Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Writing Prompts to Get You Started

Happy Writing Wednesday!  Last week I went over my first useful tip for getting started: free writing.  This week’s tip can be used in conjunction with free writing or you can apply it all on its own.  This week I want you to try out writing prompts.

These aren’t hard to find.  At all.  The easiest way to find them is Pinterest.  They’re all over the place there.  Just do a search for “writing prompts” and you’ll find pins, boards, and entire accounts dedicated to them. Don’t go search now.  You’ll get sucked in and emerge 3 hours from now thinking you’ve gone through a worm hole and lost all that time.  Which you kinda did.

If you want to find some writing prompts that won’t drag you down the rabbit hole of “ooo, look at that! And that!  And THAT!!” I’ve gathered a few links to stand alone sites that provide you with easy ideas to get started writing without stealing your soul a few hours at a time.

Daily Prompts:

These sites give you a prompt a day. 

This site has multiple daily prompts, different genres to choose from, and an extensive archive of previous prompts if none of today’s prompts strike your fancy.  The plethora of choices at this site can be a bit overwhelming and distracting, but not quite on Pinterest’s level.

These are user-generated prompts, and the site isn’t updated daily, but there are still some very good choices here.  If you include this site in your rotation of sources without relying on it daily, you’ll still get a good, steady stream of ideas.  This site swings to the opposite end of the spectrum from the first!

Right in the middle lies this site, which is truly a site for daily prompts.  One day, one prompt.  The ideas are archived, so you can look back if you’d like, but you’ll still find just one prompt each day.  It’s the perfect balance, in my opinion: a steady stream with one new idea every day.  It’s not a here and there publication, and it’s not overwhelming you with tons of ideas every day.

Here’s an option if you want to check out one place, then go off the grid for a while.  It’s a .pdf of daily writing prompts to last you for a year.  No extra links.  No ads.  Just 365 prompts.

Like I said before, these prompts can be used as a jumping off point for a free write or they can launch you right into a writing session, if you find one that really sparks your interest. 

If you’re trying to get into the habit of writing on a regular basis, which I would advise, don’t wait for “the one” to appear.  If you spend too long looking through tons and tons of potential prompts you’re likely to become overwhelmed and miss a good one.  Don’t be afraid to settle down and just start writing.  You can always go a different direction later, or you can go back and start all over again.   The idea is to get writing, you can fill in the details along the way down the line.

Did I miss any of your favorite prompting sources?  If you have any others, I’d love to hear about them!  Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be sure to check them out for myself and add them for other readers too!

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