Be Still

NCWA welcomes Joe Bunting from The Write Practice in a series of writing prompts.

 This post contains excerpts from Joe’s e-book. See links following post to obtain the complete version.


I walk still and the world moves about me. A young black man rides a lime green bike toward the coffee shop. He wears a black balloon vest so baggy he could fit four of his skinny frame into it. His black hat is turned sideways.

The first time I saw him, a few months ago, he swaggered into the coffee shop, a cigarette between his lips.

As he leans his bike against a newspaper box I wonder. What is his life like? What are his dreams and where did he learn to swagger? Where did he buy that balloon vest—did he fawn over it when he first saw it? And of course, would he make a good character in a novel?

These are the thoughts you can afford when you’re still. If you walk too quickly you scare them. They fly away like frightened doves.

Be still today. A writer cannot afford to scare away inspiration.

The Prompt

Take a deep breath. Then breathe it out. Take another. Exhale it. Where are your shoulders? Are they tensed over the keyboard? Loosen them. Is your neck tight? Let it relax, bowing over your fingerpads which are feeling the texture of your keyboard or the scrap of paper you write on.

Nothing exists but your spine and your breath and your fingers hovering over keyboard, holding all potential in their tips. When you’re ready, close your eyes and begin to write.


Excerpts and writing prompt from Joe Bunting’s e-book,

14 Prompts, available by clicking on the link.


Joe Bunting is the founder of  The Write Practice. He loves the sound of a good sentence and would like to think of himself as a literary snob but can be kept up far too late by a page turner meant for thirteen year old girls. He would like for you not to know that though. He and his wife, Talia, enjoy playing backgammon and Angry Birds on her iPhone. View his website.


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