6-word Stories Prompt for May

courage to be imperfect

Write a 6-word story telling the entire story of your life.

This sudden fiction/nonfiction is a writing practice and therapeutic technique that challenges people to write an entire novel/memoir in 6 words. #opnoshame6wordstory

 

Shed the shame with therapeutic writing! Each prompt is carefully chosen to go along with the monthly blog post that will be published on the first Monday of each month.  The 6-word story prompts will be published on the first Friday of the month starting in June 2017.

Flash Fiction Prompt for May

courage to be imperfect

Write a 500-1000 words fiction story where YOU (the character) have just told someone (it can be a stranger or friend) your entire life story. How does this someone react? How do you respond? #opnoshameflashfic

 

Shed the shame with therapeutic writing! Each prompt is carefully chosen to go along with the monthly blog post that will be published on the first Monday of each month. Flash fiction prompts will be published on the first Thursday of the month starting in June 2017.

Essay/Narrative Prompts for May

courage to be imperfect

  1. Have you ever told anyone your entire life story?
  2. If not, what stops you?
  3. If so, how was it received?
  4. What are the parts of your story you leave out?
  5. What would it take for you to tell your life story with your whole heart?

 

Shed the shame with therapeutic writing! Each prompt is carefully chosen to go along with the monthly blog post that will be published on the first Monday of each month. Essay/Narrative prompts will also be published on the first Monday of the month starting in June 2017.

Letter Prompt for May

courage to be imperfect

Write a letter to the world on why you’re scared to tell the truth of your entire life story. #opnoshameletters

 

Shed the shame with therapeutic writing! Each prompt is carefully chosen to go along with the monthly blog post that will be published on the first Monday of each month. Letter prompts will be published on the first Wednesday of the month starting in June 2017.

Vulnerability, Courage, & Shame: Courage to be Imperfect

Editors note: Part 3 of the Operation No Shame blogging series Vulnerability, Courage, & Shame

To be vulnerable means that we let ourselves be seen – every part of us, yet shame stops us from showing our authentic selves because of a fear that we are not worthy of a connection.  Our pasts, the baggage we carry, our differences, the quarks we cannot filter, our mistakes, the passions, and our little wins all warp into a beautiful mess – one that is worthy of a connection. Everyone is worthy, but we need the courage to be vulnerable so a true connection can spark.

Does that mean everyone has to be friends with everyone? No. Loyalty, trust, a share of interests, and geography all play a role in what makes good friends. But no one deserves to feel like less of a person because of WHO THEY ARE or WHERE THEY ARE FROM or WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH.

“People who have a strong sense of loving and belonging believe that they are worthy of love and belonging. They believe they are worthy,” said Dr. Brene Brown on the topic of shame in her Ted Talk: Power of Vulnerability.

In order for people to be vulnerable, society must be accepting of people’s baggage or mess.  With acceptance –  we build courage, with courage – we allow vulnerability, with vulnerability – we shed the shame.

It can start with you no matter which side of the possible connection you reside on.

The original definition of courage when it first came into the English language read, “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” My mind was blown when I heard Dr. Brown discuss the origin of the term because I’ve never heard anyone use it in this form.

Prior to hearing that definition, my brain used to hear “courage” and associated it with remarkable, brave, and extreme acts performed by soldiers, advocates, protesters, nurses, teachers, athletes, the list goes on… When I thought of myself having courage, it seemed to be much less impressive. I associated it with public speaking, introducing myself to strangers, asking a boy for his number, or blogging a personal post.

I want to shout out my story in its entirety: the beauty, the mess, the taboo, the adventure, the struggle, the fun, the shame, the aftermath, the love, and the resilience.

It’s a cool story.  But I haven’t yet.  The timing has always been off. But honestly, if I had all day every day – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t. Why? Because that’s scary shit. Am I right? Telling your story with your whole heart… My initial response is “What would people say? How would people act around me? Would I be desirable for a connection?” Therefore, I’ve come to believe that there is nothing more remarkable, brave, and extreme than telling your story.

Letters

My most shameful baggage

It’s time to forgive yourself and heal, starting with writing a letter to your past self – that person who participated in that most shameful event or walked into that situation. Confront yourself in a letter with compassion and retrospect… and Let it Go. You were NEVER your shame. #opnoshameletters

Memoir Prompt for April

My most shameful baggage

The best part about writing a memoir is that you already know all the events in the story (so far). The characters developed in real life and the setting has always been around you. The hardest part of memoir writing is the emotions that come along with remembering and going over your life (over and over and over again).

Memoirs do not document your entire life. The purpose of a memoir is to relay a PART of your life. The memoir is a story of themed events that got you to a specific time and place in your life.

Try your hand at writing your memoir of the DAY leading up to your most shameful baggage and the immediate aftermath.

6-Word Story for April

My most shameful baggage

Write a 6-word story about how you got involved in this ‘thing/event’ that caused you the most shame.

This “sudden fiction or nonfiction” is a writing practice and therapeutic technique that challenges people to write an entire novel in 6 words. #opnoshame6wordstory

Flash Fiction for April

My most shameful baggage

Think back to that one most shameful thing you did in your past or to the event that spiraled you down a paralyzing shame trail.  Rewrite that history in 1000 words or less.  What would you have done differently?  Do not change anyone else’s actions, only yours.

Writing Prompts for April

My most shameful baggage

What are you most ashamed of in your past?

Ex. 1 If I tell you     (my most shameful baggage)     , will you find me unworthy of a connection?

Ex. 2 I will never be enough because of _________________.

Why are you MOST ashamed of this thing/incident/mistake/event?

What have you done to distant yourself from this shame?

What have you given up because of this shame?