Here is a small bit of advice which has served me well for years: if you are given an opportunity to speak in front of others, treat that opportunity as a rare privilege. Don’t dread it; use it to make a small change in the world. If your ambitions run closer to home, use it to make a big change in your life. Make it worthwhile.

Prompt 1: A Postage Stamp View of my Office

Note: I am working through the book The 1-Minute Writer by Leigh Medeiros, which is available right now as part of a Humble Books Bundle at Humble Bundle.

You’re on the phone with a far-flung friend who wants to hear about where you are right now. Check out your surroundings. Capture the essence of what you see around you in just a few sentences.

The light streaming through the windows in my office is brilliant most mornings, but this morning it is shifting with the clouds: bright yellow-white one moment, a dull gray-white the next. It shines on a mess of papers spread around my computer—the litter of a week in which I missed two days sick and came back to a growing list of things to do. The computer and its two glowering eyes perched atop the desk leave little dominate my field of vision as thoroughly as they dominate the room itself. I wonder sometimes if I am meant to serve the computer or if it is meant to serve me. The brilliant light streaming through the windows eases these thoughts, while the pines, water oaks, flowers, and grass it reveals with each blossoming moment offer a compelling antidote.