Writing Prompts for Election Day: Beyond Blue and Red, the Full Spectrum of Story

On November 6, my American friends, we vote.

We have the chance to speak the not-so-simple language of “this one, not that one.”

It’s so much, and yet we fear it’s not enough. It’s all too easy for this one action to feel like a drop in an endless sea…

And yet, we do it anyway.

(Right? I couldn’t possibly have any non-voters on my list, could I? At the risk of being totally unoriginal: JUST GO VOTE.)

Ok, so after that essential act, the question then becomes: what stories do we tell next?

We know the truth of all our hopes and fears is not going to be expressed with a list of winners and losers. After all, we’re the entire spectrum, not just red or blue.

Here are three writing prompts crafted just for the 2018 midterm election.

I invite you to use the first prompt to reflect on the past (whatever you define that to be - this election season seems to have started before time began!). Use these second to anchor into the now and find YOU in the midst of the collective noise. And then, lean into the final prompt on the other side of the results.

Prompt 1: Write the story of your election season

Boldly describe all that you did, whether it was knocking on doors, starting conversations, making campaign contributions, or sharing content online.

Next, compassionately explore your feelings about what you didn’t do. Be extra gentle if you’re uncovering the “I shoulda done more” narrative and get curious rather than judgemental about your actions.

Prompt 2: Be in this moment

Anticipation. Worry. Fear. Exhaustion. If you’re at all invested in the election season and its outcome, you have been feeling all the feelings.

Give yourself a few moments to check in with your body, mind, and heart.

Describe the sensations and the recurring thoughts that you notice. Use this exercise to leave the past behind and forget tomorrow for just a moment. Be in this moment of national choice and action and see what comes up for you. (Only when you understand your own emotions and reactions can you move forward with an empathetic response.)

Prompt 3: Consider tomorrow

Whether you write this before or after the final tallies are in and regardless of whether your chosen candidates win or lose, don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.

What new world are you going to create if you’re living under the leadership of an individual or party you love? What if somebody else is in power?

Perhaps you want to imagine both possible futures today. Ultimately, since there are so many different races that will affect you, you can count on a lot of waves of both winning and losing.  

No matter the outcomes, focus on “what new world are you going to create.” If you need to grieve the results, on the other side you will need to lean into another tomorrow. Trust that the next tomorrow will come.

Write tomorrow’s story so you can consciously help shape it.

If these writing prompts speak to you be sure to sign up to join us for the free community writing practice session coming up at noon ET on Wednesday, December 5!