After lightly blowing off the layer of accumulated dust that coated my writing prompt journal, I flipped through the crisp, mostly empty pages looking for inspiration. After one papercut, lots of random thoughts not worthy enough of putting onto paper, and halfway into the journal, I stumbled across a prompt that caught my eye.
But before I tell you what question it was, I must say, I read Jessica Simpson’s memoir called Open Book, which I highly recommend, and found out about her past relationship with John Mayer. Long story short, what I got from the book was that he would date her on and off for writing material. Breaking up and getting back with her would inspire him to write music. He knowingly did this! How f-ed up! As unfortunate as it is, trauma and heartache can be a significant source of writing inspiration.
So, here’s the writing prompt question:
“What might a person in solitary confinement think about during the day?”
*Insert the thinking-emoji here*
Well, well, well. What a fascinating question. What first popped into my head was optimistic. I started thinking about what my hopes would be as to what someone may be thinking in solitary confinement.
What the hell was I thinking? How do I tell her I'm sorry? What does she think of me? Will she ever forgive me? How do I make things right? I was so stupid. She didn’t deserve that. She didn’t deserve this. Neither did her son or her family.
Then I started thinking more realistically, though this only ate up a few moments of my time. A majority of my thoughts were optimistic. (…I know, right?!)
How am I going to find her when I get out? I need to finish the job. She’s the reason I’m in here. I’m away from my family because of her. I’m suffering because of her. The first thing I’m going to do when I get out is go hunting for her… Again.
It was a waste of my precious time and energy thinking that way, so I stopped. These thoughts flooded my mind from the day he was arrested until… I don’t know when. They slowly faded and only consume my mind occasionally, thankfully.
Perhaps such a person would think about his kids or his family or the hundred other people he hurt along the way of his crime spree. Maybe he thinks about how he can turn his life around.
People make mistakes, but can you change someone’s personality? Can an offender’s undiagnosed personality disorder be fixed behind bars (which would be probably the only way to turn their life around)? Meh… doubtful.
Perhaps he’s too busy plotting and carrying out new crimes while incarcerated, making his own excitement in prison, to think about turning his life around. In my opinion, he’s likely still engrossed in his own narcissistic life and he’s sitting in solitary confinement contemplating his next move and crime-fix, forgetting the big picture. Forgetting why he’s there. Forgetting the wrong he did. Forgetting the people he hurt.
Now I’m wondering what could have gotten him in solitary confinement in the first place. Oh the stories I’m sure corrections officers have about offenders…
(I say “he” vs. “she” in this post because statistically there are more incarcerated men than women. Oh, and the obvious reason, of course. If I’m triggered, I do still wonder what the man who hurt me thinks about while behind bars.)
Can you answer this question? Have you been in solitary confinement? What did you think about? Your regrets? Sorrows? How to pass the time just to get through the day? Post a comment, email me, drop into my DMs. I’d love to hear!
P.S. As always, thank you to The Boutique Station in Rushford, Minnesota for always supporting me! Check out Amy's amazing boutique by clicking here: The Boutique Station
Thank you everyone for stopping down to Thursday's Downtown 7/14/22 to check out my books! I'll be there again on August 11th with all four books!
Four Pounds of Pressure: A Memoir of Rape, Survival, and Taking Back My Power (memoir)
The First Sister: A Dangerous Bloodline (fictional thriller novella)
Fly Like a Girl: Adventures of Erin and Brad (children's book)
Never Stop Exploring: Adventures of Erin and Brad (children's book)
Christine with Our Galaxy Publishing and I are still editing my sequel memoir called Another Four Pounds of Pressure so please stay tuned! A release date is TBD.