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Friday Writing Prompt: Life Story in Five Minutes

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Here’s an exercise I stole (like an artist) from Melissa Febos. She uses it to get her students to write about sex, and you can totally do that if that’s what tickles your fancy.

I like the structure of the exercise, but I’m more into life stories. So today, I invite you to explore this exercise with me. You’ll need a 5-minute timer for this one. Anything will do, and if you don’t have anything handy, you can use this.

Ready? Let’s start.

In five minutes, write five sentences about your life. It can be anything at all. You can write about your relationships with friends, lovers, family, community. You can write about jobs, careers, school, aspirations. You can use the lens of the past, present, or future. Whatever.

Done? Good.

Now do it again. The only rule is you can’t write the same sentence twice. You can zoom in to a specific event or aspect. You can zoom out to consider your path so far or where you see yourself in 50 years. You can write about something else entirely or use one of the sentences you’ve already written as a starting point.

Done? Good.

Now do it again.

And again.

And again.

Do it as many times as you want, as long as you need.

As a bonus, read over what you’ve written and note what you started with, the journey, and what you ended up with. What’s the difference? Why do you think that is?


Hey there! I would love to hear whatever you're willing to share that came from the prompt. Please comment below or click on the chat window, even if it's only to tell me that you've found this prompt useful.

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