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My Week in 100 Words

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Some time ago, I began frequenting a club. Oh, not that kind of club. A writing club. I visit their website pretty regularly, because they post writing prompts.  Occasionally, I am inspired to try them.  This month’s prompt is outrageous:

Write us a story. It can be fiction, or non-fiction. The only restriction is that it is EXACTLY 100 WORDS LONG. Not 99 words. Not 101. We have the tools to check. We will be judicious about hyphenated words. Title not included in word count.

I wrote 3.

The first was cathartic; I trashed it. The second was romantic; I submitted it.

The third I share with you:

“Thank you for your prompt reply”

Staring at the blinking cursor, I curse aloud:

“Damn it! I hate these writing prompts! I don’t even know why I visit this website.”

I know a successful author—also a manager at the local Starbucks—who insists that if the act of writing is not fun then something is wrong. I would revise his dictum: “If the act of writing doesn’t make you feel then something is wrong.”

At first, the act of responding to the prompt made me feel exhilarated. But I soon began to feel frustrated by the constraints of the assignment.

It’s time to move on.

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Comments (2)

My first attempt at a 100-word story. What do you think?

Heschel wrote “Indifference to the sublime wonder of living is the root of sin”. These are strong words indeed. Indifference, or a lack of wonder or amazement, is the core of sin? This may be hard to accept for some. But it resonates with me. When I was severely depressed, the world held no wonder for me. Nothing amazed me. Nothing mattered. Trapped in the darkness of mental illness, my sins were quite apparent. I was no longer a loving husband and father. I considered the sin of suicide to relieve my pain. Total indifference is no way to live.

Robert,
Thank you for sharing your story — I think it is personal and powerful, and I hope that you will submit it to Write Club or maybe to The Sun. Depression is a terrible illness; one that is too often denied and hidden, which leads some to suffer in silence, alone, and end their lives. I am grateful that you were able to find the strength and will to recover. You are one of the healthiest people I know!

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