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Prompt Club & An Interview with Jennifer Snyder

Prompt Club

Courtesy of Jennifer Snyder

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me about writing, journaling, or creativity, I’ll bet you’ve heard me talk about morning pages. So when Jennifer Snyder, writer, editor, consultant, and podcaster, asked if she could interview me about my journaling practice for her upcoming ecourse, Prompt Club, I was pretty psyched.

Prompt Club is an eight-week journaling course that’s designed to feel more like a club. It’s for anyone who considers themselves a writer, keeps a journal, or doesn’t keep a journal but wants to start! I really enjoyed chatting with Jennifer about my history with writing and journaling, so I thought it’d be fun to ask her a few questions, too, to revive my very inconsistent Interviews With Interesting People series. And! She’s offering a free spot to one of you to join us. Get to know her a little bit below, and read on to find out how to win a spot in Prompt Club.

What’s your favorite type of work to do? Your favorite type of non-work?

This is such a great question! I tend to do a lot of different types of work, but I think what really gets me going is the act of sharing stories. Whether I’m writing a very personal nonfiction essay, interviewing someone for my podcast or writing an article for publication, my heart is happiest when I’m sharing a story that matters. If rounding up my favorite spots in Sacramento helps someone plan their trip, I’m happy. If chatting with a maker and airing their story on my show helps their business in some way, I’m happy. If I share something about my own journey that offers up a “me too” moment for someone else, I’m happy.

As far as non-work goes, get me outside. I feel a very strong pull toward nature and the more time I spend outside exploring (preferably with loved ones!), the better I am at life. Truly—I’m no good if I’m cooped up for too long. Ask my husband!

What prompted you (tee-hee) to create Prompt Club?

Good one!

Well, to be frank: writing is hard. So often we can get in our own heads about things—life, work, etc.—and journaling really helps clear out that mental clutter.

That said, sitting down with a pen and paper can be downright intimidating. I have trouble getting out of my own way every time I start to write. So, I wanted to create a course that offers a bit of guidance for those of us who sometimes need a little push.

Journaling has become a place where I can unpack all of things that life throws my way, but as a writer I tend to self-edit before I even begin. I’ve had to be very intentional about giving myself the space to write badly. My journals (and word documents—I often use different mediums to journal) are full of terrible entries. Sometimes, however, tiny bits of great writing shine through. Then, I can use those bits for a larger purpose. Other times I just work through whatever is on my mind and then tuck it away, never to be read again.

What are you most excited about regarding Prompt Club?

I’m really excited to see how others respond to the prompts! I don’t necessarily expect people to share their entries, but I’m curious to see how they decide to approach each prompt. Will they love it? Will they hate it? Will they take it in a direction I never thought was possible? I think that will be the most rewarding part for me and for others taking the course.

What are you most excited about outside of work right now?

To be honest, I’ve been sort of structuring a lot of my life around the work I’m doing. It isn’t always the healthiest thing to do, but I’m pretty passionate about my work at the moment and that line is a bit blurry.

I think taking my podcast on the road is going to be a really wonderful experience. I love to travel, so combining the two is pretty perfect.

I’m also pretty excited about the bits of time I’ll be spending with family and friends this year. I don’t always get to spend enough time with loved ones who are spread all over the country, but even a small amount of time can create pretty stellar memories.

How would you spend the perfect day?

Oh gosh. This is a tough one! I think the perfect day would include copious amounts of caffeine, a solid breakfast and several hours spent hiking someplace beautiful with my husband and pups. Again, get me outside and I’m a new woman.

Thanks, Jennifer! If you’re interested in joining us in Prompt Club, be sure to register by March 20. She’s also offering a spot for one of you to join in for free! If you’re interested in entering, let me know in the comments what you’d be most excited about in the course, what your history with journaling has been, or your thoughts about the ecourse. Be sure to include an active email address so that we can get you added to the course if you win! I’ll choose a random winner next Tuesday, 3/17.

EDIT: Congratulations, Brenda, and thanks everyone for your comments! I hope to see you all over in Prompt Club in a couple weeks!

  • sistersallysue

    Oh, this sounds like fun and a challenge! I think what I’d most like about being part of Prompt Club would be the feedback on my writing to make it more solid. I love reading your posts, Lisa! My secret dream is have a place in a city somewhere because I don’t always need solitude when I get away. Sometimes I enjoy the more cultured life and the bustle of the city!

    • Lisa

      I’m so glad you like them, Rachel! Feel free to stop by our city place anytime you want.

  • This is a really awesome interview, Lisa! I love the idea of Prompt Club.

    I’ve been meaning to come back around to you on the subject of journaling, since it was you who really got me started up again. So to report: I’m currently on day 70-something of 500 words every morning, with 3 days skipped (two accidentally, one on purpose). It’s lit a fire under my writing butt and has allowed me to feel more confident in writing for any topic.

    • Lisa

      That is super impressive, Jenn! That’s WAAAYYY more consistent than I’ve ever been. I’m so glad it’s been helpful to you!

  • Brenda

    So, Lisa I’ve been thinking about this off and on all day. I think it sounds like a great course. I journal regularly but not daily, and I think the challenge of writing every single day would be (gulp) exciting. I do wonder if I’m in the right demographic to participate…maybe I’m too old or too rural or too something else. Lots of those questions wandering around in my head just now. But, I’d love to go for it! What happens if there’s an “off” day?

    • Lisa

      Brenda, I don’t think you’re too anything! I don’t think it’ll be strict… If you have an off day, though I’m not running it, I say no big deal!

    • These are great questions, Brenda! I’m in no way going to be hovering over people during the course to check their work. I’ve been joking that even if students only write, “This prompt is hard and I hate it so much!” they will have written more than when they sat down in the first place. There is no age limit for writing down your thoughts and off days happen. The goal is to stretch the writing muscles I believe we all have—even if that means writing a lot one day and very little the next. Hopefully that helps!

      • Thanks so much…”stretch the writing muscles” is exactly what I want to do, so I think I’m going to go for it!! Will we be “handing in” our work, or what will that process look like? I guess I have a lot of questions!!

        • Hi Brenda! Feel free to ask away! No, you won’t be handing in your work. There will, however, be a private Facebook group where we can share our struggles, wins and everything in between. Journaling can be a very private experience, but I am interested in hearing how students will be approaching each prompt. You can read more about the specifics of the course at promptclub.com and definitely ask any other questions you might have—happy to help!

  • This sounds incredibly awesome. I feel like my brain is always on hyperdrive recently – and I don’t necessarily want to lose all of the ideas, but it would be great if I could get some of the ideas and thoughts out of my head into a place where they’re preserved and I can work through some of them a little bit better. Also, I really liked that you asked about work and not work. Fun 🙂

  • I can’t thank you enough for the chance to share a bit more about my story and the course, Lisa! I’m loving the comments here and can’t wait to start journaling with everyone!