Writing Prompts Help Tell Your Story

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Writing prompts are a great way to start digging up your story/stories and bring those tales into the light where others can read and share them. You just have to tell your story! You must!

Holidays become a great catalyst for remembering some of your stories. The Fourth of July is coming right up. What kind of memories…stories…does this holiday bring back to you? Take this writer challenge!

Writing prompts are fun to play with. They also have the ability to act as powerful tools as well. Though the professional writer may not be inclined to use them, they are still useful to many, including:

  • Novice writers who want to learn to write a story
  • Anyone interested in expanding their writing scope and skills
  • Those who want to write their family history
  • The one who is ready to write a memoir
  • Someone who just likes to play with new writing adventures

Writing Prompts for the Fourth of July

What kind of writing prompts are we talking about here? Well, they might look something like one of these:

  1. What is my favorite Fourth of July memory?
  2. What is your earliest July Fourth memory?
  3. The most surprising Fourth of July was…
  4. The last time my family was all together for a July Fourth we did….
  5. Independence Day means to me….
  6. Why I love to barbecue over the Fourth
  7. My favorite water story from a Fourth of July is…
  8. What are your own Independence Day traditions?
  9. Is this your favorite national holiday? Why or why not.

The list is endless, but these are some good triggers to start you telling your story. They are meant to get you started, to jog your memory, and focus your thoughts on a particular story or part of a story.

My Independence Day Memories

When Independence Day comes up in my thoughts it always brings fond memories. Summer is definitely not my favorite season–never has been, probably never will be. It’s just too hot!

However, July Fourth is one of the few exceptions for me. As far back as I can remember fun things happened at that time each year. I grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, boyhood home of Mark Twain, a quiet little down drowsing on the western shore of the Mississippi River.

Every Independence Day, all the citizens would gather at the riverfront. Festivities of all kinds took place during that holiday time. I just saw the schedule for this year’s Tom Sawyer Days Celebration. It was always a fun time around Hannibal, and still is worth a visit to experience its unique events.

I thought I would share a couple of memories from my own life to help get you started as well. The entire episodes are not shared here, just a description so you get the idea!

Writing Prompts: My Earliest July Fourth Memory

That one is easy! I was four or five years old, maybe younger. My mother, dad, sister, and I were all at the riverfront to watch the fireworks display at dark. We staked out a great place to watch at the foot of Hill Street. There was a large brick building near the water to our left as we stood on the old brick cobblestones.

As the first amazing fireworks were shot from a barge out in the river up into the velvet night sky, my dad reached down and swung me up onto his shoulders. From my perch above his head, far above the tops of everyone around, I watched the dazzling display overhead.

I can still remember how he parked me gently on his shoulders, how I leaned forward a bit into the back of his head, and how I put my head as far back as I could to take in all the color in the sky! The rushing noise made by the launching of each one, the sharp pop as each painted the sky with reds, whites, blues, and greens–I still hear them as I write this. Even the loud boom of the “duds” that didn’t go off quite right still rings in my memory. The smell of the smoke and the cloud it left hanging over parts of the river and the waterfront crowd are still alive.

Writing Prompts: My Own Independence Day Traditions

This writing prompt makes me think back to when I still lived in southern California. From the deck outside the master bedroom upstairs you could look out across the whole valley. Mount Baldy stood majestically some 20-ish miles on the other side. The valley floor as far as you could see in all directions was a sea of dusky lights.

Independence Day was a time to gather close friends and any family that could get there to have a party. We swam all afternoon and even into the evening. The whole event centered around the back yard with the pool and the grill.

The men grilled anything and everything they could find. There were mountains of awesome burgers, hotdogs, steaks, shrimp, vegetables, whatever. The table was filled with delicious summer side dishes–coleslaw, potato salad, jello salads, vegetable trays, deserts. Ice-cold watermelons kept in a huge cooler on ice were mandatory. And all the iced tea, water, and soft drinks you could ever want.

Then when darkness finally fell and the sky above the valley began to fill with stars, everyone trucked upstairs to gather on that deck. From our perch there we could watch the fireworks displays from seven or more cities through the length of the valley. We watched them all with a radio station playing patriotic music behind us.

Then it was back down to the deck and the pool and swimming with just the pool lights. Everyone had a blast. The kids were worn out by the time the evening ended, the youngest having to be carried asleep to the car. The basic clean-up was done as the evening progressed. The final touches would come the next day.

Writing Prompts: Let Them Stir Up Your Stories Now!

Both of these memories bring back a lot to me. My stories give to me as much as they might give to others. I am taking the time to write my stories like these two. I am treating them as my gift back to the family. Life happens, and sometimes family gets scattered and lost from one another. I want my stories to breathe new life into my family. I want them to open the door for them into a look at what my life’s adventure has been. Perhaps through me stories, younger ones in the family will see something that sparks within them to bring a blessing to their lives and families.

Writing Prompts: Take The Challenge!

Come on, jump into this with me! Let this Independence Day be the catalyst for you telling your story. I challenge you to get it out there for others to read, to learn from, to grow by, to just enjoy!

Life is too important to let it go by day after day without leaving a trail marker here and there of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. To tell your story is to leave those trail markers for others to follow. Your story is a great gift that lives within you. Please don’t ignore it or leave it trapped inside behind a wall of excuses or fear of sharing it.

Thanks for spending this time with me once again.

Happy Fourth of July!

Thank you & God Bless!

If you want help with your story, there are so many ways I can assist you. Please email me so we can talk about writing your story!

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Hi I'am Jane Rucker

Writing is my passion. It consumes me. What a blessing it is to work from my home studio tucked away in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri! I enjoy sharing my life, my faith, and the hidden treasures all around me in these beautiful hills.


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