“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” — Picasso
As a youngster I took piano lessons. How well I remember those long boring hours of practice. Especially when I was practicing scales. The mindless repetitiveness when five minutes seemed like five hours. As much as I hated it, the practice built up my playing muscles. It taught me to move my fingers over the keys with greater confidence.
Learning the craft of writing is similar. I can be a writer who only writes when the muse strikes or I can work on building my writing muscles by challenging myself to come up with ideas and work them into finished pieces.
Keeping the writing pump primed is not always easy. Not only do I need ideas, I need the confidence to get my thoughts out on the page to be shared with the world. Confidence doesn’t come with thinking about it, it arrives with writing.
Writing prompts provide a way to prime the pump and get writing neurons firing. They can challenge me to get out of my comfort zone and write differently. I’ve been known to surprise myself when I do that.
I’ve been compiling writing prompts to fuel my writing for the coming year. I want to remove my excuses for not writing every day. By having a variety of prompts available each day the pressure is on to apply some discipline and put them to work.
I’m not going to hoard these prompts though. I’m offering to share them with you dear reader. I’m also going to provide a place where they can be published, if you’d like to submit them.
How To Use Writing Prompts
The prompts create a starting point limited only by my willingness to explore where they can go. Here’s some suggestions on how to use writing prompts.
Spend a few minutes with each prompt. Set a timer if you’d like and free write anything which comes to mind as you think about the prompt. You may find writing by hand will spark more ideas than the keyboard. When the timer runs out, review what you’ve written. Does anything spark further ideas? Write them down. Keep at it until you run out of ideas.
Prompts are yours to mold as you please. You can use them to write a personal essay, a story, draw a picture, make a video. Just because I’ve sent them out as writing prompts doesn’t mean they need to be constrained.
Choose one of the ideas you’ve written down and play with developing it into a final product. Save the other ideas for future inspiration.
Now, the idea you’ve chosen. Don’t shoot for one and done. Try different angles and approaches to drafting the final product. You may find one idea will turn into more than one viable possibility. Choose one for this round and add the others to your idea list.
Work that chosen idea until there is a product ready to publish. You can choose not to publish. But, you’ve done all that work, why not put it out there?
Doing this every day with at least one prompt will exercise your writing muscles. You’ll find ideas coming easier than they were before and increase your confidence in producing content.
That is my major goal for 2020, producing content even when I think I don’t feel like it.
Would You Like To Receive The Prompts?
I’m created an email list to share the prompts each day. You can join here.
Each day you’ll receive a group of prompts. They include:
- A single word or phrase for you to play with. You could take this word in any direction the spirit takes you.
- A blogging/journal prompt — don’t confine yourself to a personal essay type article. The spirit might move you to produce a work of fiction. Remember, prompts are there to stimulate your writing.
- A fiction prompt for you to craft into a story. The story could be any where from flash fiction to a short story and beyond. Play with it. Have fun.
- A gratitude prompt — this will be sent weekly. Negativity finds us all too easily. This prompt is meant to remind us of what is right in our world.
- Writers also need to be readers. Every two weeks I’ll be sending a reading challenge. You’ll find yourself at times reading outside your interest zone. Rise to the challenge and broaden your viewpoints.
Feeling curious enough to give them a try? Join the email list here.
Would You Like A Place to Publish?
You may have your own blog you publish on and are quite happy to carry on doing so. Or, you may want to share your creations with others. I write on both Medium and Steem. I’ve created space on both places where you can share your prompt creations.
Let’s build some community in 2020. Community is fun, it brings us together and inspires us.
I’ve created a publication on Medium especially for people to post their prompt results. You can become a writer on Coffee Muse by replying to one of the prompt emails with your profile link on Medium.
Communities are being introduced to the Steem platform. When you post to a community your post shows up in the community feed and on your blog. More features are coming when SMTs are introduced later this year.
I’ve created a community called Shady Writing. If you’re reading this post on Steem, you’re reading a post to the community. Join the community and post your prompt result to the community.
Some of those posting will earn SHADE tokens. You’ll want to hold on to SHADE for when SMTs arrive. Yes, I’m giving you a hint without details.
Together We’ll Build Our Writing Muscles in 2020
Let’s have some fun and build our writing muscles in 2020. We can use these prompts to build community and expand our writing horizons.