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Writing Prompts For Each Day

12 January, 2014
OZ Museum, Wamego, Kansas 2008-03-07

OZ Museum, Wamego, Kansas 2008-03-07 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having trouble thinking up writing prompts? I recently discovered that WordPress has a free e-book of   writing prompts for each day in 2014.

The prompts were put together to give bloggers new ideas for their posts.  Most are  simple, and sometimes simple is better. After all, a prompt is simply a launching pad. And there are no rules so if a prompt doesn’t appeal, you can rejig it into something that does get your creative juices flowing.

I’ve listed three of the prompts from January, and suggested some ways to explore them in writing.

KICK IT: What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

We’re bombarded with superlatives, so I was entranced about considering something  that is only mildly interesting in my life. Not a ‘must‘  (as in must do, must see, must hear, must visit)  but more of a ‘yeah, probably’.  What would you pick? Why?

An alternative is to slip something onto your bucket list after the fact. The Wizard of Oz museum in Wamego Ks was not on my list but given that I was driving through, I stopped there for a break. I enjoyed the  displays and remembered how scary the movie was when I was little.  As a prompt, the movie could lead to writing about childhood fears, perseverance, good and evil, being recognised for one’s good traits, or about a time when you did not know you had already the means or path to achieve something you longed for.  I bought one souvenir, a folder showing the wicked witch, threatening  Don’t make me get the flying monkeys. I’m not sure where that would lead as a prompt!

QUOTE ME:   Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it and why does it move you?

Quotation prompts are useful  because there are various  ways to use them. You can reflect on its truth generally or, getting more personal,  apply it to your life. You can start or end a poem or story with the quote, or use part of it in your title. Rather than using a direct quote, you can draw on its sentiment or message. 

How would you start with one of these quotes, from the late author David Foster Wallace?

The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.

Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.

Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.

Acceptance is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else.

CALL ME ISHMAEL:   Take as your starter the first sentence from a favorite book. 

A first sentence—from any source—can lead you down some unusual writing paths, whether you are freewriting or exploring via a particular writing form, such as a story, poem, essay, meditation, or reminiscence. Where could these sentences take you?  They are from an essay collection I’m currently reading (A Country Too Far, edited by Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally). 

*  Afloat on the empty night it is the sea itself that amazes him.

* Early on the morning of the final day, you are ready to leave.

* He cannot sleep.

* She says to me, ‘Tell me everything. Tell me what happened.’

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 January, 2014 9:52 am

    Sorry, that comment was mine, Marsha – I missed the button to use my WordPress ID like I Normally do. David


    • 13 January, 2014 11:58 am

      That’s OK. I like the random item from a bk as well. Sometimes people make it more of a stretch by designating a page, such as pg 59.


  2. Anonymous permalink
    13 January, 2014 9:48 am

    They are great suggestions. Sometimes when I am stuck, I pull a random book off the shelves and open it in a random place, and see what destiny offers me, and what I can do with it.


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