So, this week has been super tough for my family and I. Last Tuesday we put down Ace and I have been struggling with a lot of mental health issues since. Our house feels very empty and really quiet at times. It is also a struggle for Emma, our poodle, who is trying to figure out where her friend went.
Oddly enough, I have been having a hard time writing when normally this would be the best time for me to. No words have been coming. That’s why I’ve been doing some writing prompt writing this week.
There is a lot of negative stigma around writing prompts that I don’t quite understand. I’ve written a lot with the help of a writing prompt. Some people need a place to start – and that’s what prompts do.
Some people think that it is “cheating” or that “the idea isn’t original”, but that’s the problem with the time that we live in. There are almost no “new” ideas. All ideas are riffs off of other books you’ve read, movies you’ve watched, and plays you’ve seen.
It’s gotten to the point where it’s about how you play your version. What version of the story do you want to tell. What do you want to do to the characters that may be a little bit different than what the last author did.
I, for one, am all about writing prompts. I’ve made a few pieces that were published where I gained inspiration from writing prompts. That’s all that prompts are: inspiration, not story telling.
Dialogue prompts are some of my favorite prompts because those truly are open ended and you can go almost anywhere with them. If you are looking for any kind of prompt, I always recommend Pinterest. There are so many writing tips and prompts on there that you will get lost in them. I have wasted many hours scrolling through and looking at the different prompts.
Finally, for people who feel that prompts are “cheating”… It takes talent, time, and dedication to write any kind of creative piece, even if it came from a prompt. Don’t discredit someone because they had to get their inspiration from a sentence long prompt. If they took the time to write something that is different, but uses the prompt for a starting point, they still wrote it. In the end, the idea is still theirs, they just interpreted a sentence a little different than others would.
I will say that there are times when prompts are not good. When you write a story and base the whole thing off of said prompt and only go by what it says, you are diluting the talent that you have and restraining yourself with bonds that you don’t need. Just use the prompt to start – then let the words carry you. To be honest, it’s harder to follow a prompt to the last detail than it is to let your mind wander. Also – if a prompt is too detailed, stay away from it. The more detailed it is, the more you will feel restrained.
Sorry that this week is a little short, any kind of writing has been a bit difficult including this. Please remember to check out my Chapbook, Laments, which is under the chapbook link on the website. I have a lot of copies left and it is a pretty fast read, just a little bit of a different read.
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Till the next chapter –