[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] My story matters!

travel writing

My story matters!…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – My story matters! or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Powerful combo: What you know and Who you know

Mary E. Knippel sharing on Rebecca Hall Gruyter’s Success Panel as part of the 2017 Women’s Empowerment Series.

We’ve all heard that it’s often not what you know but who you know. Of course, we know how important it is to get out there and spread the word about our message. We are among the lucky ones if we are fortunate enough to have friends who would help us prepare for an event, coach us on content and delivery, and then be our support system to strategize about next steps.

I’m sending a huge THANK YOU and lots of love to my friend, cheerleader and my Mentor, Rebecca Hall Gruyter. 

Your success is determined by what you know AND who you know. My friendly advice is to be confident in not only what you know…to also recognize that you are not in this alone…to acknowledge the tremendous impact of those who support you in sharing your clear, concise and compelling message with the world.

Rebecca and I have known each other for almost a decade now and I’ve been a witness to her beautiful journey. We are both committed to empowering women to be visible, vibrant and successful on this challenging roller coaster ride we call life. Today she is an international best-selling author, compiler of the International Best Selling multi-author book Come Out of Hiding and SHINE, Network Director for VoiceAmerica’s Women’s Channel (both Radio & TV), as well as a sought after speaker, visibility expert, and CEO of RHG Media Productions. It hasn’t always been that way. She knew she wanted to make a difference in the world, but wasn’t sure how she could do that while hiding in plain sight. The Women’s Empowerment Series concept was birthed at a retreat we were both attending where we both expressed our longing to live our purpose. I’ve benefited over and over from the series as a speaker on the stage and as a participant in the room. As a direct result of my relationship with Rebecca, I have opened myself up to new opportunities and had some incredible experiences. All because Rebecca nudged me to consider how I could have a bigger impact. It’s because of that purposeful nudging that I can say I am also an International Best-Selling author as one of the co-authors of the Come Out of Hiding and SHINE series. (Click here to get your copy.) And we’ll soon be releasing the second in this series entitled Bloom Where You Are Planted and SHINE!

Do you have someone who lifts you up?

How do you lift up others?

Tell someone that they shine today.

You’ll be glad you did.

Photo Credit:  Dot Claire.

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I’m writing to tell you

travel writing

I’m writing to tell you…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – I’m writing to tell you or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I’m feisty about…

travel writing

I’m feisty about…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – I’m feisty about or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Transformational Writing

Recently, I led a writing workshop and was met with sighs and groans when I invited everyone to prepare for our first writing experience of the day.

Really?

Why was there opposition to doing writing at a writing workshop? I was puzzled, yet not surprised. We are all gifted with creativity in various capacities. However, the Inner Critic is very quick to point out where we feel the most vulnerable. Writing is a sore spot for many people.

I often hear one of the following about why people don’t like to write:

  • I’ve never been good at writing, and my teachers (or parents, or another authority figure) all said so.
  • I can never think of anything to say.
  • Who would want to hear what I have to say anyway?
  • What if people don’t like what I have to say?
  • What if people won’t like me after I’ve said what I want to say?

Sound familiar?

To all of those comments, I have just one thing to say:  Write anyway!

It’s your story, and only you can share it from the inside out.

Unfortunately, there are those who will not like what you have to say. Do you like everyone and what everyone has to say? No. Well, I rest my case.

Think about the people who need to hear what you have to say, and you’ll be the writer you need to be.

As far as not knowing what to say, I’ll take you back to the writing workshop.

Umm. Ok, I guess I’ll play along. The first five-minute writing experience received a tepid response. I intended to plant the seed of possibility and prime the pump of the imagination for the next writing experience.

Yeah. That was interesting, and I’m intrigued. After the second five-minute writing experience, participants shared how this time they were surprised where their pen took them as they listened to their heart speaking to them.

We discussed the richness of hearing what you sub-conscious wants to tell us when we establish a consistent opportunity to show up on the page. And you create your own writing practice just the way you’d go about learning any other new skill by being consistent and dedicated to a goal.

Wow! That was amazing! Now, this is the part I absolutely love. The group asked for a third five-minute writing experience and shared how the messages from their soul with this writing was transformational! Yes, one of the participants did use the word transformational. And she indicated that the whole workshop had impacted more than her writing…she was thinking differently about her life!

And that, my friends, is exactly why I do what I do. My mission is to support you to unleash your story worth writing so that you can have the impact you are meant to have on the world. Writing is the tool we use. My hidden agenda is that you take that tool and rewrite the story holding you back. And write a new story of transformation where you make the difference you are here to make on the world. 

Hop over to my Facebook Page and let me know what came up while you were reading this post. I’m curious.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

 

 

 

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] My hidden agenda

travel writing

My hidden agenda…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – My hidden agenda or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] It’s state fair time

travel writing

It’s state fair time…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – It’s state fair time or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Summer is slipping away

travel writing

Summer is slipping away…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – Summer is slipping away or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Capture a Summer Camp Experience

Yes, I realize we are nearing the end of those “summer camp” days, but I think there’s still time for you to have a summer camp experience. Perhaps you have already sent your kids back to school, and you have gotten back into the school routine with carpools and after-school activity schedules. Or now that the calendar has shifted, you find yourself adapting to a new/familiar routine. But did you have a chance to run barefoot through the sprinklers, eat a Popsicle under a shady tree, or just curl up and get lost in a new book for an entire afternoon? Let your imagination and your creativity have a play date.

Farmer’s Union Camp was not anything glamorous.  Located at the edge of Whitewater State Park in the heart of Midwestern farmland, the camp had seen better days having taken abuse from the hundreds of summer campers over the years.  But for my brother and me, it was a chance to experience life off the farm. We were eager to have the opportunity to stay in a cabin with kids other than our brothers and sisters from Tuesday through Friday night.

It was the trip of a lifetime. My one summer camp experience included hiking in a state park, sleeping in bunk beds in pine cabins with eight others, painting ceramics, and performing in a Fractured Fairytale skit which we helped write.  

My mother had the ceramic fruit we painted on her kitchen wall for years. I remember the rainy afternoon we labored over the exact red we wanted for the apples and the perfect shade of yellow for the bananas.  By the time my daughter went off to summer camp, her activities included horseback riding and panning for gold in the Colorado Rockies.

Take a minute to think about what your favorite summer camp experience was as a kid. Didn’t have one? Well, choose an activity and make it happen! Summer 2017 will soon be a memory. Give yourself the summer camp treatment!

photo credit:  MEKnippel.CrookedLake.MN

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Dear Younger Me…


travel writing

Dear Younger Me…

Friday five-minute writing prompt…

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – Dear Younger Me or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Let passion fuel your writing

Mary E. Knippel's heart painting

Mary E. Knippel’s heart painting

Do you stress about what to write about on your blog? You already have all kinds of content to fuel your writing.

What are you passionate about? Answer that question and you’ll have plenty to write about. Think about what you honestly care about. Yes, your family and business are obvious subjects here. You know there is more…much more to you than the roles you play.

Just in case you still need a little support in identifying your passion, here are a few questions to get you started.

  1. Are you a supporter of the environment? Do you recycle and buy green?
  2. Are you an athlete? Are you training for a marathon, or big competition?
  3. How do you express your creativity? Have you always enjoyed doing things with your hands and make things (such as cooking, gardening, painting, writing, jewelry, pottery, bookshelves, or clothing)?
  4. Have you overcome an illness and are now involved in finding a cure for your disease? Does someone you love live with a debilitating disease or chronic illness?
  5. Did you grow up in another culture and seek to educate the world about the similarities not the differences we all share?

I am passionate about encouraging you to claim your writing voice. I get fired up when someone says, “I’m no writer.” I immediately start waving my hand in the air admonishing whomever the speaker was, to never repeat that phrase. Everyone is a writer, regardless of whether you will ever have a book for sale on Amazon. You compose thoughts in your head, notes in birthday cards, business reports, sales letters, promotional material, and tons of e-mails.

 As a journalist for over 35 years, I have a system to make creating your content fun…schedule your free Unleash Consultation today and stop agonizing about having something to write about! 

What are you passionate about?

 

Photo credit:  MaryEKnippel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The journey to Celebration…

My message for you today is about not quitting five-minutes before you realize your dream! I filled out the application to speak at Polka Dot Powerhouse Network Celebration months ago. It would be the biggest stage I’ve been on to date. I really wanted this. And I got the e-mail that I’m IN! Yippee!

I’d been preparing for the stage my whole life. When I was 8-years-old I used to stand on a beautiful stage and wow my audiences. Every ear eagerly longed to hear what I was going to say next. Of course, my stage was a giant boulder at the edge of a grove of trees and I was facing a field full of corn ready to be harvested. I just knew that I was going to be interviewed some day and I would be prepared, even if no one else in my world thought it would ever happen to me.

What is it that you are longing to do? Start a blog? Publish a book? Share your message on stage? Start today to realize your dreams.