Skip to content

#Trust30 – 1st prompt

May 31, 2011

I just signed up to participate in the Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson online initiative.

#Trust30 is a 30 day writing challenge. You receive a daily prompt and respond to it… in writing. So I sign up, THEN I check out the 1st prompt:

Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

(Author: Gwen Bell)

So, um, ya. Just reading that scared the shit of me… that’s a response, right? Like I actually felt a shot of fear reverberate through my gut…that can’t be good. Now I am thinking, holy shit maybe I should have checked out the 1st prompt BEFORE I commitment myself. Why couldn’t we talk about our 1st childhood memory? Trust me that would have been hard enough. I mean, sure I write about death and destruction and heroes pulling the world back from the brink of disaster (etc) but I don’t really want to imagine myself dying, having only 15 more minutes with so much left undone, unsaid, unshared. The idea of it makes me all heavy and sad, and why go there, why wallow?

But that’s not the exercise is it? If I push past my initial reaction, I see I am suppose to focus my attention on the story that has to be written, that I only have 15 more minutes to get out into the world or, at least, out of my head. Well, that’s different, isn’t it? Though no less daunting, because I am not sure that in this particular moment I have any story locked in my head that can actually be told in 15 minutes. And any story I have that can be so concisely related? Well, I share those every day, as they occur to me. I guess I am just lucky that way…telling stories is like breathing for me. They would pour out of my head, or at least dribble out of an ear, the right one, I think, if they had actual mass.

Speaking of only having 15 minutes to live and write, more than a little part of me would die, if I couldn’t be a storyteller anymore.

What about you? 15 minutes to live: GO!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: