I FOUND MYSELF EMBROILED in a bloggers dilemma as I sat down to write this week’s post. Sunday is Valentine’s day — I should write a post about love and about writing about love. On the other hand, Monday is the Presidents’ Day holiday. I should gather great quotes from our presidents and write about how they apply to our lives. Hmmm… love or quotes about life? Or should I write something about presidents? Since my post wouldn’t be published until Monday, I leaned toward the presidential holiday idea. But love is definitely a sexier topic.
And then it struck me … why not use presidential quotes as a basis for writing about life and love?
So — for your Valentine’s President’s Day Holiday Week, I humbly present the following quotes, along with some journaling and creative writing prompts to inspire you to think about how their words may apply to your life in ways other than political.
Your challenge? Each day this week, respond to the writing prompts for one of the following quotes.
Believe you can, and you’re halfway there. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
- Do you have a vision that you struggle to believe you can achieve? What is it, and what would it take to believe in yourself?
- Are you in a struggling relationship? If so, do you believe the two of you can make things right? If so, what would it take? If not, why not?
- Write about a character who has an unshakable belief in him or herself. What is s/he like? What kinds of actions does s/he take?
- What about yourself would you like to perfect? What about someone you love would you want him or her to perfect? How do these perfections intersect?
- What does your ideal relationship look like?
- In your opinion, is reaching for ideals unrealistic?
- Write a monologue in which the character expounds on the answer to the last question.
- What does it mean to be true to others?
- What does it mean to be true to self?
- How do these two ways of being true intersect and/or affect each other?
When you stifle human potential, when you don’t invest in new ideas, it doesn’t just cut off the people who are affected. It hurts us all. ~ Bill Clinton
- What human potential do you tend to stifle in yourself or in your loved ones?
- How would stifling potential in yourself or a person close to you affect others?
- What would “investing in new ideas” look like when applied to personal relationships?
- How could you apply “investing in new ideas” to a fictional relationship?
There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. ~ Ronald Reagan
- Do you agree with these words? Why or why not?
- How does erecting barriers and constraints affect your personal relationships?
- Imagine a world in which there were no constraints on the human spirit. What would the people in that world be like? How would that world function? How do you envision the path that the evolution of humankind would take?
- In what ways do you owe who you have become to your parents?
- Who else have been strong influences in your life?
- Write a physical description of the person who has meant the most to you in your life. Include coloring, habits, typical gestures, etc.
- Who have you inspired to dream more, learn more, do more and become more? (If the answer is “no one,” think harder — we have all influenced someone in our lives.)
- Are there any great leaders who have inspired you in your life? (These do not need to be famous people.)
- What are some of the common characteristics of leaders you have known?
When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and it is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run. ~ Abraham Lincoln
- What things, ideas, or people could the elephant represent in your life?
- Have you ever tried to hold onto someone when they were no longer invested in the relationship? If so, what happened?
- Write a humorous parable about a man (or woman) and an elephant and what it means to hang on to things, people and ideas that no longer serve.
So there you have it. How to apply quotes from U.S. presidents to write about relationships, characters, and life itself.
I’d love to hear about your writing experience. Did you use the prompts above, or did you come up with some of your own? Please, do share …