This week’s writing prompt: Write About What Is Stressing You Out.
April is National Stress Awareness Month in the United States. And according to a recent American Psychological Association survey, U.S. Adults Report Highest Stress Level Since Early Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, more than 80% of Americans reported emotions associated with prolonged stress, and “2 in 3 adults (67%) said the number of issues America is facing is overwhelming to them.”
While writing about something that stresses you out may seem counterintuitive at first, studies have shown that writing in a journal or engaging in expressive writing can significantly reduce stress levels. According to studies covered in this Psychology Today article, “researchers found that expressive writing led to reduced blood pressure, improved immune system functioning, fewer visits to the doctor and shorter stays in the hospital, improved mood, reduced symptoms of depression, improved memory, and more.”
This week is as good a time as any other to consider what justice is to us as individuals and as a collective society, both locally and globally.
With Derek Chauvin’s trial currently underway this week, recent headlines telling us that billionaires became exponentially richer during what was the worst of the coronavirus pandemic for so many others economically, the quest to find perpetrators behind the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, new science and coverage revealing how climate change severely affects those in certain socio-economic classes globally— and the list goes on and on—it’s time to pause for a few moments and consider: what is justice?
It’s now been just over one year since COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. Most of us will agree that 2020 was one of the weirdest years we’ve ever had. And for some of us, it was probably one of the hardest or most tragic years we’ve ever had.
While the threats of COVID-19 haven’t entirely dissipated, it does seem that they’re starting to fall behind us albeit slowly. But sometimes in order to look ahead, especially after traumatic or significant events and pandemics, it’s important to reflect and process what’s happened first. Especially in today’s always-on, rapid-paced world, where reflection is not as common but more necessary.
I’m going to take this week to reflect on my COVID-19 year, and then write a journal entry about it. Complete this writing prompt too, if you’re ready to start processing and reflecting on your COVID-19 year too.
Somehow “feminism” is still a “dirty F word” avoided in polite conversation, a radical word in most social circles and online groups. In the twenty-first century, it still remains on the outskirts of the most influential dialogues about women … even during Women’s History Month. But what exactly is “feminism”? And how should it be understood and defined in 2021? Has how we understood feminism over the past century or past few decades changed or evolved at all? Should it?
This week’s writing prompt for Daily Drafts & Dialogues: Write A Short Piece About What Feminism Is. To get started on this writing prompt, consider looking into the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Angela Davis, Kimberlé Crenshaw, bell hooks, Malala Yousafzai …
Have you ever read an autobiography or biography of someone famous or notable in history and wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with them? Or wondered what questions you would ask them if you were able to talk to them one-on-one? If given the opportunity, what would you ask women in history like Ada Lovelace or Hypatia or Harriet Tubman or Eleanor Roosevelt?
For the second week of women’s history month, and to honor International Women’s Day today, I want to imagine what it would be like to have a dialogue, or conversation, with a notable woman in history. Or to imagine what it would be like to witness a dialogue between two notable women in history who have never met. For instance, what would a dialogue between Dorothy Vaughan and Harriet Tubman look like or entail?
As we begin the first week of Women’s History Month, I’m interested in understanding more about Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction, and their histories. I don’t typically read either genre… I don’t think… so I want to know more about both of these genres and what exactly it is that designates a piece of writing as “Chick Lit” or “Women’s Fiction.” And what better way to do that than by attempting to write a sample of one or the other (or both?) myself. After learning more about what each genre entails, of course.
I’m hoping this week’s writing prompt (Write a Few Paragraphs or More Of Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction… After Learning More About Each Genre) will help me check my own likely subliminal and subtle yet not-so-subtle passive-aggressive, misogynistic assumptions and biases about what Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction are— at the very door to the vault of our “literary canon,” where only what’s deemed as “valuable” in society and academia is let in, revered, saved, and preserved.
This week is the last week of Black History Month in 2021. And I want to acknowledge and observe Black History Month this year by writing a journal entry about a recently published book I’ll closely read on Black History. The book I’ll be reading: Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 , edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain.
Last week we experienced history as we tuned in to watch the second impeachment trial for Donald J. Trump. And there’s no doubt that the entire impeachment trial process was political from beginning to end, especially since the verdict of the trial came out along party lines and because it was supposed to be a political trial at its core, as all impeachment trials are. But how much of the truth and relevant facts of the trial were sacrificed on the biased political stage?
Watching the trial made me wonder: is there a way to write about Trump’s second impeachment trial without being partisan or using partisan terms and phrases? Is there a way to write about the trial without referring to Republicans or Democrats, or without using colorful language that embellishes either side of the partisan argument? Would this more nonpartisan writing approach make the argument for impeachment indisputable and more clear-cut?
Valentine’s Day is this coming Sunday. You know, it’s that overly-commercialized time of year to give and receive chocolates and flowers and cards and jewelry and other cheesy, materialistic gifts that no one ever really needs or knows what to do with, but still kinda wants. If we’re all being truly honest with ourselves, we all want a Valentine, or to at least be seen and acknowledged by a loved one or a love interest, on this overly commercialized holiday. Yes—even as we roll our eyes and mock the drugstore shelves filled with fake cherry red candy and hot pink faux velvet boxes and plastic commodities.
Why? Because whether we like it or not, the very idea of love and affection is still “in the air” on this thrilling day for lovers and annoying day for coveters, every year. There is no way to avoid it. So, I say, why not use it to our creative writing advantage anyway, eh?
I’ve been reflecting on Joe Biden’s inaugural speech, and the entire inaugural event really, for the past week or so. And it got me wondering: what would I put in my own inaugural speech or poem for 2021? What would I include in it or exclude from it? If I were offered an opportunity to address the nation at this specific time in history, what would I say?
What about you? If you were afforded the opportunity to address the nation right now, in a widely televised event that a majority of citizens and the rest of the world were watching, what would you say? What would be in the text of your speech or inaugural poem?