A Newsletter From Know Yourself #14
The Year-End Edition
Welcome to the year-end newsletter from Know Yourself. Know Yourself is a publication full of writing prompts, brought to you by Assemblage, that serves as a guide to helping you understand yourself better. It’s here for all writers, all the time.
We now have 70 prompts to choose from when you need a little help getting through a bout of writer’s block or if you just want to write and want someone to tell you what to write about. It’s not difficult. Write a story. Write a poem. Write a response. Write a letter. But write something.
These newsletters usually go out once a month (and sometimes every other month) on Sundays and highlight all of the responses we’ve had in the past month. It also previews the new writing prompt for the next month, but feel free to use any prompt, any time.
This will serve as a year-end wrap-up of Know Yourself’s 2020. In 2020, we published 50 responses to our writing prompts from 13 different writers. You could say we were disappointed with that volume, but writing about yourself and answering tough questions isn’t easy. We hope to give more space for writers to respond in 2021.
Responses of the Year
“I’m not a sensitive person. I can be a bit robotic when it comes to emotional responses, but it’s not because I lack emotion. It’s because my emotions are spent from loss. I just don’t have a lot left in the tank, or at least that’s what I tell myself. And sensitivity and empathy go hand in hand. While I stand to the side, with my hands in my pockets.”
Quarantine is Making It Clear I’m Difficult to Live With (a response to #30. List five ways in which you are, after all, quite difficult to live with.) by Cara Harbstreet (She/Her)
“I like the autonomy of being able to swing wildly from one extreme to the other without justification or reason. But if I’m being honest, dealing with the unpredictability of someone like me would be tiring at best, a dealbreaker at worst.”
“Harboring so much resentment towards you for such a long time is starting to impact the woman I know I can be. You’ve already tarnished the rosy lens that I used to understand love through, and I refuse to let you claim any more of my most intimate moments.”
“It’s not about my judgement but their insecurity. When it comes to making lifestyle choices, when did it become such a crime to expect more? I get it when it’s too exhausting to make choices and when it feels better to get a good buzz, so I wish some folks would not spend their depleted energy worrying about what I think.”
“I need a lot of alone time. This is my reality. I don’t want to play Mario Cart when I get home from work. After I rip my mask and work clothes off, and shower the day away, I just want to be fed and then left alone.”
“I cannot see my mother’s face but she is close by
and she says “do you want a little baby brother or sister?”
I don’t hesitate
no thinking is required
I say “no” very firmly
(I got a sister anyway).”
If I Could Change One Thing About Myself, It’d Be My Indecisiveness (a response to #64. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?) by Lark Morrigan
“I haven’t done this per se, but if I were to sit down and calculate the number of hours I’ve spent being indecisive about what to wear, what to write about, which class to take, what to eat, what to say “yes” to, who to befriend, and which hobby to focus on more, which kind of book to write, I’d say that it’d all add up to five years — and that may even be a low estimate.”
I Would Love to Tell My Teenage Self the Truth About Work (a response to #34. What career advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?) by Cecil Adkins
“I (probably) would be in a better place financially if I had finished college. I (definitely) would be in a better place emotionally if I had pursued my passions and put myself and my family above the needs of my employer. But, while I have no hope of saving my 16-year-old self from decades of mistakes and setbacks, I can take my hard-fought knowledge and create a better future now for both myself and my kids.”
“As a person, it is hard not to bring your stress and feelings with you wherever you go. It’s hard to shut them down when you’re having a bad day. But, as a parent, it is so important to remove those bad thoughts and make the best of your time with your kid. I didn’t do that very well.”
It was a weird one. It was hard to focus on self when we trapped with ourselves all this time. But maybe in 2021, we can start to heal by talking about it and examining it a bit more. These writing prompts are here for self-exploration. We hope you take the opportunity with us.
Soon, the homepage will be segmented by each prompt so that readers can take a deep dive into an important life question but from many different viewpoints. We will also continue to build out collections based on the responses to the same prompts.
Request to Write for Know Yourself
We are open to all writers who want to get to know themselves. The only requirements are that you answer the writing prompt, you code the subtitle of your story to fit our guidelines (Know Yourself #), and the first header of your story is the question posed by the writing prompt. This is so readers can easily find consistent pieces on the same prompt. Look at how other stories look to see how yours should. And there are also a few other guidelines to avoid the flim-flam of this site. You can read more below.