Hi all! Let’s talk about writing from a prompt. One of the things I love about visual prompts is that there’s no set point of view. You get to decide whether you are writing from the point of view of the person on the other side of the camera, any people that are in the picture, or someone off to the side who can see the photo being taken. You could write from the point of view of an inanimate object in the photo if you want to. I mean, you can do whatever you want all the time, you’re in control. But with a photo prompt there doesn’t feel like there’s a right way to do it.
So play with it! You can write more than one piece for each photo if you want, from multiple different perspectives.
But let’s get right to it, the prompt!
If you want to write your own piece inspired by the following photograph without being influenced by what I wrote, stop after this photo and come back when you’re done. I’d love to hear lines or entire pieces inspired by my photo, so please share in the comments below!
Visual Writing Prompt:
Walking Away from Home
My suitcase catches on the edge of the moving walkway, skittering across the floor. I tighten my grip on the handle, trying to push it forward with me, willing it to not give me any more trouble.
I can’t do this today. Not now.
The sun hangs low in the sky, kissing the edge of the horizon, draping it’s gauzy pink glow over everything.
It reminds me of you.
I wrench my suitcase forward, over the ledge of another hallway, another grid of gray tiles, another glass wall overlooking another stretch of pavement.
Is this what it looked like when you left me? The dichotomous beauty of gauzy pink sunsets wrapping up concrete and glass? Could you choose to focus on the beauty?
I pull my ticket from my pocket. The flight attendant at the front desk had offered to print it out and well, my phone’s bit wrecked. It hasn’t been the same since you knocked it into the toilet that time. I know I never told you. I didn’t want you to feel bad about it. I know you’d say that was stupid. We’d have laughed about it. That was almost always how we solved things, with a good laugh.
I don’t know how I didn’t see it. Didn’t know.
But we see what we want to see, don’t we. You couldn’t tell my phone was actually broken. I didn’t notice when you started sleeping with him.
I thought about staying, in our apartment, with our friends, the lives that we built here. I don’t want to let you have it, run home like a dog with my tail between my legs. But when you said you’d be back, just a business trip. That you wanted me gone before you returned, I knew I had to surrender my little piece of conquered land and give it all back to you. It was never really mine to begin with.
The sun has disappeared now, the sky the color of an old bruise as I near my gate.
My suitcase catches on something unseen, and slips out of my hand, landing on it’s side on the ground. The tears are there before I can stop them, that familiar feeling of everything overwhelming me all at once. Nothing feels easy these days, not even wheeling a suitcase through an airport.
I want to sink into the floor, let you have it, all of it. I want to scream it at you, that you can take every inch of my life, that I’ll let you have it. I can’t use it anymore. I don’t know how.
But I pick it up. Myself. My suitcase. What’s left of my life. I take it in my hands and I push it forward.
If you wrote anything inspired by this post, or had a breakthrough in your creative process, or anything at all, please share in the comments below. I love talking about the creative process and reading what you wrote.
Thanks so much for reading! Keep an eye out, I’m going to be posting a full length blog post soon!