Writing prompts, some swear by them others swear them off. The question is what can they do for our writing? And, after due reading I discovered they can do quite a lot! I myself have never been a fan of prompts, I’ve never used them. Always looking to create something organically so to speak, I decided they weren’t for me, but to be honest I’ve never really tried them… Not properly anyway. After reading into it a little more I found myself contemplating giving them another try. Here are five reasons why you should too!
Prompts are a great way to practice and sharpen your skills as a writer. Similarly to how a musician would practice scales to improve their understanding of the subject writers can use prompts or exercises to do the same. Prompts warm you up to the task of writing your content, like stretches before the big game or rehearsals before the audition. Using a prompt is a way to sharpen up and tell your brain it’s time to focus without inhibition or the pressure of your writing having to be ground-breaking. Writing prompts are a literary warm up.
Writing prompts are also another way we can brainstorm. By choosing random words or phrases to write about we may generate new ideas, new work which is exciting and could develop into content. Prompts make us think about ideas we wouldn’t usually consider, genres we wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. So, by using them we can create something from outside the box… At least something outside our own box.
As writers many of us can find ourselves staring longingly at a blank page with a blinking cursor with no idea of where to begin. If you find yourself doing this a prompt could be just what you need to get the ball rolling. A prompt will allow you to start writing without inhibition or pressure, It’ll just allow your fingers and your mind to go wandering. A bad page is always better than a blank page, but you never know you might surprise yourself when you’re using a prompt. As always, allowing yourself to write is key to getting stuff done, regardless of how good the work is.
Writing prompts are common amongst many writing communities, Facebook groups or clubs. If you want to become part of a community and engage with other writers then joining one of these communities could be really beneficial. Prompts come in all shapes and sizes and it’s interesting to see what other writers make of certain words and phrases, it could be something completely different to you. Engaging with prompts and sharing your work is a great way to get involved with a writing community, and will prepare you for the uncomfortable process of sharing work.
Using this kind of practice also allows you to turn creative writing into a habit, something which is highly rewarding and will improve your work dramatically. Using a random prompt a day will help you stick to a schedule even if you don’t have any projects like a book or blog in the works. Writing prompts could be just what you need if you struggle to write everyday or become bogged down in ideas.
We become what we repeatedly doSean Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens
What do you Think?
What do you guys think of writing prompts? Do you use them? Is it something you might find helpful? Let me know down in the comments. Prompts are definitely something I’m going to consider using in the future so let me know what your experiences are with them!