Setting The Stage

It’s officially fall, and has been for a while now. Around this time of year, you might be spending more time inside, getting away from the rain and cold. If you’re in warmer climates you might feel fall in other ways.

For many, this is a time of introspection. When people begin to slow down. The days grow shorter and the nights get longer. For me however, (and probably others) this is the time of year when life speeds up. There’s more activity, events to attend, homework to do, etc. on my ever-growing to-do list. I get so caught up in everything sometimes that if I’m not careful to take the time to notice the season, fall will pass be by. I’ll forget to notice the changing leaves, the cool weather and the creativity found in the day-to-day.

autumn colorful leaves background

© Kokhanchikov –

With the fall, I find myself needing to clear the dust and cobwebs I’ve accumulated from the lazy summer haze.  But, then the fall fog rolls in, it begins to rain, and all I want to do is curl up with a cup of coffee and stare at the cobwebs sitting in the corner of my living room.

We all have something hiding in the dust and lurking in the cobwebs of our minds. Perhaps now more than ever, we should be connecting to the magic in the memories collected from those lazy summer days.

Take a moment from your busy day to explore what lies in hidden in the dust. What stories can you disentangle from the cobwebs? Write of the lost and the forgotten.

What Writers Have To Say About Dust and Cobwebs:

“How do you lose a word? Does it vanish into your memory, like an old toy in a cupboard, and lie hidden in the cobwebs and dust, waiting to be cleaned out or rediscovered?”
Amitav Ghosh

“Some ideas are not born of logic and good sense. They are made of clouds and cobwebs. They sprout from nowhere and feed on excitement, sprinkled with adventure juice and the sweet flavor of the forbidden. The psyche moves from the realms of the ordinary and takes a delicate step towards the unknown. We know we shouldn’t and that is exactly why we do.”
Brigid Lowry

“Entangled cobwebs of my mind keep me awake at night! Need to get back to sm serious writing again!”
Deeba Salim Irfan

“He finally took his harp out of the cobwebs, walked out the door, and admitted who he was: the Unforgiven.”
Patricia A. McKillip

“Granny looked up at the zombie. He was – or, technically, had been – a tall, handsome man. He still was, only now he looked like someone who had walked through a room full of cobwebs. ‘What’s your name, dead man?’ she said.”
Terry Pratchett

How To Use This Prompt

Do you write creative non-fiction? If you’re like me and feeling overwhelmed with all the activity that comes with fall, give it a voice. Use this prompt to journal about all the hopes and fears that you’ve held over from the summer. Take a moment to connect to all of your senses. What is it that you’re seeing, smelling, touching and hearing?

Beautiful, forgotten and destroyed house

© Mariusz Niedzwiedzki –

Maybe the reverse is true and this season in which you can feel stillness. Write about a childhood memory about the fall. Did you ever clean the cobwebs and dust only to find a truth about something? Write about it.

If you would rather try your hand at fiction, think about escaping the clatter that comes with the every day-to-day. A character is clearing the dust and cobwebs at the back of the closet/attic only to reveal a secret chamber or door. Your character goes in. What happens? What is their story?

Or you could write a poem.  Write about things long forgotten. The dust that has accumulated in the corner that we can see but don’t deal with. What concrete imagery of dust and cobwebs can you turn into a metaphor?

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 to our site!

 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.”