Wakeup calls come in so many different forms.

Writing Prompt #15: Letting Go

Setting The Stage

We’ve all been there. That moment when you suddenly realize that whatever you’ve been doing with your life just isn’t working out.

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Wakeup calls come in so many different forms.

Wakeup calls come in so many different forms.

Maybe it’s a relationship you’ve been desperately trying to salvage. A promotion you’ve been promised that never seems to materialize. You’re weeks away from majoring in a subject you absolutely hate. Or maybe it’s as simple as the realization that your kid just isn’t interested in following in your footsteps.

Whatever the problem is, you probably knew, deep down inside, that it was coming. Now, you’ve finally reached the breaking point. It’s time to figure out how to let go…and move on.

What Do Writers Have To Say About Letting Go?

 

“Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.”

― Melissa Marr

It can be especially hard to let go of a relationship that isn't working...

It can be especially hard to let go of a relationship that isn’t working…

“Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.”

― Sue Grafton

 

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

— Hermann Hesse

And when life gets difficult, we usually react by holding on even tighter.

And when life gets difficult, we usually react by holding on even tighter.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

― Joseph Campbell

But part of life is knowing when to walk away.

But part of life is knowing when to walk away.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

― Lao Tzu

 

How To Use This Prompt

Fiction writers: What has your character been ignoring? Why doesn’t your character want to let go of that failed relationship, that crappy job, that awful apartment? Write a scene about a past event that haunts your character — or a present problem they’re denying exists.

Nonfiction writers: Think back on a time when you realized something you’d really worked for just wasn’t going to work out. Did you resist the change? Did you refuse to just let go and cut your losses? Why or why not? What did you do, and how did your life change when you finally moved on?

And now that you've finally let go... Now what happens?

And now that you’ve finally let go… Now what happens?

Write a short story, an essay, a poem, or even just a paragraph or two based on this prompt. Then feel free to share what you’ve written in comments, post a link to your piece on your own blog, or submit it for our site!

And if you’d like more prompts and can’t wait until next week, check out our free e-book, “A Year of Inspiration: 52 Writing Prompts from the Renegade Word.”

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Julie is a professional freelance copywriter and blogger, as well as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press. She publishes her original art and flash fiction on her blog, Truth Is Weirder, and she loves helping others improve their poetry and prose as a creative writing coach. She lives in San Mateo, California, with her husband and two neurotic cats.
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