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Write the Story You Needed to Find With The Mighty's November Writing Prompts

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When you Google your diagnosis, what do you find?

I know when I was a college student seeking a reason behind my intense and repetitive passive suicidal thoughts, I found nothing. It took so much strength to even google the sentence “thinking about killing myself all the time” — to find nothing but a suicide hotline and a few forums made me feel even more isolated, confirming my belief there was something wrong with me.

It wasn’t until I started editing stories at The Mighty that a found a group of people talking about their own passive suicidal thoughts — the kind that don’t require immediate emergency intervention, but are demoralizing and dangerous all the same.

Although I’ve worked at The Mighty for five years now, I still encounter stories that stop me in my tracks. Stories that explains an experience in a way I’ve never heard before. Stories I wish I had found when I was a functionally depressed college student years go.

The Mighty aims to be there for people like me, lost googling souls, who are trying to find information about the scariest and most taboo experiences and diagnoses. We truly couldn’t do it without the group of Mighty Contributors who offer their words, their experiences and their wisdom so people who feel lost will no longer feel alone.

If you want to submit a story to The Mighty this month, we’d love to have you join us. If you’re not sure what to write about, below are some prompts and topics to get you started.

How to Submit

November Writing Prompts

1. If you live with a chronic illness, mental illness or any other health challenge, describe the first symptom you experienced. Take it back to when it first began — the first symptom you experienced that made you realize something was “off” or different. Maybe it was something subtle, like a strange feeling you couldn’t put your finger on. Maybe it hit you like a truck, and there was no denying something was wrong. Either way, describe what that “first symptom” was like for you, how you reacted, how your loved ones reacted and how it changed your life.

Example: The Moment Bipolar Mania Strikes

2. Share a cartoon or meme that made you think about your condition/disability in a different way. Explain what the image means to you and what you hope others could take away from it. Make sure to give the artist credit so we can link back to their work!

Example: A Helpful Chart to Explain the Difference Between Support and ‘Toxic Positivity’

3. Write a list of things you wish your family understood about your condition/disability. With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, most of us — for better or worse — will spend more time with our families. Share a list of things you wish your family understood about the specific symptoms/challenges that might come up during the holidays.

Example: 8 Things I Haven’t Told My Family and Friends About Being Chronically Sick

4. Write a response to something in the news — good or bad. A new song. An interview with a celebrity. A comment from a politician. If something in the news cycle strikes a nerve or leaves you inspired, let us know why. Make sure to mark your piece as timely when you submit!

Example: Why Taylor Swift’s ‘The Archer’ Is the Chronic Illness Anthem I Didn’t Know I Needed

This Month’s Feeling:

This month, we want to hear stories about what makes you feel thankful. A person you couldn’t live without; a place that holds special meeting; an unexpected thing you’ve become thankful for. We want to know why you’re thankful — or why you struggle to be thankful. Either way is OK.

TV and Movies Coming Out This Month

Here’s a list of Mighty-themed shows and movies coming out this month, but feel free to write about anything health or disability related we might have missed. Review what you watched using your own lived experience — what did the representation miss? What did it get right? What scene/line stuck out to you?

 1. “See— In a future where humankind has lost the ability to see and is forced to interact in new ways, a set of twins with sight is born, challenging the status quo.

“See” premiers on Apple TV+ on November 1.

2. “Head Full of Honey A widower grows increasingly frustrated as Alzheimer’s disease starts to claim the memories of his loved ones. He soon embarks on a remarkable journey as his young granddaughter takes him to Venice, Italy — the city where he met his beloved wife.

“Head Full of Honey” is available on HBO starting November 2.

3. “Marvel’s Hero Project Marvel celebrates the remarkable, positive changes several young heroes are making in their own communities. 

 “Marvel’s Hero Project” will premiere on Disney+ on November 12.

4. “Frozen II— Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna embark on an adventure far away from the kingdom of Arendelle. They are joined by friends, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven.

“Frozen II” comes to theaters in the U.S. November 22.

 5. “Last Christmas— A young woman, who has been continuously unlucky and experiences a sudden illness, accepts a job as a department store elf during the holidays. When Kate meets Tom on the job, her life takes a turn.

“Last Christmas” comes to theaters in the U.S. November 8.

6. “Motherless Brooklyn— Lionel Essrog is a lonely private detective who doesn’t let Tourette’s syndrome stand in the way of his job. Gifted with a few clues and an obsessive mind, Lionel sets out to solve the murder of Frank Minna — his mentor and only friend.

“Motherless Brooklyn” comes to theaters in the U.S. November 1.

7. “Atypical” Season 3 — This comedy follows Sam, a teenager on the autism spectrum who is beginning college.

“Atypical” Season 3 premiers on Netflix November 1.

November Awareness Days and Holidays

November 14: World Diabetes Day

November 17: World Prematurity Day

November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 23: International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

November 28: Thanksgiving Day

All month long:

  • National Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Awareness Month
  • National Family Caregiver Month
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
  • American Diabetes Month
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month
  • National Epilepsy Awareness Month
  • Stomach Cancer Awareness Month
  • Prematurity Awareness Month
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Thank you for being part of our community! If you’re not interested in submitting a story, don’t forget you can always post a Thought or Question directly to our site. If you want to share poetry, check out this month’s poetry prompt from our #MightyPoets community.

Originally published: November 4, 2019
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