Last week, I held a creative prompt writing session on Zoom because the place that we have been meeting at has been under renovation and there is a change of ownership. So, I thought I’d take it online like so many others are doing lately. It also opens up the group to people in other areas. It isn’t meant to replace meeting in person and I hope to have a more permanent home for it soon.
One of the things we do during our meetings is give the opportunity to share writing with others. I model this off the Brown Bag writing prompt group I used to go to in San Diego.
The prompt we worked off of last week was to write in the perspective of a city official where the town has suffered from a high tech firm causing problems in their community. The place is at an old fashioned town meeting. The prompt was inspired by an article in the May/June 2022 Writer’s Digest titled “Writing Prompts That Teach.”
I thought I’d share my writing with you. It’s in raw form–what I wrote without stopping to think or edit. It needs revisions. For one thing, I mostly haven’t attributed the quotes to a speaker, but the great thing about writing practice is, since I only wrote for 15 minutes during the timed prompt I don’t have much investment in it. I can take it or leave it. That’s what writing without thinking too much about it is. You can decide if you want to use it or toss it. Sometimes it just needs to sit for a while to percolate.
It could be considered a brave step for me to bare this raw material. Or, some might think it’s laziness to not polish it up before posting, but I think what I’m aiming to show is that everything we create has a starting point. Some of it gets to a polished end and some of it gets thrown into the trash. You decide.
And, if you’re available on Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. EST, join me for the next zoom session. Just post in the comments section and add your email address. Comments are monitored so I don’t have to show your email to the world!
Raw prompt writing sample.
“I’m here to address the issue of the high rise tech firm causing excessive traffic in the community and the offensive odors being emitted…”
“Mr. Mayor, I have a comment…”
“Please, no questions until after the issue is addressed–”
“But Mr. Radison…”
“As I said, in order to keep our meeting in the time allotted, we need to hold our questions.”
“As I said, so now, where were we? OK, look folks first off, I would like to apologize to the community for the trouble. We are in the process of addressing your complaints. We understand, there was a traffic jam outside just to get into this meeting.”
“Yeah, Mr. Radison, we’ve never had none, no problems like this before.”
“As I stated, we are sorry for many of you having trouble finding parking for this meeting. We have a plan being worked up for a parking structure on 6th & Stevens.”
“But, Mr. Radison.”
“We will need to adjust the budget to make room for the structure.”
“But, Mr. Radison, what about the offensive odors? My kid got sick.”
“One issue at a time. As I was saying, about the parking structure, the funds need to build it far exceed our budget. We’ll need to move budgets around to have enough. Our extra recycling services will have to go.”
“But wait, that’s my job.”
“Can we raise more money?”
“As I was saying, we’re looking at shifting around funding. You can send your questions and comments to the email address on the screen.”
Mr. Radison paused and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He wasn’t sure how to address the issue of the people that were regularly getting ill from the fumes. He coughed, then wondered if he was also getting impacted. He hoped not, took in a deep breath and dove in.
“OK, again, I am so sorry for the reporting of illnesses. We are working with the city departments to investigate the matter.”
“My kid was out of school for two weeks.”
“Yeah, mine too.”