Monday, July 12, 2010

The Summer Writing Prompt Project

It's summer prompt time.

If you are having a tough time churning out words, if you occasionally feel (in addition to overheated) that you really should be writing more, or just enjoy a creative kick, a daily writing prompt may be the ticket.

Last winter I offered to send a daily writing prompt for 60 days to anyone who wanted them, the same prompts I distribute to my writing students and coaching clients. Dozens participated, and I enjoyed hearing about how various writers used the prompts and what resulted.

Starting today, I'm making the same offer. Sign on and from now until August 31, every day in your email inbox, you'll get a one-line (sometimes one-word) writing prompt. That's it. The rest is between you, the prompt and your internal writing compass. (You can opt out at any time.)

Here's what I say to my students about the prompts: The prompts are completely optional. You could write a few paragraphs if you want to. Or one sentence. You could write something in (or transfer it to) your writer's notebook, for some future use, or not. You could challenge yourself to write a new essay, chapter, poem, blog post, short story, prose poem using the prompt as a starting point. You could write toward or away from the prompt. You could ignore the prompts. Or stockpile them for another day/time/life. They are yours to play with, or not.

My bottom line is always this: If you manage to do no other writing that day, then a few lines in response to the prompt may help you to continue to feel like a CREATIVE writer.

Prompts are open-ended. Let them take you anywhere you like, anywhere they pull you. Let's say the prompt is: Lemonade. You might write about the lemonade stand you once had (or wished you could have); the one your kids failed at; the fresh lemonade Grandma always made; being allergic to citrus; how you hate the saying about making lemonade out of lemons; why the smell of lemon reminds you of a certain lover; the time you got drunk on Limoncello.....

To get on the prompts distribution list, send me an email, with "Prompts Please" in the subject line. Please go ahead and pass this offer along to others who may be interested. In September, there will be opportunities on the blog to share your writing-to-prompts experiences.


Chryselle said...

I missed several days of your prompts because your announcement is probably buried under an avalanche of emails that I've yet to get around to reading.

Just signed up, though and am looking forward to the rest of the prompts.


Maria D-E said...

Just found your blog (which I love) and this section...what a great idea. I just sent you an email and I'm looking forward to the prompts!