Prompts 151-152

151. Write about a recent decision you have made.

I am one of the most indecisive people you will ever meet. My husband is the other. We’re quite the pair. The Dinner Dilemma happens very frequently in our house, even when we have groceries in the fridge and meals to cook. “What do you want for dinner?” “Well, I was going to make X but that’s gonna take forever and it’s already getting late.” Back and forth until the end of time, or one of us makes the call to just do it or make something else.

I haven’t really made any decisions lately that particularly stand out. Everything has been pretty much run of the mill.

Oh! Actually, there was something a couple weeks ago. I have a lot of vacation days left at work and I wasn’t going to have any work to do on this particular Friday so I decided to use a vacation day and give myself a mental health day. After clearing it with my boss, of course.

The week before, work had been really busy, and I hadn’t really had time to recharge because I had my in-laws visit for the weekend. We had a lovely weekend, but I didn’t really get my “me time” to prepare for the coming week. I never realized how much I actually value that time until it wasn’t available to me.

We also had plans to visit my mom that following weekend and I knew if I didn’t get at least half a day to just be alone doing nothing, I wouldn’t survive the weekend without serving prison time for murder. Since I had no work, I embraced the day to sleep in and pamper myself.

I had a nice long shower. Had my coffee at my computer while watching funny videos on YouTube and getting caught up on my manga. I went to the mall and treated myself to some new bras from Victoria’s Secret and a new book at Barnes and Noble and an iced macchiato from the B&N Starbucks. I took my book (A Big Ship at the Edge of The Universe by Alex White, a new SFF novel that I am loving every minute of) and my coffee and went to the dealership to get my oil changed. I thought it might be a while, but I barely had time to get into the book before my car was done. Then I went home and spent the rest of the afternoon reading until my husband got home from work and we loaded up the car and the cats and headed to my mom’s.

Mental health days, y’all. Take them when you can. Best decision I made in recent weeks.

152. Does writing change you? How does writing make you a better person?

Everyone writes for different reasons. For some, like myself, it’s an outlet for all the words that build up inside our heads. There are stories we need to tell our they will consume us. Some people write to make money and support themselves and their families. Some write effortlessly while others struggle to get the words on the page. Plenty of people don’t write at all.

I don’t know that writing inherently changes you or makes you a better person. I think it does help to shape who you are, especially depending on your reasons for writing. It also depends on what you write. There are vast differences between poems and novels and long form essays after all. But if you have already made the decision to write, it’s already a part of you.

Writing as an outlet certainly helps me relax at the end of a long day, which makes me more affable. Telling stories also brings me joy. Exploring diverse characters through writing helps me to empathize with real people in my day to day life. These things certainly make me happier, but I don’t know if they necessarily make me a “better” person.

I find prompts like this to be overly pretentious, and maybe I’m just projecting a bit, but I can’t help but read it in the tone of a condescending old woman sneering down her nose at me while clutching a literary classic, ready to berate me for not being devout enough in my worship of The Craft. (Too specific?) I write because I like to and because I have all sorts of wild ideas in my head that will pester me all night long if I don’t write them down. 90% of them will never see the light of day, but at least they aren’t rattling around in my brain, multiplying like rabbits, slowly driving me insane.

Writing keeps me sane. If that alters who I am or makes me a better person, than sure, writing changes me. It would be far more accurate, though, to say that writing IS me. I may not have many fans, my prose may be terrible, but writing is what I do. Writers write. I am a Writer.

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