Writing Prompt: Voicing Your Opinion

By Dalia Martinez

Just say it! That’s one of the bold red notes I got from a college teacher once. I’ve always been one of those who struggled to get my opinion out. It’s not that I didn’t have one. But I was taught that voicing an opinion was un-lady like. No, I did not grow up in the 19th century Antebellum South.

Want to make some money off of your passion? Dreaming of getting a personal essay published? Starting Monday, Los Angeles Times contributing op-ed editor Erin Aubry Kaplan, will show you how to write an Op-Ed, make your argument as strong as possible, and pitch it to the right editors. We love this class! And there’s a huge market for getting Op-Ed’s published–newspapers have to publish three per day, and there’s at least one newspaper in every city!

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Writing Prompt:

As a child, I once told one of my aunts, who is pigeon-toed, that she was beautiful but had “duck feet!”  It made for a good laugh coming from a 6-year-old, but over time, my opinions got me into trouble. And how many of us got into trouble for loud-mouthed and rude observations? As adults, we learn to better formulate and dispense opinions… one hopes.

For this week’s writing prompt, make a list of three strong opinions you have (or had as a kid). Did it get you in trouble? What did you learn? Include a specific detail (e.g. mom grounded you; you went to bed hungry, a crowd applauded you, etc.). Now for 10 minutes, write about your experience, including the sensory detail. Then, post your results in the comments of this blog!

Truth is I can recall more times I did not voice an opinion than the times I did. I still struggle with speaking up, but less so. Now I mentor younger cousins and opinions fall boldly from my lips. My cousin called me once because she was unsure of meeting a date. I told her to take it as a learning experience, carefully giving her reasons why she should go. Over drinks, I talked to a friend about international politics. He couldn’t have been more misguided and I laid out my thesis while he finished his beer. Ironically, I yelled it out over the loud music of the bar. Finally! I got to yell out an opinion.

Now it’s your turn. Write about voicing your opinion, including a specific detail. Then post your story below. You could win a free writing class!