Merriam-Webster’s describes prompt (noun) as: Something that reminds or prompts (verb). To prompt is to cue, stir, incite, or move to action. Let’s dig a little deeper and find out more.
A writing prompt is:
- A word, phrase, paragraph, thought, object, or picture to give you an idea.
- A creative kick-start.
- A brainstorming session with your inner muse.
- A way to overcome the notorious blank page.
- A way to exercise your writing muscles.
- A distraction from an intense project to get the creative juices flowing again.
A writing prompt is not:
- A cure-all for writer’s block.
- A magic potion that will make you a better or more active writer.
- Something to take you away from a deadline.
Writing prompts can come from anywhere:
- A single word or phrase.
- An overheard conversation.
- A sign.
- A television program, movie, or video.
- A child.
- A dream.
- Any inanimate object.
Writing prompts can be found everywhere and used anytime to get creativity flowing. Keep a list and pull it out whenever you need a boost or a distraction. Sometimes when we’re stuck on a project, it helps to change gears and work on something fun. Don’t limit yourself and—for all you natural editors—don’t try to edit, proofread, and make it perfect.
Give yourself the liberty to be funny, serious, or totally outrageous with your words. Who knows … you might have the beginning of an article, great devotion, your first flash fiction piece, or the next best-seller. If you can’t use it, tuck it away and read it later when you need a good laugh.
Here’s your prompt for this week:
If you’re up for the challenge, write two or three short paragraphs and leave them in the comment section. The winner will be announced on November 30. First prize is a $10 Starbucks gift card. Second place is a copy of Murder of a Manuscript: Writing and Editing Tips to Keep Your Book Out of the Editorial Graveyard.
Thanks for participating and happy writing!
(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/chanpipat/Stuart Miles.)