Do you ever have one of those moments when you wonder WTF is going on inside your head?
I try to keep mindful of the thoughts that go through my head, partly as a defense mechanism against depression and overdoing things, but also to a degree out of sheer amusement because some of the stuff I think can be deeply bizarre. For instance, here is yesterday’s offering:
“I don’t want her to think we’re the kind of people who don’t clean our bathroom mirrors.”
This raises so many questions about my sanity that I daren’t even go there.
What about using this as a creative writing prompt?
Who is the ‘her’ the speaker is so paranoid about? A demanding mother-in-law, for example, the boss who might have a promotion available, or a rich friend, perhaps. What sort of people don’t clean their bathroom mirrors anyway? What kind of people are the ‘we’ mentioned? Detach this sentence from me and my interiors paranoia for a minute, and think of all the possible short stories you could write using this moment of madness as a starting point.
There are so many little moments in life that could be writing prompts. That is why you keep your writing notebook with you, so that you can write down the moment your mother-in-law steps over your threshold and into your new home for the first time, and the first thing she does is look at the floor and say ‘I see you haven’t hoovered today’ (you moved in two days ago.) Just imagine all the thoughts that would come into your head then! Or when the hostess of a dinner party you attend dispells a painfully embarassing moment by announcing, without any preamble: ‘I like cheese.’ (What was going in inside her head?) Or when you catch yourself wondering what it would be like to eat daffodils (answer: don’t – they are poisonous. I looked it up.) Or even wondering what alpacas think about. What do alpacas think about anyway?
Your mind is a garden of unbridled surreality and whimsy. Don’t ever think you are short of prompts. Its all inside your head. All you have to do is watch what is going on.