Life Prompt: Inspiration from Emerson…Just What Writers Need

by Matilda Butler on October 22, 2012

Writing Prompt LogoPost #164 – Women’s Memoirs, Writing Prompts and Life Prompts – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Life Prompts and Inspiration

A dear friend sent me a note recently, a sturdy physical note rather than an ephemeral cybernote. The paper had an Emerson quote at the bottom. I read and reread it, finding inspiration for my life within these words.

What do you find?

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” –Emerson

Emerson’s statement is an example of what I’m coming to call “Life Prompts.” As you probably know by now, I look at the world and see writing prompts. They are every place — indoors, outdoors, in the comments of friends, on trips, in restaurants. Well, like I said, writing prompts reveal themselves to me regularly. I’ve valued the many comments from the readers of Women’s Memoirs about my prompts. Since it’s just the way I see the world, I’ll keep right on with these.

But lately, some of what I read seems more like Life Prompts than writing prompts. They are words of inspiration that help us value our lives. So when I find something special, I’m going to share it with you. Writing helps us find ourselves. And the words of others can help us better focus on our lives and lead more satisfying lives.

I wish that for all of us.

Writing Prompt

Did I say I was going to focus on a life prompt today? Yes, and one good way to think about its value in our lives is to write about it. So I’m going to combine a writing prompt with the life prompt.

1. Write a list of the times in the day when you have spare moments. If you don’t have any, then write about how you can carve our some spare time.

2. Work on the #1 list until you have a minimum of 30 minutes of spare moments each day. Then write about how you will polish that time in a way that improves your life. You shouldn’t just “fill it.” Don’t even think you have to devote that time to writing. (Although that might be a valid idea if you want to make more progress on your memoir.) Instead think of how you can use that 30 minutes to create a better life for yourself. Stressed out? Maybe you need that 30 minutes to relax or meditate. Bogged down with too much to do? Maybe you could use that 30 minutes to do just one item on your list that often is left undone.

Well, you get the idea. “Guard well your spare moments” and don’t too easily discard them.

memoir

Do you have a favorite life prompt? If so, send me an email and I’ll share it with others. Send it to: matilda (at) womensmemoirs (dot) com.

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