Anyone down for a non-lame, journal-style, weekly, prompted creative challenge? Introducing #pocketmuse

in pocketmuse •  7 months ago


The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood is a book I purchased right when I began teaching over ten years ago, and it served me so well as a source of inspiration for writing prompts for my students that served for meaningful journal entries rather than the typical bullshit what’re-your-favorite-ice-cream-sundae-toppings kind of entries which I wanted to avoid totally when I became a teacher because this was the kind of thing that drove me crazy as a student.

As a writer, I run into what we all call and know as “writer’s block,” but I think writer’s block, in all honesty, is bullshit. It is all in outback heads. We have to write through it. I understand that as some of you see that there are gaps in my own posts (this challenge seeks to change that), but it it important to know that I never stopped writing. I never stop writing.

It’s a part of me, and sometimes finding the right inspiration can be a real bitch. That being said, I thought it would be fun to go through some writing prompts that could be kept to around 150 words or so that responds to a specific prompt.

Maybe it’ll take off...maybe it won’t. It’s inspiration, and that’s gotta count for something, right? We’re obviously for the most part, all writers here, and sometimes it’s a bitch to find the inspiration we seek. This could help on those off days, as well as provide some stimulating thought from multiple people on the same prompt.

I want to introduce the tag #pocketmuse as the central theme for this concept if you choose to participate. There is no obligation to participate, but I will be collaborating some of the intriguing #pocketmuse contributions to share in a weekly showcase post, and hopefully after a couple of months, we can start some SBD/Steem token reward for the featured submissions. I am working on some infrastructure for this project, and if anyone is interested in being a sponsor, please let me know.

Monica Wood’s book was a huge source of inspiration for me, as well as for my students, and I think it would be a fun community project to get some Steemit writers on board with the idea of composing around 150 words on a random subject, quotation, photograph, or other prompt. Some of these entries will be directly from The Pocket Muse, which will be cited and credited directly. Other prompts will be inspired by the concept, and I hope to add guest prompt contributors throughout the upcoming weeks.

I’m genuinely hoping to create a fun community within our community here with this project. It’s one I will be embarking upon, and I would love to have you literally share the experience with me. As a writer, it’s a good idea to just stretch your muscles for a little bit. If you haven’t been in school for a while, it’s probably been a minute since you’ve done that consistently without something like this.

Please join us on this journey together. Poets, photographers, artists, songwriters, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, journalists, journalers, bloggers, or just people who like putting words on pages. Let’s get prompted.

These entries are meant to be open-ended, open-thought, train-of-thought exercises. Don’t think too much about the prompt. Take it, take it in, and start writing, or painting, or doing whatever it is that YOU do. You’ll be surprised at how this can feel. If you need a good starting point, 150 words is pretty ideal for these exercises.

Let’s get prompted together. I look forward to voting on the #pocketmuse tag entries.

The First Prompt #thepocketmuse


Who were your parents when they were your age?

I’m 34, and that’s a weird thing to think about, especially as today is my brother’s birthday. When my mother was 34, I was 5 years old, and my little brother was 3. We were living in the house that I grew up in from the time I was 6 mos. old, and my father was selling auto parts at one of the two local parts stores, and my mother was embarking on a new career as a middle school counselor, as well as starting her Master’s degree. She was traveling 200 miles round trip sometimes up to 3 nights a week to earn her degree, as well as busting her ass at a new job and raising a new (and totally awkward) kindergartener as well as essentially a toddler.

It was during this time that my brother and I really bonded with my father, and I think my own bond with my grandmother strengthened during this time as well. I remember nights of my grandmother making us chili on mom’s “school nights” and I remember grilled cheese and soup around the table with my dad in our tiny kitchen.

It was also during this time my father bought a camcorder. The aforementioned grilled cheese and soup dinner I remember perhaps is partially because this night was filmed by my dad. He sat the camcorder on the kitchen counter and filmed dinner with my brother and I so my mom could watch it later.

As I think back on this time, I always remember having such pride for what my mom was doing and how she was bettering her education and making sacrifices to do it. We all made sacrifices, and I feel fortunate that I never felt neglected by her during this time, even though she spent a lot of time working on that degree and keeping her own grades up, setting a prime example for both my brother and myself.

*(Okay, so that was 322 words...concision has never been my strong suit.)

*The point is just to write on a random prompt that may cause you to think about things that perhaps you haven’t thought about before, or to cause you to look at things at a different way.

To Participate:

1 ) use #pocketmuse so we know you’re participating
2 ) copy the prompt word-for-word in your post
3 ) link back to this post so other folks can get up to speed on the fun here
4 ) not required but would be helpful to upvote and support others in this endeavor together
5 ) have fun! Poetry, prose, train-of-thought...hell, even inspired art...all accepted.

Let’s get inspired!

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I love this idea! Like you, I am constantly writing, but it’s pretty rare that I share anything. The “notes” section in my phone is a strange conglomeration of poetry, random thoughts, and shopping lists ;) I think this would really give writers a boost and some inspiration, and 150 words isn’t too demanding. I’d be happy to help back this project up if it takes off!


I hope it serves as a source of inspiration. Starting off, I thought we’d do it once a week, and @melodyrussell I will definitely hit you up in regard to backing if it takes off! Right now, I’d like to see some participation for the sake of it, and then grow it through curation via the likes of you and other thoughtful steemians.

Thanks for being all about this. I’ve been contemplating it for a bit. Love you so much and thank you for the support always.

I think this could be really fun...let alone a good exercise we all need to embark on as all types of artists. Just doing it for sake of doing it because it’s good for us. I know you get it. Thank you so much. 💚


Yep, yep, yep! I think it’s a great idea that will inspire some great writing. Just let me know how it develops along the way and I would be more than happy to give my support (as little as it might be; at least it will be something). I’ll write up a post as soon as I have a little time to focus! ❤️

Great idea! I love the concept! It's sometimes a little easier to get the creative juices flowing when you are handed a topic. Then once you break through that, more seems to come on it's own! Hopefully I can write up a post for it tomorrow! I'd also be willing to help you in whatever you need!

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