One Tip to Help You Write More

Photo courtesy of Pinterest
Photo courtesy of Pinterest

One of the issues that plague a lot of writers is the feeling that everything you write is terrible. And that leads to not writing from fear. Brienna talked about this a few weeks ago, and what applies to poetry, applies to writing.

One thing I’ve learned from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (besides having “crappy” first drafts), is to just do short assignments in order to get into the habit of writing. Now don’t cringe – these aren’t awful homework assignments but writing prompts. A major problem that many of us face when it comes to writing is just sitting down and doing it. Writing prompts are meant to pull you from that slump and just have fun with writing.

I’ve found a lot of great writing prompts over the past few years, thanks mostly to the NaNoWriMo forums. They’re a fun way to kick off a day of writing, whether they be serious or whacky. The main idea is that they don’t have to be good. Here’s the prompt that I did for today:

Your protagonist falls down spectacularly 

It was just another day, she decided, stepping down the stairs, one arm wrapped around her textbooks. Nothing exciting ever happened in high school.

 A streak of water on the floor went unnoticed until too late. Down the staircase, there was a thunder of tumbling textbooks.

She stared up at the fluorescent lights, throbs reverberating around her skull. Let out a groan. Gripped the railing and readjusting her blue headband, she trudged down the rest of the blue stairs.

Ouch.

You may also enjoy these books and websites about writing:

Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)

No Plot? No Problem! (Chris Baty)

Writer’s Digest Prompts

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5 thoughts on “One Tip to Help You Write More

  1. Trying to sit down and write is probably one of the most difficult things for me. I love writing, I really do. But sometimes it feels like I’m putting reeds under my finger nails. This was really helpful. Thank you. Sometimes you just need a really good prompt to kick you in the pants.

  2. I definitely agree with you in that prompts are a great way to start writing creatively again, especially during the school year when you feel like your creativity has been kicked to the curb by more pressing issues of homework or during an episode of the infamous writer’s block. I myself have a little book of writing prompts to work off of, or else I just go on Google for ideas. Sometimes all you need is a little push to pick up the pen (or open up the Word document) again; you never know what will set an idea off!

  3. Celine, I think these are great ideas. Assigning and doing short prompts is a great way of disciplining oneself into the habit of writing. I agree that getting started is what writers procrastinate at most–myself included. I find it difficult to start something new without finishing what I’ve started (if that makes any sense.) I.E. “how do I know this piece is done?” (I like the photo you provided as well.)

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