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Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt LogoPost #188 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompts and Life Prompts – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

When Kendra and I co-authored the collective memoir: Rosie’s Daughters: The First Woman to Generation Tells Its Story (now in its Second Edition), we began talking about the larger meaning of Rosie the Riveter. Yes, her daughters (women born during World War II) were strengthened and empowered by her message, “You can do it, if you need to.” But it seemed to us that there was even more to it than that. All empowered women carry a bit of Rosie the Riveter in them. We want to honor the words of all Rosies.

Today, we consider the words of strong women writers about writing. We thought a good place to begin would be with Alice Walker, a Rosie’s Daughter, born in 1944.

ALICE WALKER, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple and other works:

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.”

Women's Memoir Logo—– Although Walker features fiction writing, most memoir writers would agree that writing changes us and hopefully our readers.

GLORIA STEINEM, columnist at New York magazine in the 1960s and co-founder of Ms. magazine.

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”

Women's Memoir Logo—– Perhaps you can identify with her words. Writing is a task that we both dread and love. Yet, when we’re writing, we know we’re home.

LILLIAN HELLMAN, well-known and controversial playwright: (The Children’s Hour, 1934, The Little Foxes 1939, and Toys in the Attic, 1960 and author of three memoirs: An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir, 1969, Pentimento, 1973, and Scoundrel Time, 1976. Although Hellman remains a controversial writer, we just might learn from her quote.

“If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.”

Women's Memoir Logo—– Hellman reminds indirectly that it takes the act of writing to become a writer. Don’t get hung up on all the steps to “become” a writer. Just start writing and write regularly. We hope that was one of your 2014 New Year’s resolutions and that you are carrying through with it. Falling off the writing wagon? Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start writing again.

PEARL S. BUCK, another Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.”

Women's Memoir Logo—– If you listen to any of our author interviews, you know that Kendra always ends with the words, “Now get to writing.” Perhaps Pearl Buck was her inspiration. Writing and all forms of creativity are developed and fine tuned through habits. Persist in regular writing until it becomes your habit.

We’re ending today’s quotes with one from Rita Mae Brown, a second Rosie’s Daughter, also born in 1944.

RITA MAE BROWN, a prolific writer known for her first novel (Rubyfruit Jungle) and her cozy mystery series co-authored with her cat, Sneaky-Pie Brown.

“Writers will happen in the best of families.”

Women's Memoir Logo—– This one needs no takeaway. If you are a writer (and you are if you’re reading our blog), then you already know what this one means. It’s a great statement and one you just might try out in a conversation with your own family.

Memoir Writing Prompt

Today’s writing prompt is based on use of quotes. There are many website sites with quotes.

1. Look up quotes from women writers and choose one that speaks to you.

2. Read it a couple of times and then write about what it means to you. Maybe it will inspire you in the development of your life or give you encouragement or help with the necessary perseverance. Think about a conversation you might have with the writer you have chosen. What would you say to her? What would you ask her? What would you like her to ask you? Put all of this into what you write over the next five minutes. Have fun with your conversation. It’s not everyday that someone gets to have a conversation with a famous author.

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Free Memoir Coaching Opportunity with New 2014 Memoir Contest

by Matilda ButlerFebruary 28, 2014
Free Memoir Coaching Opportunity with New 2014 Memoir Contest

Be sure to check out our innovative 2014 memoir contest. You may win a free coaching session and be considered for publication in our new series of ebooks.

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Award and Honor from Story Circle Network Turns Into Memoir Writing Prompt

by Matilda ButlerFebruary 24, 2014
Award and Honor from Story Circle Network Turns Into Memoir Writing Prompt

WomensMemoirs is #1 and we’ll get you started writing about your #1 moments.

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Memory and Memoir: What One Tells Us About the Other

by Matilda ButlerJanuary 8, 2014
Memory and Memoir: What One Tells Us About the Other

Women’s Memoirs presents the second in our 2014 series of blogs by looking at two types of memory and discussing how these influence our understanding and practice of memoir.

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Start Your Writing Year in the Right Way: Memoir Writing Tips

by Matilda ButlerJanuary 1, 2014
Start Your Writing Year in the Right Way: Memoir Writing Tips

Welcome to 2014. A discussion of clutter in our lives and tips to decluttering your writing life.

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Memoir Writing Prompt: What Tracks Do You Leave?

by Matilda ButlerDecember 21, 2013
Memoir Writing Prompt: What Tracks Do You Leave?

Need a fresh memoir writing prompt? We think this will give you a new perspective and a fun concept to get you writing.

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Memoir Stories: In Plain Sight

by Matilda ButlerAugust 27, 2013
Memoir Stories: In Plain Sight

Become a memoir scientist and help discover your personal stories that have been hidden in plain sight.

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