Writing Prompt 128
Do you think it is it fair for a contender to drop out of a presidential race?
Today’s final prompt is inspired by recent headlines involving the governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper. A few weeks ago, Governor Hickenlooper spoke to the press openly about his distaste for Washington politics, describing the federal government shutdown as a “tragic failing.” Because of everything that went on during the shutdown, Hickenlooper is dashing all hopes that he will run for president in 2016.
Clearly, Colorado is no comparison to the cutthroat environment of pull and push in the nation’s capitol, but is that a valid reason for Hickenlooper, a smart presidential contender, to turn down such a distinguished opportunity? Should someone with Hickenlooper’s toughness, character, and obvious leadership skills be allowed to cede a position that could potentially benefit a lot of people?
Before you answer those questions, let me offer you a different scenario. In December 2012, I came up with an interesting idea and proposed it to someone I admired but didn’t really know. I wanted to do something in a long-term writing project that would surely be good for nonfiction writers.
I was determined to knock the dreaded writer’s block off the schedules of writers and launch them to great creative heights by inspiring them with intriguing, unusual, and provocative questions. Those questions became writing prompts, and today happens to be the last one in our 10-month series.
Think for one second: What do you think would have happened if I didn’t go through with my original vision? Would anyone have cared?
If a person is clearly qualified to do a job, whether as the president of the United States, the creator of a training program for nonfiction writers, or whatever else could potentially benefit a lot of people, is it fair to renounce the opportunity to do that job?
Nonfiction Writing: Hybrid
On Monday, we began discussions on hybrid nonfiction by talking about creative nonfiction and writing of advertising and marketing copy. The thing to remember with hybrid nonfiction is that it is not a pure form of writing as the other styles. There are many components of hybrid nonfiction that encourage the nonfiction writer to be daring, creative, and experimental in ways that other styles don’t permit.
Government proposals are another type of hybrid nonfiction. Writing a government proposal includes part information, part description, and part heavy-duty persuasion. Private firms offer services to the public. When they want to sell their services to the government, they must follow strict, specific rules in order to win a contract. Generally, the government must announce that it needs a service before private firms respond, but sometimes firms can take the initiative to contact the government and offer services on their own.
Government proposals are dry, technical documents. There is no room for creativity, but there is plenty of opportunity for persuasion. Besides listing the suite of services they offer, private firms must work hard to persuade the government as to why they are the best ones to provide a service. They must cite specific things from their backgrounds and be able to predict accurately that they can handle the challenges of working on a government contract.
The last two items of hybrid nonfiction I’d like to talk about are personal correspondence and professional resumes. Personal correspondence is any personal note that is handwritten or typed out and sent electronically. In modern times, much has been said about the dying art of handwritten thank-you cards. I tend to agree. I don’t know if it’s laziness, indifference, or lack of time, but people just have no time to write heartfelt notes of gratitude!
Along the same lines fall letters to people. If people can’t be bothered to write thank-you cards, which are generally short anyway, there is probably even less of a chance to write a more detailed personal letter. I challenge you today to buck the trend against thank-yous and correspondence by doing it. Do you have friends, family members, relatives, long-lost classmates or neighbors who could use some sunshine? Why not reconnect in an elegant and creative way by demonstrating your love of nonfiction—by writing personal correspondence!
Professional resumes are another great option for hybrid nonfiction writing. The format of resumes has changed within the last few years. Headhunters and executive coaches will likely tell you that functional resumes are all the rage now, quickly replacing the old-fashioned chronological resumes. My response to the confusing job-seeking advice is pretty much the same thing I’d say to any established advice given by others—just because someone says it, that doesn’t make it true. Why not experiment? Try out different styles? Be courageous and be yourself, even if that makes you different than the norm.
And with that last piece of advice, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for me to bid adieu. I can hardly believe that today is my last and final nonfiction writing prompt. You can’t see me, but know that I’m in Virginia cheering and clapping. I successfully brought my creative vision to life and carried it through to its completion, just as I envisioned nearly one year ago.
I hope that you are inspired by my example and by the creativity and breadth of my nonfiction writing prompts. I hope you have enjoyed the 127 previous nonfiction riting prompts that I have prepared since January 1, 2013 to motivate nonfiction writers to break free from writer’s block.
If you would like to “stay in touch,” please visit me on my blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog.
I wish you great luck in starting Friday’s Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge. To learn how to participate in the WNFIN challenge, click here. Keep on writing!
National Nonfiction Writing Month begins tomorrow! Are you ready to take the WNFIN challenge?
Amanda M. Socci is the creator of the 10-month training program for Write Nonfiction in November called “I Know I Can” WNFIN. The first two blog posts of the series explain more about this program and its benefits.
Amanda refers to herself as the Creative Idea Gal because she comes up with original ideas for herself and others. Based in Alexandria, VA, she is a devoted mother of two and a hopeless fanatic of all things creative. Connect with Amanda on Google+ or Twitter.
“Thanks to Amanda M. Socci for providing the ‘I Know I Can’ WINFIN program, 128 nonfiction writing prompts to be used from January-October to help nonfiction writers prepare for the WNFIN Challenge and NaNonFiWriMo! Go Write Nonfiction NOW!” ~Nina Amir