Ten Minutes of Truth!

A Writing Prompt

Tammy Breitweiser


Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

I have always written. I have always given myself writing assignments. Maybe it is the teacher in me — or maybe I just like the springboard of a starting point even if it is just one word.

Last week I heard someone say you don’t have to remind her to eat or breathe and it is the same for her writing. Being a writer has always been who I am, and now I have established rituals for my writing practice.

There are two noticings I will share with you today about my own writing journey that may help you as a writer: Truth and Lists of 10.


To improve my writing craft I purchased Masterclass for myself in January. One of the threads that permeates through Neil Gaiman’s, R.L. Stine’s, Margaret Atwood’s, and Judy Blume’s Masterclass is writers must tell their truth.

How you see the world and how you tell your stories is important. Your light needs to shine through and writers do this by opening our hearts. This light is truth. YOU need to shine through. If truth scares you, especially writing in front of students, you can write first and then selectively share what is most powerful and appropriate for your lesson. You can also choose lines from authors your students will connect with and borrow their famous lines to help your student writers find and write their own truths.

Finding your truth can be like a game of hide and seek. One way to seek your truth is to write about a time you experienced extreme emotion — happiness, grief, anger, shame. You can always destroy it later, but the act of writing your story can open your heart and show your light to your students even without sharing your words.

Lists of 10

Pay attention to the world around you because it is fun and makes you a better writer. Writing these noticings down helps you when you are creating. Over a year ago I started making a daily list of 10 things.

On my lists are:

Lines I want to use
Overhead conversation snippets
Strange things I saw on the way to work or on a walk
Names I like
Strong verbs
Dream rememberings
Fun things kids say
Descriptions of feelings I am having
Descriptions of places
Words that keep coming up recently
Weird signs
Anything I find fascinating

Set your timer for 10 minutes and write about truth. Write about something you saw just within the last hour. Open your heart and let your light shine through as a writer — even if it is only for 10 minutes.