It’s Monday, and you know what that means: blues, blues, blues. Though Monday is technically my Saturday (I work weekends), I remember all too well that drag while getting ready for school or work early in the morning. Bonus points if the weather outside was gloomy itself, and all I’d wanted to do was curl under a blanket with a good book.
But Mondays also bring with them a sort of promise; the start of the work week opens up the next few days to opportunities and adventures, even little one like learning something new or buying yourself a nice lunch.
My nice “brunch” (with my sister) as I type this up
Mondays have always been my best writing days, even before I had them off. You know that fitness mantra, “Never Skip a Monday”? Well, it works for anything. If you kill it doing what you love on a Monday, it keeps you going throughout the week. You set up the week for success because you’ve burst out of the gates of Monday at a sprint and with a fresh set of writing to put your name to.
Today I’ve written a list of writing prompts that I hope can help you burst out of that gate and kick the Monday Blues. So if you’re dragging today after emerging from a long weekend, sitting in school or at work wondering if life would be better as a hermit in the mountains, maybe you can try out one of these to get those writing juices flowing and set up your week as a creative and fulfilling one:
- It’s the end of the world. Doomsday has arrived, and you’re a world leader. You have five minutes to deliver one last address to your country. What do you say? How do you comfort them?
- Three college friends are meeting for one last coffee date before graduation. What do they talk about? What problems are they facing as they get ready to embark on life outside of structured schooling?
- Your character is driving down a back road and stops at a light. Suddenly, their passenger door is opened and a person jumps in their car. They press a gun to your character’s temple and order them to drive. Where do they go? Who is the person with the gun?
- A grandmother is making soup. It’s a soup she’s made a thousand times but with different ingredients. Yet her grandchildren always say it tastes the same. Talk about that. What is it about grandma’s soup that makes it always taste like… ‘Grandma’s Soup’?
- Two characters share a smoke outside of a busy party or bar. One has never smoked a day in their life. What do they talk about? Why is the one character smoking?
- Describe your “dream” character. What do they like? What do they do? Are they a good person? Is anyone?
- Tattoos are painted scars. What kind of pain does your character’s tattoos describe?
- A controversial court case has shifted a town from its semblance of peace and simplicity. The two lawyers deliver their closing remarks to the jury. What do they say? What does the jury decide?
- It’s 3 a.m. and you’re at one of those 24-hour diners. What other kinds of characters are with you during the “Witching Hour”?
- What is love to you? What is bravery? What are these abstract qualities that have been written about and talked about for millennia to you?
Take five, ten, fifteen minutes and scribble something up from one or more of these. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but maybe one day you’ll want it to be.
Here’s my scribble, written from prompt #5:
“Can I have one?”
He looked up in surprise, at the doe-eyed girl approaching.
She shrugged. “I’ve been meaning to pick up a few bad habits.” The music from lake house pounded the bricks as she leaned next to him against them.
“Oh no.” He laughed. “I won’t be responsible for screwing up the good girl.”
She frowned. “I wish people would stop saying stuff like that about me.”
“What? That you’re the good girl?”
“The good girl. The smart girl. The girl with a plan.”
“It’s all true.”
She shook her head. “You don’t know me.”
He hesitated, then shook a cigarette from his nearly empty box. “Here. But you better not get addicted to this shit. I can’t have that weighing on my mind, good girl or not.”
She took it. “Thanks. Could you light it? I don’t want to burn my thumb.”
“I’m suddenly less concerned that this will become a habit.”
She smiled as the flame licked the end of the stick. “Thanks.” She put the cigarette between her lips and a moment later exhaled a stream of smoke.
“You sure it’s your first smoke?”
“I never said it was my first,” she said before bringing it to her lips again.
A pause. “Yes.” Another exhale. “But I looked up how to smoke once: the technique is all laid out in YouTube videos.”
“Jesus,” he chuckled. “You’re incredible, you know?”
“I wish people would stop saying things like that about me too.”
“Poor golden girl.” He shook his head. “Life must be so hard for you.”
For a moment she didn’t answer. “It does seem a little annoying, doesn’t it?” she mused. “That I should act like a martyr when I have everything everyone wants. Why should I complain? Trust me, I ask myself that all the time. Feel so damn guilty about it, like I’m – I’m spitting in the face of everyone who has actual problems.” She shrugged. “I hear you. I get it. But I can’t shake the feeling that I want to sink to the bottom of that lake over there while everyone enjoys themselves inside.” She looked at him, meeting his eyes for the first time. “What? Why are you staring?”
“I keep waiting for you to cough up a lung,” he admitted. “Tutorial or not, not even I could talk and smoke at the same time for at least the first couple of times.”
She smirked. “Right.”
“You can complain, you know. Hell, it’s what most people specialize in. But I get the feeling before this moment you were more of a ‘journal your suffering’ kinda girl.”
“Something about smoking made me think I should spill all my fears to a stranger.”
He gave her a mock hurt look. “I’m not a stranger.”
“You are. I know you, but you’re a stranger. We’ve never said more than ten words to each other.”
“Yet here we are now, exchanging hundreds. It’s a big step for us.”
She looked at him again, and something in her eyes cleared. “Well, now I have to step back. Thanks for the cigarette.” She dropped it to the ground, squishing it under her boot before turning away.
He called after her. “Don’t jump in the lake.”
She threw another smirk over her shoulder. “We’ll see how the rest of the night goes.” Then she disappeared back inside the house, rejoining the party.