Prompted Writing. I know, you may have just groaned. I was certainly that way in my early years of undergrad. I HATED prompted writing. But the truth is, skipping prompted writing time is like skipping leg day.
Writing and creativity are just like muscles. The only way you’re going to get any better is with exercise. And trust me, if you do your exercises, you will get stronger.
I know it can be easy to think that writing prompts are silly or only for people with writer’s block or who aren’t busy with their own projects or who can’t come up with any good ideas of their own. And that simply isn’t true. Every author needs to be taking the time to exercise all of their writing muscles.
Prompted writing gives authors the opportunity to experiment. To work on something that could be garbage and that’s totally fine. It’s the yoga of writing. In stretching yourself a little bit every day by working on something unrelated to any current projects or perhaps outside your typical form or genre, you’ll find yourself becoming a stronger and more flexible author.
I recommend designating a document or an old notebook and taking maybe fifteen minutes five times a week to sit and challenge yourself with a writing prompt. Writer’s Digest has a lot of great prompts. My personal favorite kind of prompt is “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”. Find a picture that is interesting and speaks to you and the sit down and start writing until you reach 1000 words. Don’t focus on quality when working with prompts. Rather, devote your energy to trying to new things, playing with language, and discovering new techniques. And, who knows, you just might beat your writer’s block, or discover the key that brings your work-in-progress together.