Here’s the thing. We’re all busy. If we’re not busy, writers are very good at “appearing to be busy.” For instance, here’s how I’ve been productive:
- Registered children for swimming
- More laundry
- Trips to Costco and the grocery store
- Hanging up pictures
- Painting my daughter’s room pink (my husband and parents got roped into this project, too)
- Cleaning out the home office
- Getting rid of outgrown clothes
- Removing expired food from the fridge and pantry
You get the picture. Did all of these things need to be done? Yes, eventually. But I used what should have been my writing time to do it.
It’s summer, and I’m trying to be kind to myself. So rather than feel guilty about all the time I kind of sort of definitely wasted, I’m going to focus on finding a fun way to get myself unblocked: the humble writing prompt.
I used to belong to a writer’s group that focused entirely on writing prompts. Some of what I created ten minutes at a time made its way into publishable short stories, were fleshed out into their own works of fiction, or at the very least gave me permission to do something fun — with no major consequences — for a few minutes at a time.
By the way, I always give myself a time limit when working with a writing prompt, generally around 10 minutes. Here’s why: It forces me to choose my first or second thought and run with it. Enforcing a time limit ensures that I won’t be staring at a blinking cursor or blank piece of paper. It also helps me to see how valuable 10 minutes really is!
Want to give it a try? You can check out this writing prompt generator here.
2 thoughts on “When Words Won’t Come: The Case for Writing Prompts”
Haha, yeah. The only way I’ll ever get my chores done is to sit down and stare at a blank page. Anyway, writing prompts are awesome, and a random fiction writing prompt is one of the reasons why I actually completed a novel. Anyway, thanks for this post!
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Thanks so much for reading it!
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