Wednesday Writing Prompt: Following Cheryl Strayed


Happy “Wednesday,” readers, writers, and shark fans! (We know it’s Thursday, but this was supposed to post yesterday and for some reason… it didn’t… so we’re going to chalk it up to being Wednesday!)

With the Shortlist for the James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing being announced (which we have a post coming about next week!), we’ve been reading a loooot of nature writing and nature-based fiction. The funny thing is, it seems like no matter how many nature-focused books we read, our minds always wander back to Cheryl Strayed and her memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Covering her 1,100-mile journey of self-discovery while she was spiraling from the sudden loss of her mother to cancer, her messy divorce, and her struggle with drug use, it’s a story that stays with you. But perhaps what has stayed with us the most is Strayed’s writing advice

Starting this week, each Wednesday, we will share a writing prompt THEME instead of just one solo prompt. There will still be prompts included, but like our SHARK WEEK writing prompts post, there will be a variety of them to pick from. If you’d like to share your response to one of these prompts, contact us, and we might share it on our website or include it in our next issue of Lit Shark Magazine!

This week, to celebrate nature writing, we’ve compiled a list of Cheryl Strayed’s writing prompts, which were featured in Tim Ferriss’s book, Tools for Titans, and these prompts are largely reminiscent of Wild, but interpret them however you like!

      1. Write about a time when you realized you were mistaken.
      2. Write about a lesson you learned the hard way.
      3. Write about a time you were inappropriately dressed for the occasion.
      4. Write about something you lost that you’ll never get back.
      5. Write about a time when you knew you’d done the right thing.
      6. Write about something you don’t remember.
      7. Write about your darkest teacher.
      8. Write about a memory of a physical injury.
      9. Write about when you knew it was over.
      10. Write about being in love.
      11. Write about what you were really thinking.
      12. Write about how you found your way back.
      13. Write about the kindness of strangers.
      14. Write about why you could not do it.
      15. Write about why you did.

Happy Writing Prompt Wednesday! And Happy Writing! We hope you’ll send us your work!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but a portion of your purchase will help support Lit Shark’s causes in inclusive and accessible literature and writing resources, as well as our growing movement in conversation education, rescue, and revitalization.

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Written By McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan (she/her/hers) lives and writes in Europe with her family (originally from the Midwest). In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of Lit Shark Magazine and the Banned Book Review, she is a novelist, poet, and book reviewer. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University and her BA in English/BS in Education from Indiana University South Bend, where she began her work in publishing. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, Young Ravens Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Encore Magazine, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, Memoir Mixtapes, The Life Collective, Her Journal, Motherly, and more. When not writing, she enjoys reading, appreciating nature, and spending time with her husband and three children.




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