Written Into Nature | A 30 Day Prompt Book

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Written into Nature

By Grace Safford


A Month of Nature Writing When I need a little happiness, I do two things: I look to nature and I write prompts. Then—I keep going. Methods of idea creation in art are fascinating to me. How does a painter decide to follow the trees on a canvas? How does a musician imagine a new measure? How does a writer compose an entirely new person on a page? For me, anything can trigger an idea—especially nature. One afternoon watching grass grow and my mind is teeming with new life. The stories of nature are sometimes exactly what the mind needs to, well, blossom. I use nature-themed prompts to inspire my writing projects, warm up my creative brain, put myself in the right headspace to start a day of creating, and to bring myself a simple kind of joy. Whether you specialize in nature writing or you simply use these prompts to wake up your mind, I hope that these 30 days of prompts help you find a new writing adventure. A month in nature is sure to start something magical.

Finally, I must note that this was a small personal passion project made on Canva. All prompts and writings are by me, but the illustrations were found free-for-use on Canva (I deeply admire visual artists, I wish I had that artistic talent). This book is a collection of made-art to inspire art-making. I created this collection of prompts simply to bring some happiness and creativity into my life and yours. I hope it sparks some of nature's warmth in your bones. Keep creating. Keep writing.

TONI MORRISON “At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough."

HENRY DAVID THOREAU "I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."

SYLIVA PLATH "I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.' "

1.The Humble Mushroom

2. The Seed that Blooms

Write a poem about the daily thoughts of a mushroom. What are its littlest thoughts? What are its biggest thoughts?

Write about the slow process of becoming a tree, from the opening of a seed to the opening of a canopy.

3. The Seed that Digs

4. Consider the Feelings of Trees

Write about a seed's time in the earth. What does it learn underneath its blanket?

Write about what it must be like to be a tree falling asleep for the winter.

5. A Trail that Feeds

6. Give Beauty a New Name

Write a recipe or a story containing a recipe out of things foraged from the forest.

Write a list of "weeds" you consider to be beautiful. Turn your list into an ode to unique beauty.

7. The Great Watcher of the Earth

8. The Cycles of Green

Write about a small mushroom watching over a grand forest. Write about a moment it feels brave.

Write about the moment that spring breaks loose onto the brown eath.

9. The Thorn of Beauty

10. A Song for You and Me

Write from the perspective of a prickly plant. Write about the person or animal that loves/befriends the plant.

A bird sings to the sun every day. What is it saying?

11. Hold Onto Me

12. The History of Place

Write from the perspective of a branch watching birds land on it all day. What is it thinking when each new visitor lands?

Think about your favorite green place to visit. Write about the history of that spot.

13. What Brings Us Joy

14. How Must it Feel

Make a list of your favorite natural things that bring a smile to your face. Make a happy haiku about each of those things.

How do you think it feels to have the wind thread its way through a bird's feathers? Write about that touch.

15. The Flowers of your Bed

16. The Echo of Something Great

Write about a creature asleep in the flowers. What does it dream about among the petals?

When we press a shell to our ear we hear the ocean. What does the shell hear when touching our face?

17. To Which we Touch

18. Look Up for Your Answers

At night, the mountains touch the sky. What do they talk about?

The stars contain a map. Write about where it goes.

19. What we See in the Mornings

20. A Small Gift to the Earth Below

Write about a morning in the woods. What happens in those early hours as light starts to touch the forest floor?

Does it hurt when a leaf falls to the ground? Write.

21. Where I Sprouted From

22. The World Down Here

Write about the magnificent adventures of a plant who has never moved from where it was planted.

Write from the perspective of the smallest member of the forest. Why does it like being small?

23. The Shadow on the Earth

24. A Beautiful Place to Live

Write about what it is like to live underneath the shadow of a mountain.

Write about a spider who makes their home among the flowers.

25. Here is Where we will Meet

26. A Bump on a Stump

Create and map out a new natural world. Write about the living things that will call it home.

Write about the community of life that lives on a single forest log.

27. Stand Here for a Moment

28. Take a Slow Adventure

Write about the smells and sounds of your favorite natural spot to visit. Write about how you feel surrounded by those sensory details.

Write about a walk in the woods. What is seen and unseen? Felt and left beneath the surface?

29. The Magic in the Branches

30. Where we Go from Here

Write about the kind of magic that can only exist in nature. How does magic take its root?

Make a list of the natural things you still want to see in this world. Make plans for how you're going to get there.

Write in The Forest Writing certainly does not have to be done in isolation. In every art, there is community. Follow @gracesafford on Instagram where once a week prompts from Written into Nature are posted. Using the hashtag #WrittenIntoNature, you will be encouraged to tag and share your response to that day's prompt. Together, we can write and share our nature stories. Happy writing and happy imagining.

Grace Safford

CLAUDE MONET "My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature."