What is a Writing Prompt?
A writing prompt is a word or phrase that inspires your creative energy. It’s a suggestion or an idea for a writing topic.
Typically prompts are used for a free-writing activity. This means that you can write anything that comes to mind – it doesn’t have to make sense or follow any grammatical rules. It opens up that part of your mind that, when faced with a blank page says, “I don’t know what to write about”.
Quite often when presented with a writing prompt, individuals will set a timer for anywhere between 5-20 minutes and just start writing until it beeps. You may end up with something really beautiful or maybe it’s just a lot of blah blah blah - I have literally written blah blah blah on my page during many free-writing activities. The idea is that it starts something. You may end up not writing about the prompt at all and that is perfectly okay. Maybe it sparked a completely different idea for you. Awesome! Write about that! You’ll often find that even if you start writing, “I don’t know what to write about and I’m not sure if this is going to work for me because I’m not really a writer. Blah. Blah. Blah”, eventually you’ll hit a point where your blahs become something more clear. And even if they don’t, it’s still a great way to get the blahs out of your head. You’ll come out of it differently.
And when your writing is done, you are under no obligation to show it to anyone. You don’t even ever have to read it again. The only commitment is your commitment to writing. (and even that is ultimately up to you)
How Does it Work?
There are no rules to this, only suggestions. (This will be a relief to some and terrifying to others). There are basically only three steps:
Making the decision to add writing as part of your daily practice can be intimidating - sometimes I still struggle to get motivated. I have endless reasons why I write and probably about the same amount of excuses for not writing.