Writing Group Prompt for November

Each month, the writing group I belong to sets out a prompt for the next meeting. We then have a month to write a poem or something from that prompt that we read at the next meeting. I also figured these would work nicely as blog posts. The prompt for our November meeting was “If life were like ….” This is what I wrote.

What if life were like writing? We’d never have to settle for the first draft. If you – the main character – said something stupid when talking to the person you had a crush on, you could just go back and change it to something witty. Diets and cosmetic surgeries would be a thing of the past if all it took were some keystrokes to change your appearance. And if the plot of your life came to a fork and you took what turned out to be a boring, or otherwise wrong fork, you’d only have to go back a few chapters to take the other and see what comes from it. With enough tweaking, everyone could truly become the hero of their own narrative.

However, most people would probably say that some of the greatest moments of growth in their lives came from some of their greatest tragedies. Would people purposely write themselves into a tragedy so they could grow from it? And how would this work if everyone could write their life? Would creepy stalkers keep writing themselves into the lives of celebrities, only to have the celebrities constantly editing them out? And would titles like “Best Actor” or “President” still have meaning if all it took was someone to write, “And then John became Miss America?”

Perhaps it’s best that we can’t literally write our own lives. Life is crazy enough without the insanity that comes from writing.

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