What Is Your Yes List? A Weekend Writing Prompt

Saturday, July 13, 2019
I just finished reading Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan, which I discovered thanks to the fact that I joined an online book club run by Jen Hatmaker. First, if you write memoir, essays, or creative nonfiction, get yourself to a bookstore or library and find this book. It's a master class in writing creative nonfiction about yourself and your family, and it's full of humor, gut-wrenching grief, universal truths, and four-letter words. Kelly is a master at telling a story and making it mean something to you, even though you don't know any of the people in the story.

But that's not why I chose to write about this book today. One of the twelve things that is hard to say, according to Kelly, is YES. In the book, she includes one chapter which is simply a list of all the things that she would always say yes to. In the online book club, many participants were creating their own yes lists, and I thought this was a great exercise.

I'm not copying Kelly's list here for an example because I want you to go out and find her book and support this great writer, but think big and small--things like your kids or grandkids, your pets, your writing time, your hobbies, your best friend, your partner, your favorite foods. What are the things in your life that you will always say yes to? Or that you SHOULD be saying yes to because we all know life will pass us by whether we're enjoying it or not.

Here are some things I will always say yes to:

  • A hug from my daughter
  • A snuggle from my puppy
  • Uninterrupted writing time
  • A glass of red wine with friends
  • Potato skins
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Uninterrupted reading time
  • A late walk on a summer night
  • A weekend fall trip
  • Someone wanting me to sign one of my books!
  • Cleaning help
  • Vegetables cooked in a yummy way at a restaurant
  • Rich n Charlie's Special Salad
  • My critique group
  • My daughter asking me a question--meaning I'll listen to her and want to discuss, but I might not be able to answer yes. 
So now you get the picture--what are some things you would always say yes to? We'd love to hear about your list, so include it in the comments below--it can be long or short--spur of the moment or well thought out. And if you've read Kelly's book or any of her books, let us know that, too. What did you think? 

What a great way to spend a Saturday: write a fun list and discuss positive stuff with other writers! 

Margo L. Dill is a writer, editor, and teacher living in St. Louis, MO, with her 8-year-old daughter and 5.5-month-old lab mix puppy. She loves reading and writing and teaching WOW! classes. The next two are the NEW school visits class and writing a novel with a writing coach--both start at the beginning of August. You can check out all details on the class page. 


Renee Roberson said...

Thanks for sharing this book with us, Margo! I'll have to check this one out. I'm not very skilled yet at writing creative nonfiction so I'm always looking for help in that area. Here are just a few of my "YES" list:

Quality time with my family
Laughing with my kids
Chips and queso
A good glass of sangria
Snuggles and walks with my two dogs
Quiet time to write and reflect
A good cup of coffee
Reading time by a pool
Interaction with my accountability group
Date night with my husband
Dinner with good friends
A long walk on a beach at sunset
A delicious new recipe

Mary Elizabeth Horner said...

I'm going to check out the book, and I always say yes to pasta and chocolate and a good story, regardless of whether it's on television, at the movies, or in a book or magazine!

Margo Dill said...

Renee: You inspired me with a good cup of coffee. How could I forget that on my yes list! :)

Mary: Yes, me too. I'm becoming less picky on how a story is delivered to me as long as it inspires me in some way.

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