Autumn Inspirations for Your Creative Life: Writing Prompts
Posted October 5, 2015on:
Have you noticed a slight chill in the air? Have you been marveling at the changing colors of the leaves? Have you started to think about unpacking your fall sweaters?
Autumn is here and it requests our attention. At each change of season, I turn to Seasons of Grace: The Life-Giving Practice of Gratitude by Alan Jones and John O’Neil. Seasons of Grace traces gratitude through the metaphor of the four seasons, encouraging readers to practice gratitude in new ways. It’s a remarkable book that has taught me so much about the power of gratitude as a foundational practice.
I have found that gratitude is a creativity enhancer. The more that we can cultivate gratitude, the more we can withstand the ups and downs, the boons and dry spells of a creative life.
They begin their chapter on autumn in this way:
“The fruits of the harvest are gathered and stored. The trees shed their leaves and reveal their true forms. The days grow shorter and darker, reminding us of how brief our time on earth really is. It’s autumn: a season for reflecting on what it means to be truly alive, and for giving thanks for the gifts an authentic life bestows.
It’s no coincidence that autumn and authenticity are linguistic cousins. Both share the Latin root aut-, meaning “to increase or grow.” Autumn brings the harvest bounty: the earth’s increase. Authenticity brings the reward of increased self-knowledge and awareness, of a life augmented (another word cousin!) through integrity. As autumn represents the ripening of the crops, so authenticity represents the coming into maturity of our characters. The link is gratitude, which allows us to ground ourselves in humility and recognize our authentic nature. When we live gratefully, we become more truly ourselves.”
Autumn presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our inner and outer harvests. Here are some writing prompts to feed your creative impulses as you explore the gifts of fall:
-Look at the following two words—autumn and authenticity. What connections between these two words do you sense?
-What’s most authentic in your creative work right now?
-When do you feel the most authentic? Alone? With others? At work? In nature?
-Write about the gifts from summer. What came to fruition? What didn’t? What are you letting go of for fall?
-What is your creative bounty?
-Finish the sentence: If I were living more authentically, I would…
-What are the 10 things you’re grateful for right now?
-Explore the list of seasonal words and phrases below. Pick one or two words or phrases that carry the most energy for you and free write about them for 5 minutes. Then choose one or two words or phrases that carry the least energy for you and free write about them for 5 minutes.
I’d love to hear your reflections on any of these prompts!
Seasonal Words and Phrases
Inner and Outer Harvest
Light and Shadow
The out breath
The in breath
Change of color
Change of form
Wheel of seasons
Season of preparation
Living in gratitude
The harvest is stored
Lady of the Sunset
Ripening into autumn
Gathering and storing
Wonder and Awe
Winds of Change