Look around you!
There are prompts everywhere. You are a writer; you want to be a writer. You are a thinker. An actress, an artist? We all are. The world is calling to you. It is sending you a constant stream of messages, ideas, visions.
Regardless of whether you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, or simply be, you are writing to yourself each moment. And your story is your own. Only you can experience it your way.
In San Miguel snapshots are de rigueur. Many are of the same scene. But each capture is slightly different. A personality always surfaces. Yours and the subjects. A simple ten minutes can change the story, any story, completely. A cloud goes overhead, a person enters the scene. Chance? Serendipity?
Is the thought, the movement you have quick and concise? A person of action, no-nonsense? Or does one meander the streets, searching, dreaming? A creative; teacher perhaps. What about the organizer? The perfectionist? Introvert? Extrovert? All the above? Personalities determine a lot. How you see the world. How you make it real. What impressions you let in. What you feel in your body.
Photography is stories. And stories can come from prompts, verbal, written, or not. The perfect bud on a branch, the hat seller, the smell of tacos, a pile of mangoes, the bells, a siren, the clang of pots and pans, sunsets.
Location varies, prompts vary, but the ideas are all around us.
There is some trigger of some sort constantly put out into the universe. What we choose to listen to, now that is interesting.
And how you put them down, in a conversation, on paper, or on a disk – a photo to be printed later, is up to you. Many stories will live only in your heart.
And like playing telephone with cans and string when we were younger, that story changes with every step, blink, word spoken. Ours may be similar, but they are not the same.
How the response to the prompy starts and how it ends may not be the same either. Evolution.
Hence my life of prompts.
I have notes on my phone. Hundreds of them. I wake up at night with a thought and grab my phone in the dark and illuminate the space to write a word or two, or a few sentences. Glenn, sometimes a light sleeper too, will ask across the dark, “Is everything ok?” “Yes, I just had a thought,” I reply. Sigh. He knows what that means. It might frustrate me in the morning trying to figure it out. Those cryptic half-thoughts that seemed whole a few hours ago. Now, they might trigger something entirely different. A new prompt. Changed at the moment.
Run with them, I think.
What would it be like to sit one day and just do quick paragraphs from prompt after prompt? Five minutes each. Less. That is life.
Or scoot around town, camera in hand searching for every manifestation of one idea?
A prompt opens doors.
I take a Monday workshop that I love. It is full of prompts. I have turned some into stories. It always surprises me what comes out of my subconscious. I rarely know what I will write about. I like it that way.
Then, we can share at the end of the session. Hear other’s stories; from the same prompt. Possibilities are endless. I want to hear them all.
That is how our lives are. Reactions, decisions, memories, tales. All from a prompt.
It takes time to be aware. If you are amongst those who have the precious gift of time, give thanks daily.
If busy, take one moment to breathe and listen to the world. Pick one thing out. Toss it around in your head a bit. See what happens.
We are all participants. We are all creatives.
What will you document today?