An Exercise in Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving Day approaching, I’m taking an inventory of all the things I’m thankful for. I practice daily journaling and decided to dedicate today’s journal entry to a list of things I can give thanks for today. I don’t usually do writing prompts but I thought it appropriate this week to introduce a writing exercise on the topic of thanksgiving.


Instead of just listing all the things you are thankful for. I challenge you to write an alternate version of what life might be like if you did not have all of the things you are thankful for. What would your living space look like? What if you never went on that first date with your spouse? Who would you be if your parents never met? It doesn’t have to be long. 250-500 words are enough to remind you to be thankful because things could be very different.

Have fun with your writing assignment and remember to give thanks everyday.

Until Next Time,

Nicole D.P. McLaughlin


Shrink Your Footprint

English: The carbon footprint as it is underst...

Today is Earth Day and as writers we have a reputation for killing many trees on our way to a literary masterpiece.   This post comes from a place of guilt for all of the paper I waste and so on this Earth Day I make a pledge to do better.  We all have a carbon footprint, and with it we leave our mark on the world.  But unlike a number one best seller we leave a mark that does more damage than good.   So naturally I began to think of better ways to recycle.  Not only paper and water bottles but ink cartridges, file folders, binders and yes even articles and stories.  There are so many things that can be re-purposed if we take a moment and think through its usefulness.

Here’s an idea for paper:  Once you’ve printed on both sides of the paper you can use the sheets like you would newspaper and wrap fragile items  in them before putting in boxes for a move.  They can also be crumpled up and used as insulation for items being packed and shipped via the mail.

As far as recycling characters and plots:  You can take a short story character and give them an expanded life in a novel or a movie script.  An article written for one outlet can be re-worked and specially crafted for other outlets.  Always look for the different angles and markets that can use pieces you have already written to extend the life of the work.

Lastly, when running errands such as going to the post office or meeting with a client, group these activities so that you only make a few trips out a week.  Try to  schedule them on the same side of town to be as efficient as possible and use less gas and lessen your gas emissions.  Even when you’re working from home there are still things we can all do to make the plant a healthier place to live.