All writing, all books, all movies – start with a letters, words and most of the time a single sentence.
“Once upon a time” was perhaps the favorite sentence of my childhood. Having my mother’s undivided attention while she read aloud to me was perhaps one of the singular greatest joys of my childhood.
Perhaps that is why I became a storyteller?
Once upon a time reminds me of a spell, a musical note that says “Listen, you will enjoy this (and I do, over and over again.)
It is also invaluable for those of us who are aiming to rewrite, reframe and recraft our narrative.
That sounds so simple – and yet, I know it isn’t always so – which is why I suggest we start with the less significant moments in time, the everyday experiences and learn to get to know those fully with words prior to diving into the deep end of our emotional narrative.
Let’s try that today: take any scene from the movie of your life and replay it, starting with the words, “Once upon a time” and then let the words flow.
If you would feel better narrowing down your writing choices, look at the last week and make a list of the things that happened in your life and start there.
In your mind’s eye, project that moment in time on your mind’s movie screen and narrate back what is happening as if you are telling it to someone who can not see.
Here’s what I wrote in a description of this prompt on Instagram:
Once upon a time there was a woman named Julie who enjoyed sitting in her recliner, writing for 5 short minutes at a time. Little did she know those five minutes a day would not only change her life, those five minutes a day would change many lives the world over.
(That made me laugh… a bit of levity always feels good.)
And now it is your turn:
All writing starts with words, a phrase and finally a sentence.
Take 5 minutes now and see where in your life you revisit first.
The image to the right could be a moment in time about going to the movies, being at the movies, it might be about being IN the movies. It might be about an academy awards party (that’s where we were) it might be about wining a prize (Emma’s hand is actually in the prize box.)
My writing might begin: “Once upon a time I tried, once again, to make sure Emma enjoyed herself at a time I wish I could have been some place else. Isn’t that an important part of motherhood?”
Or it might begin, “Once upon a time, I walked through the doors of a movie theater and had the experience of seeing myself projected on the screen, larger than life, and praying not so secretly I hoped no one made a fuss but hoping truly that people would make a fuss.”
To practice, start with last week or even this morning, like the section above when I was in my recliner writing. A week later, I am once again in my recliner writing.
Timer set for five minutes? Start writing, now.
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people’s creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in soon!
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.