Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Writing Prompt: Green Light by Amy R. Martin

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For each essay published by the Literary Reflections department, we share a writing prompt inviting our readers to respond. Our editors provide feedback on these responses, and we post our favorites on the blog. This month's writing prompt is inspired by Amy R. Martin's essay, "Green Light."

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Photo by Jena Schwartz

Photo by Jena Schwartz

In "Green Light," Amy R. Martin brings readers along to witness her frustrations and adventures as she forges a career path she hadn't expected in Holland. Through online classes, she finds a place to channel her creative energy, which then flows out of her during her daily routine. Martin writes: "I wrote and I wrote. I switched the laundry and I wrote. I made dinner and I wrote. I changed diapers and I wrote. I often wrote late at night, while listening to the clock tower at St. Willibrordus chime each half-hour, stray cats screech in my garden, and teenagers motor by on scooters."

Martin tells the story of her daughter inadvertently granting her permission—the "green light"—she needed to submit her work, noting, "She was proud of me. All this time, I had thought Sophia couldn't care less about what I did when I wasn't mothering her. It hadn't occurred to me that children could be proud of their parents. Yet I had been proud of my own mother." In finding a muse in her daughter, Martin also realizes a reverence for her mother as a mentor.

Write about a time you were given a "green light" to pursue a creative project, or tell us what you would write if you were granted the freedom to follow your passion. What gives you the courage to make time for your art?

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Read Amy R. Martin's essay here and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by June 1 for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note "Green Light Prompt" in your subject line. We'll publish our favorites on the blog. 


Justine Uhlenbrock is a writer and doula. She writes about motherhood and heritage on her blog, Heirloom Mothering. Her work has also appeared on Mamalode, The Good Men Project, and The Mid. Justine lives with her family in Decatur, Georgia. She is a former editorial assistant for Literary Mama.


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