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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 15/20 mins total) is in two parts, and is on the topic of – heroes or heroism.

To begin, take no more than 10 minutes to just write whatever comes as you reflect on this topic. You might describe an individual whom you consider to be a hero, or you might explore the qualities or demands or what we term heroism. Just write.

Now, for the next ten minutes or so you’re going to read what you’ve just written and extract, carve out, discover…a blackout poem. This simply means you underline, or circle, or in some other way highlight words (or parts of words) from the text to make a poem. Ideally you won’t change the order or form of the words at all.

This is what I ended up with:

Unsung heroes


daily living

with honest graft, heart

write them

sing them

the world wouldn’t turn

without them

mothers go without

so children thrive

bus driver leaves his seat

to help

never mind the timetable

everywhere heroes

keeping us human

hearts standing strong

hope alight

your stories all around me

make lots

of little differences



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


and here: