Prompts From My Heart

I recently took a journey back through an old journal, and I found a page where I’d written some prompts. I wrote these at the tail end of an illness that forced me into a deep retreat inside myself, unable to work or do much at all for a year. In my journal, I wrote:

I feel it coming back and I feel such gratitude. I know the journey of healing isn’t always a straight line and will continue to feature bumps and dips, but I feel the energy of my writing, my creative soul, pouring back into my heart, my arms, my fingers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I will try to keep blank paper at hand so my heart can fill it…

Then I gave myself these writing prompts, which came from a deep place of reflection on my life that my illness and my feeling of creative rebirth  inspired. I’d like to share them with you now:

  • Friends you have had. What you remember most.
  • Things you have obsessed over.
  • Things you have done secretly.
  • Things you wish you had done.
  • Things you wish you hadn’t done.
  • Things that trap you.
  • Things you don’t tell anybody about yourself.
  • Things that free you.
  • Roads not taken.
  • People you wanted but couldn’t have.
  • Things you wanted but couldn’t have.

As always, if you use these prompts to write something you’d like to share, I’d love to read them!


4 Responses to “Prompts From My Heart”

  1. 1 Anjie March 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I love your prompts! Please let me know if you would like to be a guest prompter on my website. Happy Writing! ~Anjie

  2. 3 herby June 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    This is in response to your prompt ‘roads not taken’ and the image you chose for this post.

    I left town, that glorious autumn day after accepting the job. My family were so disappointed that I could barely cope to think about them. I was but 18 years young, head strong and spirited. I could no longer withstand the call of an open air life.

    And so I left the city I had always called home for a land so foreign it might as well have been Mars. I thought I understood the ways of the bush – how wrong I would be. This apprenticeship would teach me so much more than just horsemanship, cattle work and mechanics. No, by the time the four years were done I would be forever changed.

    My good grades at high school no longer mattered and the university degree I had abandoned would not help me anymore. I was now a jillaroo. A dying breed of tough young girls giving it a go in the man’s world of the Australian bush. The tiny town of Windorah would become ‘the Big Smoke’ with it’s population of less than 200 souls. It would be a full 5 hour drive from the station and trips there would happen only thrice a year.

    As I drove I drank in the dry harsh plains of the Australian bush. I watched the mulga scrub grow sparse and the gibber plains approach. I felt the hot sun beating down on my battered old ute as my dirt bike bounced around in the tray alongside my shiny new swag. My akubra was firmly pressed onto my head as I drove with one arm out the open window to my new home.

    From the day I arrived, I learned the true meaning of tough hard work. Before I was even settled into camp I was given orders to pack for muster. There would be no easy breaking in of the new apprentice jillaroo. I was the only woman on the property – the boss’s wife had up and left three years earlier. And no favours would be shown.

    For four glorious years I worked hard and roughed it out with the men of the station. Year in and year out we mustered and branded stock, bred and sold beasts, and lived in the harsh outback sun. Winter mornings brought frosty ice an inch thick to our swags and summer days were so hot our motorbikes overheated with such frequency that it became a nuisance.

    And still my family didn’t understand. I returned home twice during my ‘time’ and they made the drive a few times. They couldn’t understand why I would give up my privileged education to hang out in the bush with a bunch of lads chasing cattle.

    It wasn’t all glory and fun. There were challenges on that road that are best kept for another place. I suspect I would have enjoyed that life out there in the channel country. I think my soul would have found peace in the hardship of the land with the earth permanently ingrained in my skin and my heart sleeping under a blanket of stars.

    *Written from the comfort of an airconditioned office wearing a suit and tie*

  3. 4 stranglingmymuse June 29, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Love it! Thanks so much for sharing this, herby.


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