Currently viewing the tag: "internal monologue"

painful memory

Memory was a terrible and intensely physical thing. Unlike guilt, it lost none of its power over time. –A Darker Place by Laurie R. King

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of your protagonist as he/she struggles with a painful memory.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a painful memory and how you deal with it.

Art Prompt: Painful Memory

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to deal with painful memories.

Photo Credit: JustCallMe_Bethy_ on Flickr

you hold the universe in your hand

Albert Einstein was once asked, “What’s the most important question you can ask in life?” He replied, “Is the universe a friendly place or not?” –Spiritual Literacy – Reading The Sacred In Everyday Life by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch: How would your protagonist answer this question? How does this affect his/her relationships and choices?

Journaling Prompt: How do you answer this question and why?

Art Prompt: Universe

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how you answer this question and why?

Photo Credit: Lauro Roger McAllister on Flickr

I sat there, squeezed in between two guys on the back bench seat, facing a third man across a spacious length of plush black carpeting. In the interest of personal safety, I made a point of looking straight ahead. I didn’t want to be able to identify the two side kicks. The guy facing me didn’t seem to care if I looked at him or not. All three men were throwing out body heat, absorbed by the silence, which ate up all but the sounds of heavy breathing, largely mine.

The only lights on in the limo were small side bars. The floods from the parking lot were cut by the heavily tinted window, but there was still ample illumination. The atmosphere in the car was tense, as if the gravitational field were somehow different here than in the rest of the world. Maybe it was the overcoats, the conviction that I had that everybody in the car was packing except me. I could feel my heart thumping in my chest and the sick thrill of sweat trickling down my side. Often fear makes me sassy but not this time. I felt excessively respectful. These were men who operated by a system of rules different from mine. Who knew what they’d consider rude or offensive? –K is for Killer by Sue Grafton

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where your protagonist is afraid. Describe the scene using internal monologue.

Journaling Prompt: What is the most frightening thing that ever happened to you?

Art Prompt: The smell of fear

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a dramatic story about a time when you feared for your life.

Photo Credit: Montse PB on Flickr

liar liar

If you had the belief at the cellular level that lying would ensure your survival and safety, wouldn’t you continue this behavior? –Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control: Volume 1 by Heather T. Forbes LCSW

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of a character who believes he or she must like to survive.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever had to lie to survive?

Art Prompt: Lying to survive

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the psychology of trauma victims who use lying to survive.

Photo Credit: Alexa LaSpisa on Flickr

I always look down on myself...

“There is a perception that people with low self-esteem tend to be more negative and complain a lot more,” says Megan McCarthy the study’s author and a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. “While that may be the case in some social situations, our study suggests that in romantic relationships, the partner with low self-esteem resists addressing problems.”…
The research suggests that people with low self-esteem’s resistance to address concerns may stem from a fear of negative outcomes. Sufferers may believe that they cannot speak up without risking rejection from their partner and damage to their relationship, resulting in greater overall dissatisfaction in the relationship. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of a person with low self-esteem having a conversation with a romantic partner.

Journaling Prompt: How do you act when you are working out difficulties with a partner? Can you speak freely? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Low self-esteem

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem of low self-esteem and  how it effects relationships. Give some suggestions as to how they can combat any low self-esteem in themselves.

Photo Credit: Laura Mountford on Flickr


“Examples of Bullying at work include harassing, offending, or socially excluding someone repeatedly over a period of around six months.
“Workplace bullying leads to poor health because the victim is exposed to a very stressful situation – resulting in anxiety and lack of vigour. We wanted to see whether deteriorated health could make the employee an easy target for bullying. For example, the victim may have less energy to respond to difficult situations and therefore receive less support from colleagues or supervisors.
“Another explanation is the so-called ‘gloomy perception mechanism’ in which anxious employees may evaluate their environment more negatively.”
Dr Sanz Vergel said: “We found that being exposed to workplace bullying leads to deteriorated mental health and decreased well-being. But at the same time, showing anxious behaviour puts the victim in a weak position and makes them an easy target – leading to a spiral of abuse. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the inner monologue of someone as he/she is the target of bullying.

Journaling Prompt: When do you find yourself feeling gloomy about your environment?

Art Prompt: Gloomy perception mechanism

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the psychological effects of workplace bullying.

Photo Credit: Ani-Bee on Flickr

Marital Joy

Liu set out to learn how marital quality is related to risk of heart disease over time, and whether this relationship varies by gender and/or age. Among her findings:

  • Negative martial quality (e.g., spouse criticizes, spouse is demanding) has a bigger effect on heart health than positive marital quality (e.g., spousal support). In other words, a bad marriage is more harmful to your heart health than a good marriage is beneficial.
  • The effect of marital quality on cardiovascular risk becomes much stronger at older ages. Over time, the stress from a bad marriage may stimulate more, and more intense, cardiovascular responses because of the declining immune function and increasing frailty that typically develop in old age, Liu said.
  • Marital quality has a bigger effect on women’s heart health than it does on men’s, possibly because women tend to internalize negative feelings and thus are more likely to feel depressed and develop cardiovascular problems, Liu said.
  • Heart disease leads to a decline in marital quality for women, but not for men. This is consistent with the longstanding observation that wives are more likely to provide support and care to sick husbands, while husbands are less likely to take care of sick wives. “In this way, a wife’s poor health may affect how she assesses her marital quality, but a husband’s poor health doesn’t hurt his view of marriage,” Liu said.
    Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a marriage gone bad and show through internal monologue how it affects both partners and their health.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a relationship you had that affected your health.

Art Prompt: Marital bliss

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the correlation between happiness in a relationship and heart health.

Photo Credit: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. on Flickr


…wrath begins to speak in a self-righteous voice, building a case within your mind-your reason-that you are “right” and therefore action is justified. Your reason refuses to relent, stoking the fire of anger constantly, because it takes a great deal of fuel to keep the fires of self-righteousness burning. Wrath eventually consumes you on your own pyre. – Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason by Caroline Myss

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene focusing on the internal monologue of wrath.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were extremely angry. Write about the thoughts you had at the time.

Art Prompt: Wrath

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to recognize when wrath is controlling them and how to get back under control.

Photo Credit: Erin O’Neal on Flickr


Here is how a lot of people think who are socially anxious:

  • If I am anxious, then people will see my anxiety.
  • If people see you are anxious, then they will think you are a loser.
  • I should always appear in control and confident.
  • I have to get the approval of everyone.
  • If I don’t, it means I am defective or inferior.
  • It’s terrible not to have people’s approval.
  • There is a right way—a perfect way—to do things socially.
  • I should always do things the perfect way when around other people

And, people who are socially anxious often engage in “safety behaviors” which are superstitious behaviors that they think make them more secure and less likely to unravel in public. Typical safety behavior beliefs are the following:

  • If I hold a glass really tightly, then my hand won’t tremble.
  • If I talk really fast, people won’t think I’m a loser and have nothing to say.
  • If I have a few drinks, I can function better.
  • If I prepare my talk and read it, then I won’t lose track.
  • If I wear a jacket, they won’t see I am sweating.

Robert L. Leahy, PhD

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character suffering from social anxiety. Include inner monologue.

Journaling Prompt: What anxious thoughts run through your mind? How do you respond to them?

Art Prompt: Social anxiety

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about social anxiety and provide strategies for coping with their inner thoughts.

Photo Credit: Mariana Zanatta on Flickr

Silence, Censor, Restraint

Dissonance makes a person stop thinking “What can this person do for me?” and start wondering, “What is this person planning to do to me?” It also keeps you and another person from connecting—or, from a neurological point of view, achieving mirror neuron empathy—because you’re not sending the message you think you’re sending. –Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write internal dialogue for one of your character that exhibits dissonance. Show the conflict it creates.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you experience dissonance.

Art Prompt: Dissonance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the psychological phenomenon of dissonance and how it creates conflicts in relationships.

Photo Credit: Kayla Sawyer on Flickr