one or two “telling details” that can bring the whole thing to life in readers’ imaginations without wasting anyone’s precious time or attention. For all that we like to emphasize the importance of showing over telling, summarization is a crucial writing technique that should be exercised liberally to keep the narrative moving and the pacing tight.

When writing something you dislike, write the least amount you think you can get away with. Then run it by some trusted betas to see how readers might react. Did they feel they were given all the necessary information to understand the story? Did they feel like everything flowed and the pacing worked—and that it wasn’t choppy and didn’t feel like something was missing? If it works for them, that’s a good sign that your resistance might just have been your own good story wisdom telling you didn’t need it.

3. Uncover the Deeper Reason Why the Part You Don’t Like Is Important

When you feel resistance, it’s usually a sign of inner conflict or cognitive dissonance. If you were totally in alignment with not writing something (as per the previous point), then you wouldn’t be worrying about it. You have to ask why a part of you insists this is important to the story. Although you may still decide less is more, it is important to consciously recognize the deeper reasons why something seems like it  should be in your story.

Let’s say you’re writing backstory for your protagonist. It’s boring you to death, but you feel like readers need the context. Ask yourself why this backstory is important in the first place. What is its function within the story?

The top layer of this answer might involve the specifics of your story, your character, and the events of that character’s backstory. You might realize that if readers don’t understand something that happened in the backstory, the events of the main story might not make sense.

You can dig even deeper to an understanding of what we might call the “archetypal” function of backstory, which is to create the verisimilitude of cause and effect by providing a reason for the character’s motivation to pursue the plot goal in the main story.

Once you recognize that, you can examine the bit you’re having trouble writing. Does it fulfill that deeper mandate of backstory (or whatever element you’re working with)? In short, is it  functional within your storyform? The answer may be, simply, No, it’s not necessary to fulfill the deeper meaning of the technique . But another answer may be,  Yes, it is necessary—but it needs to be written with more finesse in order to achieve its full potential.

4. Brush Up on Your Skills

I’ll admit it: I don’t like doing things I’m not good at. I would even generally say that many of the things I’m not good at bore me—which, of course, points to the underlying emotion of discomfort the boredom is covering up. On the flipside, I find a tremendous amount of satisfaction in doing things I am good at. Even if those things are relatively tedious, there is true enjoyment in moving through a task with skill.

Of course, this applies to our writing as well. Sometimes the resistance we feel to writing certain parts of a story may point less to a lack of functionality or importance and more to our own lack of confidence in executing those parts.

Perhaps we need to do more research . We might struggle with writing scenes of our character’s job place and think it’s because we just don’t like those scenes, when really we’re blocked because we don’t know enough about the details of this career to describe or use it as a foundation for interesting characters or conflict.

It could also be we simply need to practice the actual writing skill involved. As stated earlier, writing a story is not just one skill. It is a host of very different skillsets all bundled up together. Just because you’re aces at one skill doesn’t mean you’ll measure up on the others.

Whenever you encounter a part of your story you don’t enjoy writing, consider how you might practice the skill involved—whether it is description, dialogue, showing instead of telling, telling instead of showing, or whatever else. Study how some of your favorite writers execute this technique. Go so far as to copy out passages or mimic their style.

Dig even deeper and ask yourself what they are trying to achieve at an artistic level with this technique. For example, if you’re working with description, you may begin to notice true wordsmiths are rarely “just” describing something at length. Rather, they may be intentionally using description to achieve other ends—everything from evoking symbolism and mood to furthering the plot or providing commentary on a character.

You aren’t just seeking to become good at a specific technique, you’re seeking to master it—to understand its deeper purposes and uses, so you can employ it in your story with all the skill of a general positioning battalions.

5. Gamify It

Finally, there comes the unfortunate truth that not all of writing is fun all the time. After you’ve explored the above possibilities for either eliminating the parts you don’t like or evolving them into parts you  do like, you may be faced with the realization that you have to write the tough stuff anyway.

From there, the only thing you can do is come up with a game plan that will mitigate your resistance as much as possible. Get real with yourself about how this part of your writing is affecting you. Do you feel so much resistance that you end up avoiding that scene—or your entire story—altogether? Do an honesty check and evaluate whether you would be most productive forcing yourself to power through these scenes, or whether you’d be better off leaving yourself a note along the lines of “[WRITE DESCRIPTION HERE]” and then putting off all the hard stuff to the end. (Some of the thoughts in this post talking about the pros and cons of editing as you go are pertinent.)

Whenever the time comes to write the hard stuff, do everything you can to set yourself up for success.

1. Seek Inspiration

You might start by psyching yourself up a bit and getting in the right mindset. Seek whatever inspiration would be most helpful. This might be reading similar passages by authors you admire. It might be brushing up on necessary research, so you have all the information you need fresh in your mind. Or it might be browsing related images or music videos to put you in the mood.

2. Set a Timer

Set a timer for an amount of time slightly shorter than what you think will be necessary to write this section, up to fifteen minutes. Then write like the wind! If you haven’t finished after the first fifteen minutes, set the timer again and keep going. Writing in short bursts can make the obstacle seem smaller. After all, you can definitely write something you don’t like for just fifteen minutes. Don’t overthink while writing. Leave the editing for later.

3. Bribe Yourself

Finally, a well-timed bribe can go a long way toward grounding you and helping you move through grinding resistance. If I’m writing something particularly difficult, I will sometimes provide myself with something to eat that comes in tiny pieces, like craisins or chocolate chips. Even just having a cup of coffee to sip can do the trick. Then I will “bribe” myself with the rule that I get to take one bite or one drink after every paragraph or section I complete. Not only does this give my brain forward-thinking momentum, it also helps contain the impulse toward other distractions.

The ability to navigate and conquer the parts you don’t like writing is a sure sign of resilience and growth. When you embrace the multifaceted nature of the creative process, you have the opportunity to reach toward greater and greater mastery. Even though not every part of the writing experience will resonate equally, you can utilize your own wisdom about your process, as well as these practical strategies, to transform resistance into productivity. The path won’t be without challenges, but each conquered obstacle is an opportunity add a new layer to your expertise and artistry.

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! What are some of the parts you don’t like writing? Tell me in the comments!

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K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel , Structuring Your Novel , and Creating Character Arcs . A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

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To the writer mentioned at the beginning, If your test readers are wanting more setting, then maybe approach the setting as another character. If “where” is important to the story, then it is in essence, another character. Perhaps treated this way, it won’t be quite as much of a chore.

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I like that! Thanks!

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Good advice. I have a post on that, which might be of help:

Thanks for the link, Katie!

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Great analysis, as usual.

One thing that I think ties so much of this together is, “Style, style, find your style.” That is, look at how you’ve been writing and how you really want to be writing, through the question of “How would I write this if I had to write *every* similar moment in the book or my career the same way?”

There’s a difference between writers who know their work would be better with more setting, and the ones who think they’d do better with less if it was done right. If you know you’re the first kind, you could learn how to see more depth in a location quickly and how to keep it contributing to the story. If you go the other way, you might study setting writing too — to find those “telling details” that can add a layer to the writing and move on fast without using up time or space.

*Should* your writing have more or less of something, to work with everything else and so it’s a joy instead of a chore to keep including it? Then learn to make that much or that little of it work.

Very true. So much of writing well is knowing *why* you’re making certain decisions. Are you doing it for your own reasons–or because someone else did it this way and you think you should follow suit? This is also why it is so valuable to study not just how other writers are successfully doing things, but analyzing *why* they are making the choices they’re making and what effect they’re having on the readers.

Yes indeed. One of my favorite ways to start a critique is “It looks like you’re trying to… so if that’s the focus you might want more…”

Which is a great critique practice, since it both describes what you, as the reader, are experiencing, while also offer constructive advice for moving forward–all without assuming responsibility for the writer’s vision.

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Wow, this came at a perfect timing as I sat down yesterday to ask myself how I can make writing more fun for me. Love the tips here and the depth of the questions you ask! As I was reading them, I realized I hate writing the ‘fun and games’ part of a story–the first part of Act 2 when the character has crossed the threshold into a new world. This is a big problem, as it is one of the meatiest parts of a story in terms of entertainment. When I went deeper, I realized that I got so into character arc and character development that this part just seemed like a superficial filler for entertainment. But, once I brought that into consciousness, my excitement soared because I know that there is no part of the story just there for entertainment–every part has meaning, including this part. This is the part the protagonist is either being punished or rewarded for using their lie/truth. I also love the concept of ‘fish out of water’ with the protagonist and this is the part of the story where this really shines if you’ve thought of a good example of it (for example, a woman with ADHD decides to become a professional organizer to prove her worth). Once I started asking those quality questions, writing this part became exciting for me.

That’s perfect! Sometimes just coming to a more nuanced understanding of our own resistance can open the floodgates of inspiration.

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For settings I do a lot of research about what certain places in certain times look like. I also download pics of places and things as visual aids.

In regards magic systems, I borrowed mine from the GURPS: Magic book by Steve Jackson Games. The various GURPS books also provide backgrounds on career skill sets and character templates. A great resource, even for those of us who do not indulge in role-playing games. 😀

The Internet has made research so accessible. I remember writing early historical novels before Internet research was readily available. Such a different ballgame now!

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Another thing about creating magic systems (or anything else, for that matter) is to keep in mind Gene Rodenberry’s Axiom: “Joe Friday never stops to explain how his .38 revolver works. He just uses it.” I worked out a magic system, but never really explain it. The mages use it, the results are such and such.

Another thought on setting (gosh, but I’m such a chatterbox): In one of my manuscripts, I used a short paragraph to describe a city during one of its famous market fairs. Pulled out all the stops. And then followed that up with a short one-sentence paragraph: “The party arrived during the off-season.” (LOL)

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The ending is killing me! Love the post because it forces me to look at why. The answer lies in the weight I carry to authentically and deeply impact my readers beyond the story itself. My protagonist struggles with significant wounds and many of my readers do too. I have to remind myself that I am not (and neither is my story) their path to healing and that burden is not mine to carry. It seems obvious (I’m a fiction writer, not a self-help author), but it comes from my own need to fix, to have the solution, to have all the right answers. And when I don’t … well, that’s my writer’s block. 🙂

Wow, powerful realization–I have the same issue, especially as I studied narrative coaching and bring my own knowledge of storytelling into coaching sessions, I am very aware of the power of stories to heal. One way I started to look at it that helped me is that the ‘lie the character believes’ is a mechanism the character has learned to suppress their emotions-and emotions provide us with the clues as to who we are (and the reconciling of contradicting emotions all the more so, which often is the stuff of story conflict) and what we need to know in order to move forward in an authentic way. The emotions are the gray area and the lie brings the protagonist into a black or white space. Stories are really about how we go past the black and white and connect to the rich world inside of us. In this way, there is no black or white answer in terms of what the character chooses to do in the finale, but there is a ‘teaching moment’ in terms of how the character moves past their lie so they can connect to that inner world. For example-a lie can be ‘I must always provide’. A plot where the conflict is such that the character cannot provide fully for one person without it hurting another will force the character to meet their inner world where they will have the answers what to do. That realization that true love requires boundaries is a powerful gift to give and help readers experience through story.

One of my favorite dictums about good fiction is that its job is not to offer answers but to ask questions. Sometimes viewing the process through that lens can be helpful in more realistically assigning responsibility.

Wow, love that. I think the need to have a solution to present to the reader comes from a desire to give something meaningful to the reader. Giving the gift of powerful questions can literally shake someone out of their status quo and black and white thinking.

Totally. Nothing more life-changing than a good question. 😉

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I once wrote a draft of a sequel/backstory to “A Wrinkle in Time,” because that book leaves so many questions open.

Eventually I realized that the job of a writer is not to solve puzzles, but to make them–not to answer questions, but to ask them.

I pretty much find anything past a few sentences of setting boring to read. I realized while reading this newsletter that I don’t like landscapes, either. The only landscape that comes to mind that I really like is The Starry Night. It’s emotive and seems novel even after I’ve seen it a million times.

Strangely, my mother mostly painted landscapes. We had a complicated, often traumatizing relationship, but I don’t really know if that’s where this comes from. It’s sort of interesting, though.

I’m going to work through these steps and try to write more symbolic and powerful settings. I like the idea of picking something unique and describing it, but I already do that and I’m either not doing it well, or it simply isn’t enough. I’m a four, so maybe learning to infuse my settings with more emotion will help me eke out a few more details.

Thank you for answering my question!

Sounds like you’ve already got lots of interesting strategies to explore! Thanks for inspiring the post.

If you are a 4, try to think of a setting with which you have a positive emotional connection. I’m also a 4, and I noticed I enjoy writing coffee shop scenery because of the positive associations it gives me

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These are great tips! I’ve been having trouble with a story, and it absolutely helps to go beyond asking what the problem is and asking why is it a problem. It also helps to be honest and open to whatever the answer may be. It’s the quickest way I know to move forward.


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My “don’t want to go there” has road blocked the editing of an entire book!

It’s the chapters from the villain’s perspective (first person) that stump me because the person is subversive and creepy (but not graphic). Throughout the book the tension builds around who they are and what they are going to do and eventually results in tbe abduction of a child. I toyed with the idea of cutting it but it really is the catalyst for every other viewpoint characters climax.

So, what is your advice for a road block of “this person’s headspace makes me feel deeply uncomfortable and I don’t want to go back in there and edit it”?

These posts on shadow work might be helpful:

When this sense of dislike or resistance is triggered, Stuart Lichtman would call that a Blocker, and would suggest resolving it using his Base Reframing Process.

I recommend his 2022 book, “Make Your Life a 10,” available thru amazon

Sounds good. I’ll check it out!

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The hardest thing for me has been and still is understanding and applying natural progression in my stories. I know that all scenes must have a goal, motivation, conflict, and disaster and they must relate to the plot. Sequel is Reaction, Dilemma and Decision. The Decision is supposed to be the goal, motivation, conflict for the next scene and you keep doing that until you get to the end of the story–like puzzle pieces fitting together. I am constantly asking myself “What happens next?” and the answer is usually “I don’t know.” I read a ton and am constantly analyzing plots but I’m still not getting it. Consequently, I am frustrated and totally blocked. Any suggestions? Thank you.

I find that when I’m getting analysis-paralysis, it’s probably because I’m relying too much on my logical brain. The logical brain is great at analyzing and organizing information, but can only organize what is already there. When it starts spinning in circles, I take that as a sign that I need to move into my creative brain to generate new ideas–not by brainstorming, but by allowing ideas to naturally generate and arise, via images and feelings. My favorite practice for doing this is dreamzoning.

I’ve written about that here:

And here:

I also offer several guided “meditations” that will take you through the dreamzoning process for the six archetypal character arcs:

Thank you so much! I am going to look at these links now. You are appreciated.

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Hi Katie, I run into this problem a lot. Sometimes it’s because I haven’t done enough research or worldbuilding, other times it’s because I want to skip to the exciting part without building up to it. In my WIP, I was putting off writing for several weeks, possibly a month, just because I wanted to get to the climax so much. But I was a chapter away, and I knew that if I didn’t write I would take longer to get there; at the same time, I didn’t want to write because I wanted to jump ahead. Over that month, I wrote a sentence or two here and there, but last week I pushed through and finished the chapter. Now, I’m almost done writing the climax, and it’s been amazing! It takes perseverance. Thanks for this post, reminding me that it is possible to write through the parts I don’t like!

Recently, I was thinking through my previous books while planning my next one, and realized all my main characters are so similar. They have similar personalities, similar likes and dislikes, similar traits. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and there’s lots of diversity between them all, but I was wondering, how do you write about people who are really different than you? I know about the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs (I’m a big personality geek; I’d be a psychologist if I wasn’t a writer. Wait, maybe that’s one reason I write, haha!), but how do you apply them to crafting characters? And, as an ENFP and a 4,6,9, I have THE HARDEST TIME making “bad” characters. How do you make my bad characters truly bad, without making it feel unrealistic?

I do have a theory that it’s all but impossible for someone to *truly* write a character with different cognitive functions. We can mask it via their behaviors, but deep down their motivations will usually mirror our own understanding of the world. I could be wrong. Just something I’ve noticed in my own writing.

Antagonists are hard for me too. Recognizing that even the most villainous characters are three-dimensional characters and that they *come from us* (i.e., we wouldn’t and couldn’t write them if there wasn’t something in us that understands them) is helpful. In a previous comment, I linked to my posts on shadow theory, which can be very helpful in mining the parts of ourselves that can help us understand and write all of our characters.

And, of course, I released a course earlier this year on Shadow Archetypes:

I also talk, in this post, about how the devolution mapped by the Enneagram can be helpful in writing more realistically motivated bad guys:

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The psych research supports your idea about cognitive functions. I really struggle with that.

I bribe myself to do ALL the tasks of life I hate! How do you think I ended up with 127 stuffed animals and 150 jigsaws? Love ’em all. And if what I want involves hubby (no, not that), I know that he can rely on me for bribe-material as well. Bribing myself never gets old.

The one novel I just didn’t want to do (because of the theme of spies and espionage), I used all your techniques, managed to get it done, reviewers like it the least, but the journey was essential to the overall series arc cuz the protagonist had to go thru some inner-journey things. I prayed so hard that it was good enough and the readers liked the earlier books well enough to keep going to book 7, the end..

LOVED this post!! My other hate, after certain content, is keeping the details straight. I have planets, species, ships, people, and words in alien languages and I simultaneously love it and hate keeping track of it. Started using less, for my readers and my editor and me. I’m learning…

I hear you. I’m not one of those authors who start with the world-building and end up with anthologies of facts. There are pros and cons to that. 😉

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When reading your blog and am suddenly interrupted by an annoying pop-up, it makes me want to move on. Is there something else you could do rather than have a distracting pop-up? It’s a turn-off.

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Find Your Center: The Art of Fellowship

Arts and literary fellows enable students to connect with their creative side—and each other

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Jesse Han is a fifth-year PhD candidate in astrophysics. Most of the time, you can find him studying “galactic fossils” to reconstruct the history of the Milky Way galaxy. When he’s not in the lab or observatory, though, chances are you’ll find Han dancing—swing dancing, to be specific. Han has entered Lindy Hop competitions up and down the East Coast. For the last year, though, he’s brought his  passion for jazz music and movement to the role of arts fellow at the Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS.  

“My philosophy is to do what you like to do—and a lot of it,” he says. “I love making people smile, particularly on the dance floor. So, I became an arts fellow.”

From dancing to painting, writing, knitting, and even cooking, the Student Center arts and literary fellows enable their peers at Harvard Griffin GSAS to take a break from their studies and engage their creative sides. Best of all, they create a welcoming atmosphere where students can express themselves free of judgment. 

The Joy of Expression

A student holds up a print they made during a Black History month wood block workshop

Han’s cohort, Arts Fellow Sudarshana Chanda, a sixth-year PhD candidate in history, wants students to veer out of their comfort zones and feel the freedom of trying something new at the events she organizes. “You're not handling a fragile lab specimen,” she says. “You're painting or knitting or dyeing fabric. It's okay to spill or make mistakes! I think people find that immensely liberating.” 

This year Chanda has organized workshops on indigo dyeing, block printing, and collage in collaboration with the Materials Lab in the basement of the Harvard Art Museum. She also fondly remembers the huge crowd that trudged through a cold January day to take part in a sushi event she helped organize with the Student Center food literacy fellows. “There’s real joy to be found in creative expression, even if it is something you never imagined you might be good at,” she says. The arts fellows also organize trips to local museums and as well as private gallery tours sometimes connected to heritage and celebratory months. 

It was at a knitting circle organized by the 2022-2023 arts fellows that Mahia Bashir began her journey to becoming a Student Center literary fellow. For the last year, the PhD student in history has helped students make art with words. To that end, she and her cohort, third-year comparative literature student Adam Koutajian, organized reading circles, poetry events, book clubs, and writing workshops throughout the past year to provide spaces for students to connect with, appreciate, and produce the written word. Along the way, the fellows also created opportunities for students to connect. 

“There are so many ways for students to interact through literary programming,” Bashir says. “Whether it’s a literary salon with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, an excursion to a local bookstore, or simply sharing a poem that’s especially meaningful, we try to provide opportunities for readers and writers to engage with the words and the people they love.” 

Encounters with New Cultures

Koutajian’s passion for literature is matched by his enthusiasm for creating spaces where students can learn about new cultures. A highlight of the past year for him was the continuation of  International Poetry Night where students read poems in their native languages with the literary fellows providing English translations. “Listening to students recite poetry in their mother tongues is always a deeply moving experience,” he says.

During International Poetry Night, students read poems in their native languages as the literary fellows provide English translations.

The literary fellows’ work culminates each year with the publication of The Graduate Review . Marking the 30th anniversary of its founding in 1994, the journal features poems, short stories, and photographs produced by Harvard Griffin GSAS students. (Students can find writing and art from three decades of The Graduate Review on the third floor of Lehman Hall.) This year’s issue explores themes of identity and belonging, loss, introspection, and healing.

"We spent much of the spring semester working on the review,” Bashir says. “It has been a rewarding experience to read all the wonderful submissions and think about how they speak to each other. We are so grateful to our contributors who entrust their work to the review and very excited for the graduate community to engage with it."

The Student Center arts and literary fellows give students the opportunity to bring beauty into their lives—often with their own hands—whether on canvas, the dance floor, the page, or even in the kitchen. In doing so, they also facilitate encounters with works—and minds—from different periods, regions, and genres. As Mahia Bashir says simply, “We are trying to showcase the diversity of creative expression that our community has to offer.”

The literary fellows invite all members of the School’s community to join them for the Graduate Review issue  launch party on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. in Lehman Hall’s fireside room. Have a question for the Student Center fellows? Is there an event you’d like to see on campus? Want to learn more about student leadership?  Contact the Student Center !

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Student Center Orchestra Winter 2023 Concert in Paine Hall

Find Your Center: Sounds of Spring

The Student Center’s choir, jazz, orchestra, and world music collective ensembles are each managed by one of the Center’s four music fellows who work together and individually to connect students through the music they love. 

Find Your Center: Looking Back at Lehman Hall

Now celebrating the 100th anniversary of its opening, Lehman Hall’s original purpose was much different than its current function. And the intervening years included many twists and turns before the building became the place where PhD and master’s students could “find their Center.”   

Exterior of Lehman Hall with Harvard Griffin GSAS flag displaying

Find Your Center: Nourishment for the Body and Mind

During stressful times, the Student Center food literacy wellness fellows help students relax and connect. They also hope to enable members of the Harvard Griffin GSAS community to make environmentally responsible choices, boost overall health, and leave the Boston area a better place than they found it. 

Students learn to make empanadas at a class sponsored by the Student Center fellows,

Find Your Center: Peak Experiences

The programs of the outings fellows of the Student Center at Harvard Griffin GSAS allow students to get off campus and make new memories—at prices even a lean-living PhD or master’s candidate can afford.

Shot of skis and snowboards leaning up against a fence looking up to Vermont's Jay Peak


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