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Living History

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end, we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges are here to…

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

To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post, to generate a pingback and help others find the challenges. Please make sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday, and in our monthly newsletter.

There is an “I” in “history”

We go about our daily business with a clear distinction between what constitutes “news” and what constitutes “life.” Until the two collide. It happens more frequently than we recognize: a government shutdown forces us to modify our monthly budget. An earthquake abroad puts a relative at risk. A new immigration policy alters a neighbor’s life.

Your challenge this week? Write about a current event from your own unique, subjective perspective.  Show us how history is something we are part of, not some external event taking place in a palace, office, or war zone far away.

a personal take on a big story

What can you write about? It can be a conversation or a protest you took part in, or a recent development that made an impact (negative or positive) on your life. It can be something that happened in your town, or news from far away that moved you. The important thing is that it’s your story, your insight. Background detail is important, but what really matters is your voice, your opinion, your way of thrusting yourself, Forrest Gump-like, into the center of the news reel.

We recently introduced a current events-related tag on WordPress.com, WPrightnow. You can use it (along with the DPchallenge tag!) to allow readers who are looking for compelling stories about current events to find your post.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, how about one of these suggestions:

  • What was the most important thing that happened in your neck of the woods this week? How did it affect your life?
  • What was the most depressing (or uplifting) news item you’ve seen recently? Why did you react so strongly to it?
  • Write a portrait of a person you know and how that person has been affected by a recent political development.
  • Describe the moment in which you heard about a major recent event, near or far, and how it changed the rest of your day.

Do you already have an idea in mind? Start writing! We can’t wait to read your post.

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    1. You’re absolutely right, Florian. We Americans can be idiots. But then, how can we see the beauty if we don’t know the opposite? Heavy, dude.

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  1. I love this prompt and reading what everyone has to say. It seems I already blogged about this last week…my neck of the woods is the capital region and my field is archaeology. Congress is shaking all of that up like no tomorrow so for me Living History is a constant, but right now so “in our faces”. The post is One Step Forward; Two Steps Back: Politics & Archaeology http://wp.me/p3FM3D-4z

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  2. We have to realise that the past, the present and the future are not defined periods of time; there is no clear distinction between them, and that they all run seamlessly into each other. Our present is the future’s past, so we are writing history now. Whether or not we choose to recognise it, we are creating history, so we need to develop a foundation upon which future generations can build.
    As Churchill said “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” He understood that to create a better future, he had to create a better present, which is what we all need to try to do.

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