Sunday, June 28, 2015

Writing prompt: Visualize Your Successful Future

Think for a moment about what you really want to do with your life — your dream job, your ultimate career, what you want to be remembered for when you're gone.

Now imagine that you have been living that life for a few years and, unexpectedly, you've been given a great award in recognition of your work. What reward is it — a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize? A Presidential Medal of Freedom? A Humanitarian Award from the Elie Wiesel Foundation? A dinner in your honor by the American Federation of Teachers?

With that picture in your mind, write your acceptance speech for the award.

Ulterior motive

This prompt isn't about improving your writing so much as it's about improving your outlook.

The Pulitzer Prize gold medal award 한국어: 퓰리처상 ...
The Pulitzer Prize gold medal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We don't write because we seek fame and fortune, but getting recognition for our work can rejuvenate and reinvigorate our efforts. So much of our writing is created with love and released into the world, but we get little indication of how the world feels about it. We try to believe that what we're doing is worthwhile, that it's helpful in some way and contributes something Good to the history of humanity. But without feedback, we can never really be sure that anybody else even cares.

Knowing that our work changes people's lives in some way helps us continue to do so.

So imagine you have been changing lives for the better through your work, and you're finally getting widespread recognition for it. Whom do you thank? Whom do you remember? What do you say?

After you have written your acceptance speech, don't publish it online. Instead, print it off and put it somewhere you'll see it from time to time. Then, every time you see it, ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing now getting me closer to using this speech for real?"

Why I chose to post this particular prompt today will become clear tomorrow.