If you're struggling to come up with a submission for this month's topic, you've come to the right place. How does one go about collecting the traditions and quirks of one's family?
Here are a few simple steps to ditch the writer's (or artist's) block:
1. Do your homework.
You may be struggling to recall interesting things you or your family have done, off the top of your head. Try scrolling through old photos, read any messages or letters from the past, or do a little research into your own heritage. See what sticks.
2. Ask questions.
Interview your parents, siblings or other close relatives -- about trips they've taken, things they've done, and their own daily schedules. Details about cooking, holidays, or your own childhood are all potential topics.
3. Take notes.
If you find something, even if it seems insignificant, write it down in the Notes app of your phone, or a notebook, or straight into your submission document. Then look for connections to other parts of your life -- perhaps a recipe handed down through generations becomes an after school snack.
4. Free write for five minutes.
Summer work-shoppers know this well; letting go of the backspace button for a few minutes often frees your mind towards new directions.
5. Go for a walk, at home or in your neighborhood.
By moving to observe, and not to get to a particular destination, you can get a better sense for the details of your household and the geographic location in which it resides. Work that into your setting.
6. Don't be afraid to stretch the truth.
Art and writing aren't perfect depictions; if you're painting, you'll naturally make things more colorful or more vivid. The same is true with writing -- you can blend truth and fiction if you have a strong enough voice.
Good luck! We hope to see your submissions soon.