Happy New Year to everyone following the Gregorian calendar! I’ve started a fortnightly newsletter for anyone who, like me, enjoys writing and needs a little boost now and again. Each newsletter is short, so as to encourage writing and not spending too much time on the internet. There are also a few prompts at the end to get you started. Enjoy!
The audio version of this newsletter can be found here.
When I first saw the word ‘pronoia’, I thought it was a typo. It turns out that it means the opposite of paranoia: it’s the belief that the world is conspiring to work in your favour.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around living this way. But I do believe that we can write this way, because the truth is that the world is most definitely conspiring to help us write.
First, we’ve been given the gift of written language. How incredible is it that we can use more than one alphabet to communicate with each other? If we have trouble finding the right word in one tongue, we’re sure to find it in another.
Look at all the implements that exist just to help us write. We’ve got pens, pencils, paper, markers, whiteboards and computers. Whatever our preferred method of writing, there’s something out there to accommodate us. An additional bonus of living in this day and age is that computers make revising and editing easier than ever. Imagine having to do all of that with a quill and parchment. No, thank you. (Unless a magic wand and trip to Hogwarts are included, then yes please.)
This is just the beginning, though. Feel you lack knowledge in a certain area? That’s life conspiring to get you to broaden your horizons and expand your mind, all so that you can then write about what you learned.
Is there a story in your head that just won’t go away? There’s a reason for that. And it won’t leave until you get it down on the page. So start writing.
Lucky enough to have internet access? Oh boy, is pronoia ever working on your behalf. You can do research, find an audience and connect with other writers, all from the comfort of your own home.
Then there’s the issue of subject matter. If you ever needed definitive proof that the world is conspiring to help us write, this is it. There is a never-ending wealth of topics out there, and we are only limited by our imagination.
You can write about your life – the high points, the low points, your frustrations, triumphs and dreams. You can write about other people’s lives. You can write fiction. You can write non-fiction. You can write poems, songs and essays. You can write about what you see around you: people, places, animals and things. You can write from the perspective of inanimate objects, animals and plants. Why not? These things have been given to us by life to exercise and stretch our imagination. Human beings aren’t the only ones with stories to tell.
And this list isn’t even scratching the surface of what we can write about.
The conspiracy is real. Just because you’re not cultivating pronoia doesn’t mean the world isn’t out to help you. Everywhere you look, life is conspiring to help you write: by providing inspiration, instruction, implements, topics and assistance. All you have to do is get the words down on the page.
This week’s prompts
Use the following prompts to start a new piece, continue an existing one, or to just have fun with words.
1. There was a face in the tree trunk…
2. The coffee machine exploded and the next thing I knew…
3. The nicest thing a family member/friend ever did for me was…
4. “Oh great, it’s you again,” he said…
5. The tiny seed rolled…
Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to drop me a line any time at email@example.com.