>Do you use writing prompts? I find they’re not only great for igniting ideas but they can really help you get writing when you don’t really want to. You don’t have to think of what to write, and once you get rolling, you may write for longer then you planned. I’ve started several sessions kicking and screaming and finished with my mind buzzing over an idea – all because of one good prompt. I’ve gone on to complete several stories that began because of prompts. And because they tease the words out of you, they make a good warm up before other projects.
So where do you find prompts? You may have your own favorite books or websites that feature or include prompts. Writing magazines, including Writer’s Digest, often include prompts in-print and online. Below are a sampling of books and websites brimming with writing prompts.
The Writer’s Book of Matches
The staff of fresh boiled peanuts, a literary journal
(I keep this one in close reach.)
The Pocket Muse
(Another standby. She also includes photographs with captions as prompts.)
The 3 A.M. Epiphany
Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge
1000 Songwriting Ideas
(It’s not all writing-related but the prompts are very cool and the approach quite different from other writing forms. My sister and I have a blast using this book.)
Creative Writing Prompts
(I use this site all the time to kickstart my writing.)
Dragon Writing Prompts
The One-Minute Writer
If you don’t already, I highly recommend using writing prompts. If you do, keep using them and build a collection of favorite prompt spots. Writing from prompts, even when you write begrudgingly, may lead you to wonderful things. Have fun!
Pick one of the above books or sites (or another you know of). Flip or search until a prompt strikes your fancy. Then set the timer for 20 minutes and go to it! If you wind up going longer and love what you’ve done, excellent! If not, it’s still excellent! You wrote and that’s what counts.