Sometimes, it’s really hard to start writing. You have the urge and you know you’re meant to write something, but you just can’t get it out. Sometimes, when this happens, I like to revert back to elementary school journal time. You know what I’m talking about. Heads bent over miniature desks, holding giant yellow pencils in grubby hands. That time during class when you would pull out those old school blue journals with the wide lines and wide margins and you would try your very best to print your letters neat and straight. Back then, teachers gave us these handy dandy things called writing prompts.
Writing prompts are an incredibly useful tool that all writers-whether your 6 years old or 60 years old-should take advantage of. And the best thing about them? The prompts you used in elementary school are still good to use when you get older; the prompt is the same but your life, and the writing that comes from your experiences, could be vastly different.
Writing prompts are pretty easy to find. These are the first three options that pop up when you Google “writing prompts”:
Some are more conventional than others but they are all guaranteed to produce thoughts in your brain. And those thoughts can certainly be translated to pen and paper, metaphorically or literally.
One of my favorite writing prompts is a rather simple one: What’s your best memory? I like this prompt for a few reasons. One, just thinking about my favorite memory puts me in a good mood and who doesn’t like that? Two, writing about personal experiences and memories strengthens your words like nothing else can. Writing truth almost guarantees smooth thought and word flow because the knowledge and words are already there. Instead of focusing on getting the scene or dialogue right, you get to focus on painting the brightest, clearest picture that your brain remembers. Three, memories have a place in almost all genres of writing, whether it be an autobiography or the wildest fantasy. If it is a wild fantasy, your memory, your truth, will only strengthen the foundation of your fantasy world. And last but certainly not least, every single person in this world has a different favorite memory which means your material is already original.
So, without further ado, please excuse me while I set about writing.