I posted this journaling prompt a couple weeks ago on my old site. I haven’t used it myself but I did have the opportunity to introduce it at a workshop with three lovely ladies this past week. It is from Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend from Far Away:
Do a 5-minute writing sprint on… a memory of cabbage… Go!
When I told the workshop attendees that they were going to write for 5 minutes about cabbage they laughed. They especially chuckled when I then read an entrance meditation which urged them to ruminate on the green, stinky veggie. But then they began to write. And write. The results were wonderful. Memory and philosophy was pouring forth. They were impressed by the exercise over which they had originally questioned my sanity.
Earlier this month I had a similar experience. At a meeting of a fledgling writer’s group we wrote from the prompt, “when I think of apples…”
The six of us scribbled for about 10 minutes. When we shared our musings we were all amazed by the humor, beauty, and depth we had reached in so short a time. My writings went to a place I was not expecting and touched on memories I had not given much concern. But a fuse has been lit and new writing projects are smoldering with possibility.
Even if it’s not cabbage or apples, look around you. Is it a tennis ball, a coffee cup, or a dust bunny (a few of things within my sight at this moment) and just write about it. The memories or connections you will come up with will astound you!
I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with these journal prompts. Feel free to leave a comment (anonymously if you prefer).