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The 7x7x7x7 Writing Prompt

I came across this article in the Huffington Post today, and didn’t get past the first idea before an idea struck me! There are ten exercises suggested in the article. I’m going to undertake them over the next few posts and see how they go. I’ve been working on improving my creativity and this is just the kind of challenge I need.

So here goes with The 7x7x7x7 Writing Prompt :

Grab the 7th book from your bookshelf. Open it up to page 7. Pinpoint the 7th sentence on the page. Begin a poem that begins with that sentence and limit it in length to 7 lines.


Was it a coincidence that the seventh book  happened to be The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? I can’t say. The book doesn’t even have page 7! So I counted the pages and then arrived at the seventh line on the seventh page. It reads, “But these are secondary, not primary traits.”  In this section Covey is discussing the difference between the ‘character ethic’ and the ‘personality ethic’. Here’s my 7 line poem.

(But) These are secondary, not primary traits
Do they truly reflect us, or do we hesitate
To reveal what’s inside us
Ours fears and hurts
Our true hopes and dreams.
What if we’re not accepted by all who see
What’s deep inside us behind our personality?

Somehow this topic seemed to fit right in with what’s going on in my life – my search to be authentic and real.  Sometimes, the fear that we will not be accepted for being who we are, makes us create a personality that might not reflect what’s within. I’ve been gradually shedding that personality that I adopted and I can tell you that not everyone can accept the real Me.

Does it hurt? Hell, yes.

Is it scary? But, of course.

Is it worth it? Like nothing else!

Today I’m inviting you to join in me in this prompt and also encouraging you on your journey towards being YOU.

PS: If you decide to play, leave your link here.

‘); // ]]>



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  4. melissa melissa February 2, 2013

    I love 7 and to multiply it several times is a real wow 😀

    Thanks for the initiative you always take BS… it’s amazing and challenging.

    I love the poem you composed ~ it is profound… I think the very first person to accept who we really are is ourself… it is a very humbling experience…

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 8, 2013

      You love 7? I’m wondering why? Could it be because I was born on the 7th? 😉
      Thank you for enjoying my poem. You’re so right, we have to learn first to accept ourselves, before we show true selves to the world. Love you, Mel.

  5. C. Suresh C. Suresh January 29, 2013

    That was a good one, Corinne and a great message as well.

    Btw, you hv stopped posting on Indiblogger, have you? Been following you through there and hadn’t seen any post by you in “Posts from my network”. I come over here and find you have been very active indeed. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      Hi Suresh – Thank you. I’ve kind of given up on the blogging forums except those on Facebook. Thanks for coming over. I hope you’re doing okay.

  6. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg January 29, 2013

    This is simply a fabulous creative challenge, Corinne. Though I am poetically challenged, I attempted to write some 7 lines. 😀

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      Thanks, Shilpa. Poetically challenged? Now that’s a new one for sure! You did a cool job, anyway! 🙂

  7. Rickie Khosla Rickie Khosla January 29, 2013

    Nice to see so many of our mutual Blogger friends jump on to this creative bandwagon! I wish I was half decent as a poet…I may have attempted this too!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      I’m sure you can do it, Rickie. You’re one of the most creative bloggers/writers I know!

  8. OtienoHongo OtienoHongo January 29, 2013

    This looks like a big challenge! Will try it!

  9. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl January 29, 2013

    What an interesting exercise! And how perfect that you picked up a book with that title. You come up with some intriguing writing exercises. But what about the part about the real you?

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      I enjoyed the prompt, Galen and I see it caught the imagination of quite a few people.
      I’m a little confused about your question “what about the part about the real you?”.

  10. Shorya Bist Shorya Bist January 28, 2013

    Hi Corinne,

    Thanks for sharing ,i am a new to your blog,i have came some days back to read Hiten guest Post.And this is the second post i am readingyours .Nice sharing platform must say.
    Ok now the article is great and the poem holds meaning that relate me too and reflect your thoughts.

    Thank You
    Shorya Bist
    From Youthofest

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      Thanks you for coming by again, Shorya. I’ve been seeing you around on some blogs I frequent. Will drop by at your blog soon.

      • Shorya Bist Shorya Bist January 30, 2013

        Your most welcome to Youthofest.Hope to see you soon on my blog.

  11. Inspiring Citizen Rafi Inspiring Citizen Rafi January 28, 2013

    The headline is stunning and will definitely make someone to click the post.

    What makes it more meaningful is the content and the way in which you have applied it..

    Radical girl Corrine..Hats off to your amazing skill in trying new things out, whether it be reading challenge or 7*7*7*7 or showcasing your life in just a photograph..

    Inspiring Citizen Rafi

  12. Kabenlah Cudjoe Kabenlah Cudjoe January 28, 2013

    This is an interesting approach. I enjoyed every bit of the poem. I was tempted to join in but it is quite unfortunate the books around are not up to 7.
    My poem will be ready tomorrow.

  13. latha latha January 27, 2013

    Now, that ‘s tempting me to do something…I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write poetry….:-)

  14. Hiten Hiten January 27, 2013

    Hi Corinne,

    Your poem was both beautiful and powerful.

    It seems like you and I have both been experiencing similar emotions with regards to not being accepted by everyone for being our real selves.

    I too have been trying to me more authentic and it is scary. Your words have inspired me to continue doing what I am. Thank you.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      Thank you so much, Hiten. I would love to hear more about your experiences with not being accepted for being you. I am learning to say “This is me. If you don’t like what you see, go look elsewhere!” 😉
      Here’s to us continuing to find our way back to ourselves!

  15. Deepa Deepa January 27, 2013

    Corinne! Smart idea and beautiful poem. I can probably relate to some of those emotions because in the past couple of years I have felt like there’s two sides to me too. One that’s among friends and fears to reveal her true emotions for fear of being judged and the other that’s getting stronger by the day – the true true one. Here’s to finding the true you! I did mine too and have linked it!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      Thanks, Deepa for joining the prompt. I’m glad that we’re all working towards being ourselves!

  16. Claire fsmum Claire fsmum January 27, 2013

    Great idea. Wish I had time to participate just now but while I am typing this on my phone, my mother is nattering away and I am not going to get away with it much longer! I even try to squeeze things in while waiting for kettle to boil or making dinner! So much writing to do, so little time.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 30, 2013

      You sound really busy, Claire. Thanks for making the time to stop by. 🙂

  17. janu janu January 27, 2013

    This is a fab idea…and your poem is too good .
    I will join 😀

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 27, 2013

      And I’m still smiling. 🙂 Please add your link to the linky here, Pixie!

  18. Nelieta Nelieta January 27, 2013

    Corinne, this is a great poem! I have learnt something new about you today 🙂 You go girl!

  19. Brenda Brenda January 26, 2013

    Great way to exercise those muscles (the creative ones). Also a good one is to start writing from a lyrics in a song (this is my favorite).. I like where you went with the poem. I liked the line from the book, as well, I carry around a notebook when I am creating characters (actually the journal is always with me in the event I see someone I need to document) anyway, while creating a character.. I write down everything I think she/he should be… eventually, I weed it down, but in the beginning.. she might have glossy chopped short black hair, slim hips, is leggy and had a fine swell of calf. People watch – it’s a gas!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 27, 2013

      Oh wow, Brenda. What I wouldn’t do to spend some time with you watching you create those characters. I love the idea of carrying around a journal to write down stuff as it occurs to you. Something I must do. The lyrics prompt is something I’m going to try out soon.

  20. Mayura Mayura January 26, 2013

    Hi Corinne,

    Taking action in the first place is wonderful enough 🙂 How many have read it and ignore taking the action? You did 🙂

    Nice poem and I’ve added some background music myself 😉 Isn’t it true that everyone doesn’t accept us at all? We need to show ourselves and the rest will follow for being who we are 🙂


    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 29, 2013

      Thanks a lot, Mayura. You are absolutely right – be yourself and the rest will follow! You’re a very wise young man! 😉

  21. BellyBytes BellyBytes January 26, 2013

    Strange but I too gravitated towards a book and a line that strangely reflected the situation I am currently facing……….

  22. Rachna Rachna January 26, 2013

    That is such a cool idea, Corinne. And you did a brilliant job of the poem.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 28, 2013

      Thanks a lot, Rachna. The idea is cool and I’m looking forward to the other prompts suggested in the article! 🙂

  23. All Sevens « Serenely Rapt All Sevens « Serenely Rapt January 26, 2013

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  24. Roshni Roshni January 25, 2013

    Great prompt! Not that I can aspire to composing a poem. I will participate from next week (hopefully)!

    • Roshni Roshni January 25, 2013

      Also, wanted to to say that I love your blog background! Very soothing!! 🙂

      • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 28, 2013

        I’m waiting for this poem now, Roshini, after I read yours today!
        Thanks – got the background off the net. Will share it with you if you have use for it – let me know. 🙂

        • Roshni Roshni February 1, 2013

          Hi Corinne, I would love to have it (or if you can point me to the website where you got it from)!!

          • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 1, 2013

            Don’t remember the website, Roshni. I sent it to you just now via FB. Please let me know if you get it and it works.

  25. Emily Stoik Emily Stoik January 25, 2013

    Oh that’s so cool! I love that book so much!! =)

  26. sapna sapna January 25, 2013

    Hi Corinne

    LOved the poem and the idea as well.

    Thanks for sharing this.


  27. Deepti Deepti January 25, 2013

    and shall it be said that my eye was in truth my dawn
    my heart no more forlorn
    Smile,my face adorned
    I sprinted & sang along. . .
    for My Life no more on loan
    & at last I had come home
    At last I had come home . . .

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 28, 2013

      I loved this Deeps. I do wish you’d return to blogging – I miss you! 😉

  28. Jenn Jenn January 25, 2013

    This sounds like a fun prompt!! I loved your poem too. Being authentic–it doesn’t get any better.

    Cheers, Jenn

  29. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando January 25, 2013

    Fantastic poem, Corinne, and a fabulous idea. Don’t know that I’ll have time to participate, but I hope many will.
    Blessings, my friend!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 27, 2013

      Thanks, Martha. The idea is not my own, but I’m glad a lot of people like it! 🙂

  30. Suzy Suzy January 25, 2013

    This sounds interesting Corinne. Will try and link in tomorrow. I love Stephen Covey’s book and your poem is great. It’s so true that we hide our true selves behind a façade so that we can be accepted but eventually it just gets very tiring to be someone you are not. Great post.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 27, 2013

      Thanks, Suzy. You’re so right. The weight of holding up a mask is too much.
      Your poem was fantastic!

  31. bhavana bhavana January 25, 2013

    Wowzie!!! That is pretty gutsy, Corinne! Well, I cant write a post right now..but did go into my library n picked out the seventh book from one section (it is Gendering Talk) and 7th line on 7th page says” “yet i also question the gendered stereotyping of monologue and dialogue and try to uncouple…” The author speaks of monologue tending to be masculine and dialog as considered to be preffered by women but she wants to note how both genders practice it. Ok..let me see if I can rhyme it…
    She says she speaks in us,
    And you say you speak.
    But remember the moments,
    when we both spoke
    us and me
    us and me
    till dawn spliced us again?

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 27, 2013

      Brilliant, Bhavana. I so admire the ease and flow of your words in this poem and on your blog.

  32. Susan Deborah Susan Deborah January 25, 2013

    Corinne, the idea is fabulous but I can’t write a poem for nuts. Can I write a post based on that seventh line?
    You are a fantastic wordsmith, by Jove. Your poems read so well.

    The idea is brilliant, Corinne. Thanks for the tag. BTW, I’m waiting for the other one (BP) as well.

    Joy always,

    • Dagny Dagny January 25, 2013

      I can’t write poems for nuts either. Can I do a flash fiction… limited to 7 sentences… or something like that?

      Another writing prompt that I got yesterday was to step out of the house and take a pic. Step back inside and take another pic. Then write a post relating the two. Sounded fun, but I haven’t done anything about it. 🙁

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 25, 2013

      Susan – thanks for the compliments, sweetie – it’s not nuts I’m offering ;). I’m waiting for your poem – you’re going to do a fab job – I know it!

  33. Ruchira Ruchira January 25, 2013

    I loved the poem Corinne ! Very well put !

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