Scottish Book Trust is celebrating Scotland's Year of Stories 2022(this will open in a new window) by asking the people of Scotland to share their true stories as part of our annual writing project, Your Stories. Use this writing prompt to help you get inspired and start writing.
What makes a place feel like home? How do you make somewhere your home? However you've come to find yourself in Scotland, whether you've always lived here or are a new Scot, we'd love to hear your real-life stories about finding your place and making a place your home.
Warm-up exercise: Treasured possessions
What is your most treasured possession? It could be something that's been given to you or that you've inherited, something you've made or bought for yourself, or something that represents something greater. Visualise this item as clearly as you can, or put it in front of you if possible.
Set a timer for five minutes and write freely about the object. Don't cross anything out or read what you've written until the timer goes off. This is just to get your mind and pen moving – don't worry about if it's 'good' or not! Use your five senses to focus you back on the object if you start feeling yourself go on a tangent. What does it smell and look like? How does it feel, taste and sound?
At the end of the five minutes, read back what you've written. Does anything surprise you? Is there anything that makes you think about the object in a new way, or are there any contradictions? Does what you've written reveal anything about you, or your feelings? Think about the mood and tone of what you've written – does a particular emotion or feeling come through?
Brainstorm: Thinking about 'home'
Think about what 'home' means to you. It might be a mix of different places, people and feelings. Where are the different places you've called home? What did you take with you to each place, and what did you find there? What role does your sense of 'home' play when it comes to finding your place in the world?
Use bullet points to jot down what comes to mind when you think about the word 'home'. Have a look at your list when you're done and try to organise your bullet points into categories – feelings, places, people, objects etc. These lists will help you get started on your piece of writing, and provide you with an insight into what the most important elements might be for you.
It's time to put pen to paper and write your piece. Using your real-life experiences, write about making somewhere your home, and what that means or has meant to you. You could centre your piece on an individual object as you did in the warm-up exercise – it could be something you've taken with you from home to home or something new you've found that represents the place you've made yours.
Whether you've lived here all your life, come here as a child or are a new Scot, you could think about what you've found here and how Scotland has shaped your sense of self and your sense of home.