Creative writing prompts are one of the best ways to add a little extra energy and sparkle to your writing when you feel uninspired or short of ideas.
What are writing prompts?
They’re simply a short phrase that you can use as a starting point for a piece of creative writing, something to point you in particular direction so you can head off on your latest writing adventure with purpose and momentum.
Rather than stare at a blank page or screen, wondering where the next idea will come from (or IF it’ll ever come), you can instead avoid that frustrating and creatively limiting scenario by using a writing prompt.
Despite how it may feel sometimes, you don’t ever forget how to be creative. It’s just that there are times your creativity needs a little push start, a helping hand to get going. Your creativity is like a water pump connected to a deep well. If the pump’s not been used often, you need to pour in a little water and “prime the pump” to help the water from the well rise up and flow freely again.
This is where creative writing prompts come in, and here’s an effective 3 step approach you can use:
- Get yourself a collection of writing prompts. There are many options available here. You can write your own in batches at a time, to have a ready supply to use when your inspiration is a little lacking. You can find many free writing prompts in books and also online - just search under “writing prompts”.
It’s a good idea to have a range of prompts available. If you have only 5 or 10, you’ll soon use them up, whereas if you have 50, 100 or more, there’s far more scope there to choose from to juice up your writing.
- Pick a writing prompt to use. The mistake many of us make is getting a list of prompts then working through them one by one in order. Creativity doesn’t work in such a linear way! Scan through some of your prompts until you find the first one that catches your eye and makes you think “that’s an interesting idea, there’s some potential here...”. Then go with that prompt, follow the natural energy and flow of your creativity, don’t then spoil it by saying “I’ll just go through these other 500 prompts just in case there’s one that’s even better”!
- Writing from the prompt. Now you’ve chosen your creative writing prompt, it’s time to write! You can do this in 2 different ways. The first is just to write your prompt down on a new page then simply write what comes to you next and go from there, line by line. Where you end up in your writing may be far from the prompt you started with, and that’s great, because you’re following your creative flow. Another approach is to use the prompt as the central theme or idea for your piece of writing, without necessarily using the words of the prompt. Then you write around the ideas and images the prompt gives you.
Use this 3 step approach with creative writing prompts and you’ll find it’s a great way to juice up your creative writing, especially when you’re feeling short of ideas and inspiration.
And if you’re ready to get your creative writing kick-started with some writing prompts right away, get your FREE 5 part creative writing ecourse at www.YouAreACreativeWriter.Com.
From Creativity Coach Dan Goodwin