Tonic Writing Exercise #2: Nora Ephron’s Five Words

Nora Ephron’s go-to game while waiting for her table at a restaurant.

Luang Prabang flower

Good morning, beautiful bunnies! To kick off your week, I’m going to introduce the next writing exercise in our new series — it’s quick, but thoughtful, and (best of all) it’s inspired by Nora Ephron.

As Nora herself explains (c/o Joanna Goddard):

We have a game we play when we’re waiting for tables in restaurants, where you have to write the five things that describe yourself on a piece of paper. When I was [in my twenties], I would have put: ambitious, Wellesley graduate, daughter, Democrat, single. Ten years later not one of those five things turned up on my list. I was: journalist, feminist, New Yorker, divorced, funny. Today not one of those five things turns up in my list: writer, director, mother, sister, happy.

I love the idea of comparing your answers over time. If I had to pick five words now, I’d say: dreamer, writer, jewel tones, observant, driven.

I’m curious, what did everyone else come up with?

xox E

ps: the flower above was on the ground when I walked through Luang Prabang, Laos. My first inclination was to pick it up because it was beautiful, but then I decided to let it stay for that same reason.

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