Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: For Your Journal

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Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help. Several times a month, we'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write.


Journal writing is something I stopped doing after the age of 14 when my mother and older sister found my diary and read it aloud to each other. They didn't mean anything by it, but it left me feeling exposed. I never wrote in a journal again.

That is, until I attended a guided imagery workshop called “Googling Your Brain” at a writer’s conference, where we were guided to experiences in our mind, and then told to write about the experience while it was fresh in our memory. It turned out to be some of the best writing I’ve done. The first day I played with a doe; the next, I walked in the woods during a soft rainfall with my beloved mother-in-law who is a victim of dementia; and on another, I interviewed the main character in one of my novels.

In one of those sessions—when our instructor told us to go to a place—I knew exactly where I was going: to a street side café in Sorrento, Italy. I couldn’t wait for her to “guide” us.

But I didn’t go to Sorrento. I found myself in my daughter’s womb with her seven week embryo. I was astounded to find myself there instead of an Italian paradise.

It turned out to be one of the most exhilarating moments of my life, made all the more so because my daughter is adopted. She never resided in my womb, although she was always in my heart. Being with the child of my child in her womb was poignant and emotional.

I was asked to read the piece that evening when conference attendees shared their work. I made sure I received permission from my daughter first (who LOVED it). I was brought to tears by how many people were touched by the piece I had titled, “On the Way to Sorrento.” I’ve been journaling ever since by “googling” my brain.


In your journal today, relax sitting straight in your chair, breathe normally, but concentrate on the feeling of the air as it moves into and out of your nose, close your eyes, and slowly go to a place…or find an animal you want to play with…or imagine rain upon leaves…and stay there for fifteen or twenty minutes. Come back slowly and then write about your experience.


Do YOU have a writing prompt to share with Literary Mama readers? Send your 150- to 300-word narrative and associated writing prompt to lmblogeditor (at) literarymama (dot) com. We'd love to read your ideas!  

Marie Murphy Duess, is the author of the novels Holding Silk, Ashley Hall, Tears of the Willow, and two non-fiction history books, Colonial Inns and Taverns of Bucks County and The Delaware Canal, From Stone Coal Highway to Historic Landmark (The History Press). She also authored the true story titled Joshua’s Ring. She is the author of the River Pines Saga, a Romantic Western Adventure series, writing under the name Patrice Garfield. She conducts and develops creative writing workshops, motivational presentations, and lectures for local colleges, historical societies, and writing organizations—most recently for The Pearl S. Buck Writing Center and the International Women’s Writing Guild.

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Oh Marie! Thank you for this wonderful prompt and description of your experience. I journal daily and teach skills like this to my writing groups. I will share this prompt with one of them this evening. Thank you for alerting me to this invitation by Literary Mamas too. I will play, for sure. Best,Suz
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