A. Catherine Noon here, kicking off Day Two of the fabulous New Year’s Party – this time, with thoughts about the mind. To start us off, I figured I’d share with you one of my favorite tools for getting on the page: writing prompts!
What Is a Writing Prompt?
Does it mean you write fast, or promptly? Nope. It’s something that “prompts” you to write more – such as asking a question, suggesting a memory, or posing a problem.
- A Question: What do you think about making New Year’s Resolutions?
- Suggesting a Memory: What’s your earliest memory of a resolution you made? Did you keep it? Why? If you broke it, when, and what made you give up on it?
- Posing a Problem: Bob and Mary are dating, and Bob makes a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, only Mary assumes it’s because he thinks she’s fat. How does Bob clarify what he means?
You can play with prompts by yourself, in your journal or computer. You can wander around online and find sites that welcome input and an audience. You can craft them into a longer project and submit them to a magazine or create a book from them. You can use them for practice, to hone your skills and become a better storyteller. You can just have some fun.
Fun is highly underrated, but we humans are creatures motivated by it. Why not embrace that, and make fun a resolution this year? Rather than parsimonious exhortations to eat less and spend less, why not make it your mission to have more fun? Fun doesn’t have to cost, either: you can have a poem party, and everyone comes and writes a sonnet. Writes a bad sonnet. Why not? Goofy is good, and sometimes can yield genius.
After all, practice makes perfect.
If you’re in or near Chicago, you can come play with me at my Prompt Circle, one of the programs I run through my writer’s group Writer Zen Garden. More information is on Meetup, here.
What about you, Dear Reader? What do you think would make a good prompt?
– E.E. Cummings
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