When the ideas just aren’t coming and if feels like your muse as fled. Sometimes, a lot of the time writing is fucking hard. It can and will be frustrating. It is not an easy thing to do. Creating something from nothing more than one’s imagination. But what to do when the imagination is not coming in clear like it did before.
In other posts I’ve talked about taking breaks and doing other things like reading. To be a good writer you must be a reader. But we must also make time for life. So it’s important to spend time with family and friends and experience life. Sometimes this is enough to get the muse back at your side whispering about new worlds to explore. Sometimes the muse needs a little help.
Writing Prompts come in handy to give you that creative jolt. It may not be the next hit novel and prompts aren’t about that. They’re about putting pen to page and getting out of the box. Or getting out of your own way. ( That’s right I said it.)
There are many websites that have tons of prompts. You can even have daily prompts sent to you via email. And there are books full of writing prompts as well. Prompts for stories and prompts for poetry. I get a lot of mine from social media, like Facebook and Twitter.
Choosing a prompt can be a pain. It’s going to take sometime to find one that speaks to you. A prompt that works for me, may not work for you. And that’s okay. It can be a personal thing finding a prompt that sparks your interest. I do love to see what other writers make of something that I had no idea to do with. It helps me to see beyond myself and reach and push myself as a writer.
I love to search for prompts (yes I’m that nerd), and see what I can find. Sometimes my search comes up empty and I have to start again somewhere else. Other times I find a good one or more. I’ll save them and use them when I feel like my ideas aren’t coming in or panning out.
One of the best thing about prompts is that you can use them to push yourself as a writer. Try something in a genre you wouldn’t normally go for. Avoid the clichés found in that genre and write a 3 to 5 page story. Keep it simple and keep trying. But maybe you’ve been writing too many stories. Maybe that novel has you feeling burnt out. So try a prompt for a poem instead. It doesn’t have to be a Shakespearean sonnet. Keep it lite and just feel it. Let the words flow from your pen, from you.
What I love most about prompts is that what you write doesn’t have to be good. It’s just about getting you writing. That’s all they need to do. And sometimes it’s fun to get together with another writer friend and make up prompts for each other.
Maybe once in awhile I’ll post a prompt idea up and then post what I wrote for it. I would love to see if you my wonderful reader wrote anything for the prompt I post as well. We can talk about the ways the prompt helped you and the different directions we all took with the same prompt.