Stretch your imagination, uncover thoughts you’ve never considered before, and awaken your ability to make something out of an idea or thought with writing prompts.
The deadline is looming. The screen is blank. Your boss is breathing down your neck and the calendar pings you with another update or someone’s just tagged a task to your name. And yet, you’re stuck.
You get a reminder on your phone for a meeting. A call comes in from your colleagues about something urgent. And then there are there urgent things that cropped up from out of nowhere.
The blank screen stares back as you struggle to get things going again.
The scenario is common in the life of anyone who is in the creative field.
Some days are better than others. On those days that we are stuck facing a blank screen, writing prompts can help us jiggle ideas into life.
We all encounter writer’s block once in a while. Writing prompts help writers when we are pressed for time and have exhausted our list of ideas on what to do. I’ve tried many different types of writing prompts and while some are cool, others were…less helpful.
Are Writing Prompt Ideas Forced and Inauthentic?
The answer is a “Yes”…mostly. But because it forces the fact-based writer in me to come up with better writing ideas, it makes writing for a living more experimental.
For example, as a writer who writes for a living, I often deal with facts not ideas. It may start off as a creative idea but in reality, it’s less glamorous and inspiring than we often think it is.
Writers deal with commercial businesses that may not allow us the full creative breadth to fully utilize our artistic potential.
And that’s where writing prompts may come in handy.
Writing Prompts Keeps The Train of Thought Chugging
I found writing a writing prompt once a day or twice a week to be helpful. There, I am allowed to use every heightened concept and opinion without restrictions.
Hell, I can go any which way I want! The freedom.
Some writing prompts are senseless. It could be something like…
“You’ve just found 5 cents on the floor. You pick it up and suddenly you feel the electricity coursing through your body. What happens next?“
“Begin or end your story with ‘Well, that was odd'”
Starting out with these ‘assignments’ will often feel a little sluggish for me because it is something completely out of context and I have no point of reference or experience in dealing with these writing ideas.
But that’s the challenge, isn’t it?
Writing Out Of The Norm Stuff
By using writing prompts, it helps me think out of the box. It forces me to use my imagination (which is, sadly, not always possible when you write for a living). It makes me conjure whims, make mistakes, cringe, write and rewrite, and just be myself as a writer instead of the content developer, digital marketer, SEO specialist that I am.
Essentially, I don’t have to care.
If you’ve heard, not caring about how it turns out is one way to unleash a creative beast that’s living within your soul.
So, I can write anywhere – from the car, in the bathroom, on the phone while waiting in a bank, or during a break.
You Don’t Know What You’re Going To End Up With
Just like how you just hop into your car for a ride without a destination, there’s immense satisfaction in not knowing what you can come up with.
There are no rules except to keep writing. If possible, set a timer for yourself and just keep writing whatever comes to mind. You don’t have to publish it if you don’t like it. It might even make you laugh! #seriously
I find myself with a basic concept, which is what writing for a living is required of me, and end up with something completely off-the-cuff and unbelievably not-me.
The only rule I can think of about using writing prompts is this: Don’t stop yourself halfway or overthink.
Embrace Writing For Yourself Every Day
One of the things that I’ve never stopped doing for myself as a writer is to write (as much as I can) every day. It could be a blog post, an article, a simple update on social media, or even an opinion piece on Medium.
If you want to continue enjoying life as a writer, writing every day is essential. It’s not always possible, I know that for a fact. Life gets in the way or you’re too tired. You don’t feel like writing anything after a full day of composing poised pieces day in and day out.
Writing prompts will, however, fire up a part of your brain which will reignite your love for writing all over again.
Writing Prompts Might Take You To A Place Where Fantasies Are Locked
The pulse of creativity is powered by a writer’s ability to concoct. When you are writing for a living, you lock up that ability to create, rein in the whimsical side in the name of corporate confines.
Creativity lies chained up for most parts of my life because most types of writing that pay either place restrictions on your creativity or does not require you to apply creative writing styles or ideas.
That’s why writing prompts, for me anyway, are useful.
Even with that said, I don’t do it enough these days and I intend to go back to it. Writing has always come to me naturally and quite easily but sometimes, writing for a living takes a toll on me that I fall on the wayside.
I think writing prompts will bring back that love for writing all over again when I feel like “Nah, I don’t have time to write for myself“.
Because yes, I do.