This Week’s Writing Prompt

Every Fourth of July, we celebrate the birth of our country and all of its accompanying freedoms. We have many ways to experience and exercise our freedom. Writing is one.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley, author of Some Luck, shared her reaction to a note in a friend’s office one day:

“Over her desk, above her typewriter, she’d tacked up a phrase: ‘NOBODY ASKED YOU TO WRITE THAT NOVEL.’

The line reminded me that writing is a voluntary activity. I could always stop. I could always go on. And since no one’s asking me to do it, I’ve always seen writing as an exercise of freedom, rather than an exercise of obligation. Yes, writing is my job—but I could always stop and do something else. Once writing becomes an exercise of freedom, it’s filled with energy.”[1]

Not only do we enjoy freedom of speech in our great country, but we also have the freedom to express ourselves creatively. As Smiley says, we are free to write, or not. No one makes us write.

  • What do you think about Smiley’s perception of the freedom to write?
  • Do you agree with her? Why or why not?
  • Describe the freedom that writing provides you.
  • Do you view writing as a get toor a have to activity?
  • Has writing been instrumental in liberating you in an area of your personal life?

It’s a brand new month, and all posts in response to our writing prompts in July are entered into our drawing to win a free online coaching video—that’s a $20 value! Go for it!

[1]Fassler, Joe. “’Writing Is an Exercise in Freedom’: How Pulitzer Winner Jane Smiley Motivates Herself.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 3 Dec. 2014, Accessed July 1, 2019.

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