I’m often scouring the internet, reading writing books, opening the newspaper, the dictionary, the phonebook, looking for good prompts that will stir my creative juices, allowing me to produce something daily. I’m not saying that what I produce is always praiseworthy. Often times it’s the opposite: cringeworthy. But it’s something.
And if you don’t write something, well, then you’ll never get to that sweet spot where you feel the words coming from somewhere deep inside yourself, a place you didn’t realize existed, with a voice you didn’t realize you had. But it takes mining the imagination exhaustively to uncover that euphoric gem, that paragraph or sentence or phrase that hastens your pulse, produces goose bumps, makes you say, “Hey, I’m not so bad.” In other words, you break a lot of eggs making a good omelet.
Anne Lamott writes in her fantastic book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life:
“For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.
Just get it all down on paper, because there may be something great in those six crazy pages that you would never have gotten to by more rational, grown-up means. There may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you’re supposed to be writing about, more or less, or in what direction you might go—but there was no way to get to this without first getting through the first five and a half pages.”*
So I’m creating (and stealing) some random writing prompts that have helped me to write daily. Submit your entry to me at firstname.lastname@example.org within a few days, and I’ll post it under the writing prompt tab with links as you designate. (I’m sure I’ll figure out how to do this . . .)
TODAY’S PROMPT: Focuses on setting. Take me some place I might not want to go: the dentist, the DMV, the principal’s office, Great Aunt Betsy’s parlor, a horror movie . . . any place you want. (PG, please. My children read this.) Put me there, and make me squirm.
Within a day or two, I’ll post my own response. Feel free to write fiction, nonfiction, poetry–whatever your pleasure. Submit a photograph or an illustration. Just create. Just write.
*Excerpt from: Lamott, Anne (2007-12-18). Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (pp. 22-23). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.