Guest Writer Liza Wolff-Francis

Our Guest writer today is a dear friend of mine and a very accomplished writer. Say hello to Liza Wolff Francis. Below is an excerpt taken from her Blog Matrifocal Point.  I reccomend checking this Blog out, I am a follower and enjoy her posts for their open thinking and awesome-ness.

“Liza Wolff-Francis is a writer, mother, clinical social worker, and activist. Every hat she wears is informed by feminism. She loves the idea that a feminist is a humanist in a sexist world.

Liza blogs at Matrifocal Point, a site which she founded and manages. Matrifocal Point focuses on identifying the patriarchal system as the base for the oppression of women. She believes that when women are dehumanized, they are then at greater risk for violence.”

I hope you like the writing prompt below and encourage you as always to send in your work that is written through these prompts. If you have a writing workshop or lesson that you would like to share, by all means send it to me and you could be our next guest writer.

Self Prompt Nets

by Liza Wolff-Francis

Writers gather ideas at the strangest times of the day and night. Amazing things occur to us right when we’re about to fall asleep, in the middle of a play or a movie, at restaurants, in the car, taking the dog for a walk. I went through a period of time when I always carried a notebook, journal, or at the very least, paper and pen. Now days I pull out my phone and make random notes on the little electronic yellow note page, though I find it’s not the same as the pen and paper thing, especially when I have written down a one word reminder and then go back to that one word and can’t remember what the heck it meant or what I was thinking. That’s frustrating, as is not having anything written down at all and saying to myself, “I had the best idea earlier, what was it?”Journal

It can happen a lot, that we forget the great things we came up with, thinking at the time they are so great we wouldn’t forget them. They key is not letting them slip away; using the paper and pen in the pocket net can help. Even the most random of thoughts can be good ones when expanded upon. I actually think everybody has brilliant ideas, but only writers use them for writing. Everybody else chuckles to themselves and lets the brilliant ideas go out of their heads as quickly as they came in.


Idea (Photo credit: marlenekzio)

If you don’t already, try out the paper in the pocket to catch your ideas like a net. This net can also be used in a slightly different way as a more intentional writing exercise with the purpose is to catch an even fuller picture of the possibilities your creativity holds. It’s not to just catch your genius ideas, but what happens around you. Have your pen and paper in your pocket, notice things that go on: your thoughts, things people say, etc. and write them down in just a quick few words or a sentence. These are your prompts to go back to later and write about.

As an example, here are things I wrote down this afternoon.

The Mormons woke the baby

a lullaby to make us instantly fall asleep

I avoid the library when I have an overdue bookTyrannosaurus rex, Palais de la Découverte, Paris

A hand written sign that said: “Need to sell your house, call…,” lay on her couch

As I let myself in her house, she peeked around her kitchen door to say she was in a meeting

The cars beat the dinosaurs

I could go back to any of these notes and use them to tell the story of what actually happened or to make up something entirely different using them as prompts. So, number one on this list is the story of Mormons coming to my door right after I put my son down for a nap. My dog wouldn’t stop barking at them, which woke up the baby, who then started crying. The two Mormon guys were then asking if they could help me. The prompt for me might be to write the whole story, which was actually quite absurd as it was, but it could be taken in a number of directions.

Small dog

Small dog (Photo credit: L. Marie)

What if I had invited them inside? What if I had said yes, please babysit while I write. Or come in and play with my son for a bit while I do some of the things I need to do while he’s sleeping. Or they could do my dishes. The possibilities are endless. The prompt is to take those five words and go for it, to just write on whatever comes to mind. Maybe you have a story, maybe you just use the prompt to get your creative juices flowing. I might write on all of these self-prompts or I might just pick one or two. I might also use two together, making up an entirely different tale than what originally happened.

You could also do this exercise with a friend. Tell your writing buddy to take notes like this for an afternoon. You do it too. Then exchange them and write on one of their prompts.


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

It’s always fun to write on other people’s prompts because they don’t trigger your brain as experiences you had that day. Feel free to use any of the ones from my list as writing prompts and make a net of your own. The idea is to start writing, use your experience, use your ideas, use your words.

Jot those ideas down, get going with your creativity!


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