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Leave Your Shoes at the Door

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end we’re all storytellers. Writing Challenges help you push your…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Tuesday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end we’re all storytellers. Writing Challenges help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and styles.

To participate, read the challenge instructions and write at least one post in response. Tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post to generate a pingback. Make sure your post has been specifically published in response to this challenge. We might just highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Fridays, or in our monthly newsletter.

Today, we are super excited to publish a writing challenge written by a member of the WordPress.com community. Meet Rarasaur: she blogs daily about everything from telekinesis and cryptozoology to blogging survival guides and fables from around the world. She loves people who hate things, people who love things, and you! Rara is based out of Orange County, California, where she lives with her artist-author husband and her two kitties.

Take it away, Rara!

Get Comfortable, Take Your Shoes Off

In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch shares his take on a classic bit of advice:

If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

For the purpose of this challenge, let’s skip the slightly eerie skin suit part, and just focus on the meaning. Atticus’ words are a reminder to shift perspectives in order to embrace compassion, build understanding, and see the many shades of truth.

This week, we’re asking you to consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.

AND NOW FOR THE CHALLENGE

You can tackle this prompt from a million different directions, but the ultimate goal of every prompt is to write, so feel free to adapt the challenge as needed.

Here are some ideas to warm your muse’s bare feet:

  • Pick a stranger, family member, or friend. Imagine a day in their life. Give us insight. Give us detail. Don’t just tell us about the other perspective, make us forget that you don’t live it every day. How does the homeless man on the street corner see you? What’s on your mother’s mind minutes before you visit? Does your boss like her office chair, or does the squeaking sound drive her crazy, too? Aim for two or three paragraphs.
  • Split perspectives. For the fabulous flash fiction experts, let’s see all the angles of your story. Write a couple of paragraphs from one vantage point, and then turn the tables — and walk in the shoes of another character. Tell us the same story from their view.
  • Go non-fictional. Most of us remember a time when we couldn’t imagine living the life we live now. Work? Marriage? Kids? School? Tattoos? Running five miles a day? A crush on someone who doesn’t have a mullet? Write a few paragraphs about a memory from your perspective, then, write about how someone else might remember that same event.
  • Are you out of your mind? Take us back to a specific time or event in your past: how would 15-year-old-you perceive current-day-you? As a child, what did you imagine for the year 3000?  What do you imagine now?  Try to remember yourself standing at the end of the year 1999: how did you see yourself then? How do you see that 1999-version of yourself now?  What changed your point of view — was it an unstoppable force, a conscious choice, or the gradual lull of time?

Don’t be afraid to get personal. Tell us how your understanding of your parent’s decisions changed with becoming a parent, or with growing up. Tell us how your compassion for a cause shifted after life experiences offered you a new vantage point.

Show us your truth’s journey. We want to walk this mile with you.

If you have questions, just ask. Myself or someone else with an abundance of opinions will lend you the advice you need. Be sure to tag your post with “dpchallenge,” and drop a link to this post in your post, so I can find you and cheer you on.

Have fun and be brilliant — just like always. Rawr!

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      1. Thank you so much. I’m excited about participating. Unfortunately I’m at work and can’t attack this until later, but I’m chomping at the bit. I already have it composed in my head. :)

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      2. There’s no specific deadline — you’re welcome to do this writing challenge whenever you like. We’ll be reading the entries posted this week and some might just see their entries bumped to Freshly Pressed this coming Friday. Enjoy the challenge!

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    1. An editor might chime in here, but as far as I know– there’s no rules against it, April.

      Though, if I could make a recommendation: Why not try writing something brand new, and linking to your old post as inspiration? That way, you get the traffic and the chance of being Freshly Pressed– plus, the readers who come your way and are stuck on your awesomeness will visit your older post– thus giving it views, too. Even something short and simple about your feelings on your old post would probably be quite insightful and give you much more value out of this link up! :)

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      1. Thanks for the advice! My juices started flowing and i created a new story. I hope you enjoy it! Check it out and let me know what you think!

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  1. how so feudal !
    removing your shoes before entering the door !
    …… from far away,…… Moses , Moses , remove your shoes …you now stand on holy ground ………..and he would wonder if eons later , someone would say, sandals stupid,not shoes……
    to the today , in the rich villages of , wealthy farmers remove their shoes when ushered into the presence of the govt.officer …….and he would wonder if tomorrow, the newsman would report of new cultures..servants not masters,……and chappals stupid , not shoes !

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    1. multiple universes….infinite universes….all time happens to you, now ….and you live simultaneously in many worlds…the script differs in each world , depending on its nature……
      napoleon lost at waterloo….and in another world, napoleon won a resounding victory at waterloo and european history took a U turn…. there were none to fight world wars, and his country became a superpower with only a new nation across the oceans its only rival !
      the new nation sent its rockets to the moon, searching for rocks and other treasures…and the superpower, in its superpower complex, sent its powerful rockets to venus searching for….for,well,.. you know what….
      in another world,saddam hussain was never hanged,and he ensured the new nation and its friends enough of oil !
      nearer home, a first time blogger twiddled his thumbs……and in another world, creative bombs exploding all around his head ….and when a great man said,a small step for me …but a giant leap for mankind : he asked ” REALLY ” !

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  2. Challenges are what makes us? how we deal with them is diiferent from any person. I just hope I am making the best decisions I can possibly make whether it is with friends family or whoever

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    1. We’d love to have you participate, Olga! (And you may already have. I decided to prioritize saying hey over reading entries today. I’ll be doing that part shorty– but for now– hey, chica! :D )

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    1. It’s all about perspective and understanding– and that’s right up your alley, Archita! :) So I’m taking your words as a double compliment. :) Thank you, thank you!

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  3. Hey Rara – great to see you in this neck of the woods!

    I’m just trying to finish building a wall on the house in case this cyclone hits QLD in the next few days, but once it’s over I’ll get my writing hat on :D

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    1. Eesh, Dianne, that’s scary! I’m sending you good wishes and positive thoughts. If you get to this challenge, we’d be honored to have a writer such as yourself amongst us– and if not, that’s alright, we’ll be wishing the Cyclone safely and quietly away!

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      1. Agree with you both!! I LOVE Atticus Finch (and Scout and Boo Radley) so I have to participate in this challenge. Let’s get those creative juices flowing :)

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200 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More