Here’s today’s assignment in Writing 101:
Prompts come in many different forms. Sometimes, a single word is all you need to get your mind’s wheels turning. Here are six words:
Select one word in this list that speaks to you in some way. Have you always wanted to write about that wrong decision you made? Are you a long-term traveler looking for the right city to settle? Do you want to write a poem about your relationship?
The beauty of the one-word prompt is that it’s open to interpretation. What do you think of when you hear this word? What do you see? This word is simply the seed for your post: feel free to shape your idea as you see fit.
Initially, I wasn’t very inspired by this assignment but before long it began to grow on me. I wasn’t going to write about love, home, uncertainty or regret so that left secret treasure. Maybe I should write about secret treasure because it goes so well with one of my favorite blogging events – “Wicked Word Wednesday” since today’s word is Buccaneer.
So I might write about secret treasure for WWW but for this assignment the word I chose is ‘secret’. I’ll let you in on a little secret about one of my writing habits. Just before I go to bed at night, I check the assignment (for whatever WordPress course I’m taking and blogging events like Wicked Word Wednesday and think about what I’m going to write. Sometimes I jot down a few notes on whatever paper happens to be on my bedside table. The next morning my thoughts are better defined and I have a pretty good idea what I want to write.
Finding the time to do it is always the challenge but this approach helps me wake up thinking about what I want to write. Occasionally the evening thought/writing process keeps me up late and I finish the assignment then, but usually it’s the next day.
Secrets have the power to unite but more often to divide. When someone shares a secret you feel special – you’re in on it – you’re trusted. That can feel good. But sometimes you are on the outside of the secret circle – you are excluded, you feel shunned and you wonder, perhaps assume, that the secret is about you and it’s something bad. Maybe the secret was one of your secrets and you find out, the hard way, that your trust was misplaced. That’s the problem with secrets. Who can you really trust to keep them?
There are also the secrets you keep about yourself; the things you don’t want others to know. Sometimes these secrets seem so powerful and threatening that you don’t even like to admit them to yourself. I have found that I have fewer and fewer of this sort of secret the older I get.
I wondered what other people have said about secrets and thought of Carly Simon, who wrote and sang about secrets on her 1972 album – No Secrets. Probably because my subconscious had been working overnight and tapped into the part of my brain that stores song lyrics, I woke up this morning with the following lines running through my head:
“We have no secrets, we tell each other everything
About the lovers in the past and why they didn’t last
. . .
In the name of honesty, in the name of what is fair
You always answer my questions
But they don’t always answer my prayers
. . .
Sometimes I wish, often I wish
That I never, never, never knew
Some of those secrets of yours.”
Yep – that’s the problem with secrets – they usually do more harm than good and maybe its better if you just keep them to yourself. That’s the only way they’ll really keep.
I explored the internet a bit, checked the lyrics (you can too, just click here) I had forgotten the lines about her lover’s secret beach encounter with someone else. Then I found a music video of the song and remembered why I liked Carly Simon so much when I was in high school (even though the video is a completely different arrangement than the original song.) Check it Out
I’m pretty sure my husband doesn’t like Carly Simon so I understand she does not have universal appeal but for any Carly Simon fans out there, you might want to check out this blog about the photo shoot for the cover of Carly Simon’s No Secrets album.
The blogger has this to say about the album cover:
“It suggests that a woman can be a feminist – as any woman walking down a public street without a bra in 1972 was likely to be – and yet still be engaging, sexy and easy-going. Feminism itself could be sexy, in other words, and women’s liberation was more than just hostile political rhetoric. It had something to offer men as well.”
No secret there – feminism has a lot to offer men! The blogger makes an astute observation of what coming of age in the 1970s offered and why I have always been proud to be a feminist. How and why feminism ever got contorted into something negative, I’ll never understand. That’s the problem with “isms.”
Well that certainly turned into much more of a ramble than I anticipated but there you have it – my take on secrets.