Sometimes, as a writer, staring at a blank page is like facing a firing squad. There it is, just staring at you, and you can’t escape. Whether you’re writing web page content or a fascinating novel about trendy shapeshifters who love their cappuccinos, having something to put on that blank page is often an easier way to begin writing. With something already there, all you have to do is expand on it and you’ve started the creative process.
Writing Prompt Websites
An easy way to find writing prompts is to check out one of the writing prompt sites that will generate a random prompt for you. Some prompt sites have hundreds of them just waiting for you to sink in your virtual teeth. Others will generate the name of objects to write about, settings and other aspects of a story to get you started. And if you don’t like the one you get, just keep clicking the generator until you do. Copy and paste it onto the page and you have a starting point begging for your words to finish it.
Why Are Prompts So Useful?
Writing is largely about having the confidence to do it. It takes an enormous amount of confidence to stare at that firing squad and know that you have something to put down there that will be cohesive and interesting. What stops a lot people from getting started is confusion about just where to start. Out of your millions of ideas, what is worth writing down? With a prompt in front of you, you have a specific direction to begin with. There’s a cohesive idea already on the page instead of the blank page firing squad just daring you to make a move.
When you start your creative session with a writing prompt, you aren’t cheating or giving up your creativity. Where you go with the jumpstart you get from the prompt is up to you. A prompt about a fat man with a pineapple hat might send you off in a different direction and result in a poignant essay about your childhood cat. Everything that comes after the prompt is pure you.
A few writing sessions that start with prompts can boost your confidence level enough that you no longer need them. You can create your own starting point, and you can express everything you need to with or without that jumpstart.
Lizz S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.