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“The aspiring poet is constantly lowering a bucket only half way down a well. coming up time and again with nothing but empty air. The frustration is immense. But you must keep doing it anyway. After many years of practice, the chain draws unexpectedly tight, and you have dipped into the waters that will continue to entice you back. You’ll have broken the skin on the pool of yourself.”


Welcome to this regular slot each Wednesday, which I call Writers’ Well because: it’s intended to be a source of nourishment and inspiration for the writer in you, it expresses my belief that creative writing can benefit our well being on many levels, and…I love the above quote from Seamus Heaney. It gives me goosebumps every time. It also resonates with my own intention when leading writing workshops. It’s not about producing good writing, it’s about brave, real writing. Writing that goes down deep within to draw up something unexpected.

Writing Prompt:

Each week, I share one of the writing prompts used the previous Friday in my weekly workshop, along with an example of what was written in response. Today’s prompt (allow around 5 mins) is to write briefly on the topic…but something else happened instead.

This prompt was inspired by this TED talk, which I watched recently. It gave me and my perfectionist tendencies plenty to think about. Check it out:


This is what I wrote:

Something else happened instead

They say God laughs when you plan because, so often, something else happens instead. That something is an invitation to trust I guess, though sometimes I don’t want to ‘invite’ or ‘welcome’ that something else at all! I want everything to go exactly as I’d hoped, wished, made for it to happen – but then I would’ve missed out on so many important moments – moments of joy, learning, surprise, the opportunity to grow and practice my resilience and responsiveness. 

I thought that poem would go down a storm. But something else happened instead. I was scared to send that email, expecting an angry response – but something else happened instead.

Life likes to keep me on my toes!


If you enjoyed this prompt, then you can find more here:


and here: