By Amber Roshay
One of the hardest parts of writing is that you actually have to write. I don’t know how many times, I’ve sat down to begin and then decided to check my email, get a cup of tea or have the urge to practice yoga in my seat. The reasons not to write seem to be more than the reasons to write. But what if I told you that using a writing prompt can spur you into action.
In fact, using a writing prompt not only gets you writing, but you’ll be surprised by what comes out.
The first reason to use a writing prompt is that you have a starting point. You don’t have to worry about how or where to start. The prompt gives you a jumping off point that pushes you off the cliff and into the story. And the best part is that once you start, it’s easier to continue.
A writing prompt helps bring out different writing voices and explore topics that you might never have ever thought of discovering. You might remember a time in your life that you hadn’t thought about in years or you might be taken down a road to a character or story that is truly unique.
Since you have a starting point and a surge in creativity, you’ll write faster. Another reason is that you’ll be less worried about grammar or syntax. Using a writing prompt puts a muzzle on the annoying guy in your brain telling you to correct the spelling or add more detail. Before you know it, you’ll have written an entire story.
Another great reason to use a writing prompt is that you’ll be surprised by what comes out. You’ll find your way down a yellow brick road or write a character that you’d never bring home to your mother.
I’ve discovered that writing prompts really do create interesting tales and beginning with one will take you to unexpected places.
There is this myth that writing should be enjoyable most of the time. In my experience, writing is hard work, but there can be moments of pleasure and release.
A writing prompt encourages you to rediscover joy in your writing because it takes you to unexpected places, gives you satisfaction and boosts your creative juices. Using a writing prompt is just plain fun.
But what kind of writing prompt should you use?
Well, there are many different kinds of writing prompts. Some are aimed at non-fiction writers, others are for personal exploration and yet others aim at specific genres.
But remember a writing prompt is a jumping off point and wherever it takes you, is fine. You can always rewrite.
One way to use a writing prompt to craft quality stuff is to join our Write 3K in 3 Days Writing Challenge. We send you writing prompts to get you started along with inspirational emails.
How Do You Use a Writing Prompt?
The simplest way is to find a place to write. I prefer to write in the mornings, in bed with my laptop snuggled on my lap and steaming cup of coffee in my hand. But when I lived in San Francisco, I loved riding the bus and writing. I found inspiration in the passengers and busy city.
Next, set a timer. Perhaps, you only write for 15 minutes or 18 minutes and 30 seconds. Once the timer is set, get out your writing prompt. Begin with the first thing that enters your mind and go.
You shouldn’t pause during your writing time. Once the timer goes off, stop. One great way to use a writing prompt is to use it in a writing group or with a writing partner and then you can share what you wrote together.
If you don’t have a writing group or writing friend with that is physically in the same room, you can always share online.
I find that the best part about writing is having someone else read and respond to what you’ve written, but this isn’t a requirement.
A great way to find a tribe to share your writing with is to join a writing course. Get Paid to Write Quality Blog Posts dives into the craft of writing and blogging, but it also helps to connect with your writing voice and find your tribe.
What do you do with the writing afterward?
Besides sharing your words with your writing group or tribe you can also decide if it’s worth rewriting. Ask yourself, if the story resonates with you? Is it something that needs to be told? If you shared it, what kind of feedback did you receive?
Most of the time, what you wrote is worth exploring further. One nice tip is to put it away for a day or two and then come back to it.
Rewriting is about pausing and thinking. I prefer to think of it like savoring an expensive glass of wine. You need to savor the flavors.
Once you’ve mulled it over, you’ll be able to see it with fresh fingers and then rewrite.
In the meantime, get out another writing prompt and start again. If you don’t have a consistent writing schedule, create one and join Get Paid to Write Quality Blog Posts. We help you write quality stuff and find your writing voice. Sometimes with a writing prompt and other times with a gentle but firm nudge to write.
What do you think the benefits of a writing prompt are? Let me know if the comments below.
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