Tuesday 6 October 2015

The Writer Diaries (or How to Destroy a Blank Page)

I'm going to be honest. I'm usually honest. I don't lie to you nice people. Particularly not when you take the trouble to read my blog-posts. Anyway, back on-topic; I'm going to be honest - as a writer, I have absolutely no freaking idea where I'm headed. But I need to ignore that. I need to ignore the deep and painful bite of uncertainty, and concentrate on the words.

But, how do you do that? Well, do what works for you guys - honestly - anything to destroy that blank page. But what I find is that writing prompts give you something to write (and it's ok if it goes completely off-topic and/or is crap, and/or batsh** crazy.) And that keeps your imaginination (ok spelling police - imagination,) going and stops all of the words that are inside you from rotting you out from the inside :) (Never underestimate the power of the smiley face.)

Some people like to work on word quotas, page quotas, or time quotas. I'm a time quota kind of girl myself - never worry about how much you're writing, just take at least 10 minutes a day to write it.

I also personally like to keep a list of prompts, and cross off as I complete. If you don't want to do a prompt, and you find yourself consistently ignoring or avoiding it, scribble it out, and move on to another one. There are zillions of prompts out there, so there's no need to get hung up on one that clearly isn't working for you.

Writing prompt websites and generators range from the awesome to the crap to the preachy (I seriously dislike the preachy - writing is something you should not be guilted into unless it's by a meme of Tom Hiddleston/Loki - just type 'you should be writing Loki' into Google images and you'll see what I mean.)

I find the following sites generally useful when searching for prompts:

Writing Exercises - there are loads of generators here, including dialogue, scenario, and title. Occasionally this tosses you a prompt that's pretty lame. But overall, these are usable and creative and will make you think of different things (and allow you to kill the blasted blank page! Mwaha! :P )

The Pantomime Pony Writer's Den - also has a bunch of random generators (see the links on the side of the page) which have a variety of subjects to get the creative juices flowing. I find that some of their prompts are pretty darn random (which can be fun!) and can also be so long that you can sometimes split them into two prompts (BOGOF anyone? Haha. Sorry, I'm now wondering what was in that chocolate bar I had at lunch.)

Chaotic Shiny generates multiple prompts at a time. Use the drop-down to pick the number of prompts, then click Write! The prompts have variations on time and word count criteria, but don't feel too constrained - use as desired.

Tumblr and Pinterest also have dozens (and probably hundreds or even thousands) of users who provide a constant stream of writing prompts - these are pretty easy to find if you use the search box.

Happy writing (and reading, of course!)

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