Writing prompts

2016-08-12 TwoWhitePhales

Please read the Introductory Page for the reason behind my research and for this blog.

NOTE: These questions are NOT to be answered in their entirety, but to help trigger some memories or thoughts about your life.

GOALS: I want to 1) find answers to “why” some of us choose to remain actively engaged in life as long as we are physically capable, and 2) how we can be an inspiration and motivation for other women of all ages as they look ahead.

If you choose to write out some ideas you have, you may send as a Word .doc or .pdf file to my email address ( If you would like to set a time to talk with me in person, please let me know via email.

As I write up a narrative of my research, your name will not be used, or I may use only your first initial. Your privacy will be preserved at all times.

Looking back on your life, what did you perceive as your special gifts, skills, or strengths? The following questions might stimulate your thoughts.

REMEMBER, these are NOT questions to be answered completely, but to prompt your thoughts!

Writing Prompts

  • Describe yourself as a child.
    • Did you stand out?
    • What was challenging for you?
    • What special gifts did you have?
    • Did you know what you wanted to be “when you grew up?”
    • What comments did people say about you?
    • Did you feel nurtured? Mistreated?
    • Were your parents controlling or permissive?
    • Were you a super active child?
    • Did you always feel driven to do something new and different?
  • Describe your teen years.
    • What were your interests?
    • What kind of student were you?
    • Were you socially active or were you more introverted?
    • Were you awkward or confident?
    • Describe any character strengths or weaknesses.
    • What were your beliefs about the roles of women?
    • Did you work as you went to school? Was that an option?
  • Describe your young adult up to mid-life years.
    • How did your priorities change over the next few decades?
    • How did your values change over the next few decades?
    • What were your passions? Your hopes? Your fears?
  • Describe your mind activity over those decades.
    • Restless or relaxed?
    • Overthinker or not?
    • Ambitious or content?
    • Enjoyed being noticed or preferred less attention?
  • Do you think it was any of these attributes that brought you to where you are today?
  • Did these gifts, skills, strengths change over your lifetime?
  • Were there older women in your life that you looked up to?
    • Did they keep themselves healthy and active?
    • What about them did you want to emulate?
  • What is the primary focus of your life today?
    • How did that change over the years?
    • Was there a specific turning point in your life?
  • Have you experienced any ageism?
    • Explain and talk about your reaction.
  • What would you not trade for being older?
    • What would you trade for being older?
  • Describe the relationships you have today?
    • Are these people encouraging of your education and careers or other activities?
    • Are they younger or older? The same age? Same level of activity?
  • What do you think is the reason you are more involved and active than other women who are your age?
  • Do you have any specific spiritual practice or practices?
    • Has this helped you to turn stressful situations into more positive experiences?
    • When or how did your spirituality change or develop over the years?
  • Are the activities you do to keep active or involved the same as they always have been?
    • Some examples:
      • Were you always an athlete? Or did that come later?
      • Did you always love traveling? Or were you a stay-at-home?
      • Is this your first career? Second? Third? More?
      • Why and how did you make the changes in career, if any?
      • What else would you like to add?
    • How would you describe your relationship with your father?
      • What qualities did you identify with and take on for yourself?
      • Did his qualities manifest in the career(s) over your lifetime?
    • How would you describe your relationship with your mother?
      • What qualities did you identify with and take on for yourself?
      • Did her qualities manifest in the activities of your adult life?
    • What were the major adversities of your life?
      • How did you handle them?
      • Where these real or imagined?
      • Have these continued to bombard you throughout your life?
    • Other than your parents, who were the allies or heroes in your life?
      • Who or what helped you get through the stumbling blocks that came up in your life?
        • What were those stumbling blocks?
      • What was your relationship with these people?
        • Friend? Parent? Other relative?
      • Do you have people in your life today that are strong allies?
        • How do they encourage or support you?
      • Sometimes we have what we call “anti-heroes,” people who can be both an ally and an adversary.
        • Who are these people and how did they manifest these characteristics for you?
        • What valuable lessons have you learned from people you dislike?
      • Have you ever kept a dream journal?
        • If so, what were some recurring dreams?
        • Did you ever do a dream analysis of them?
        • If so, what did you discover?
      • From time to time, we often think about “the road not taken.”
        • Do you have one? More?
        • Would you investigate any of those other roads today?
        • Why did you discard some of those roads?
      • Describe your educational background.
        • Did that help your career(s) or was it not related?
      • What challenges you now?
        • Mentally?
        • Emotionally?
        • Physically?
        • Socially?
        • Financially?
        • Personally?
        • Spiritually?
      • What accomplishments are you most proud of?
        • Why do they mean so much to you?
      • What do people say about you today?
        • How do you respond?
      • Do you have any future goals in terms of career or achievements?
        • What are those?
        • What plans do you have to attain them?
      • What health routines do you have and when did you start them?
        • Good supplements?
        • Working out program?
        • Or do you think it’s entirely genetic?
      • What questions do you wish I had asked?
        • How would you respond to those unasked questions?
      • Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
        • Do you mind telling me your age?
      • Are you open to a discussion with me later about anything these writing prompts covered, either face-to-face, Skype, or FaceTime?
      • Are you interested in reading the results of this research?
      • How can I reach you?
        • Name_________________________________
        • Address_______________________________
        • Email _________________________________

Thank you for your time. Your responses will encourage other women to keep blooming as long as they are able.

Lucy L Jones, PhD, Associate Professor