You are sitting there looking at a blank screen or piece of paper or however you do your writing. Your mind is as blank as your screen. The dreaded writer’s block. Do you give up for the day, chant a magic writing incantation, or something else? I have found the best way to get through writer’s block is to write. Duh.
Hear me out. Last week I sat down to write and drew a blank. I’m not in class right now, so I didn’t have an assignment to fall back on. Sometimes I just need a little direction (and perhaps a kick in the ass) to get started again.
I like to write flash fiction and nonfiction (between 500 and 1000 words). I can usually sustain an idea off the top of my head for this word count. So I relieve some of the pressure a longer piece may create. But still I am looking at that blank screen.
This is where I get a little help from writing prompts. You can get your hands of writing prompts all over the place. While I have several books of prompts, some times I go online to writing prompt generators. What I like about this is that if I don’t like the prompt which comes up, or the prompt doesn’t speak to me, I just hit the generate button and come up with a new prompt.
Back to last week. I knew I had to get writing again, but no ideas were flowing. I hit up a writing prompt generator and settled on the prompt of “dream catcher”. I took this as a challenge to write three different flash pieces:
1) flash fiction - 1st person
2) flash fiction - 3rd person
3) flash nonfiction
So far, I’ve written the 1st person piece; the 3rd person piece is in sentences that need to come together to finish the piece; and the flash nonfiction has the idea formulated, I need to do just a bit of research, and I will be ready to write that piece. This is just the challenge I’ve given myself. Write like you like to write.
Prompt generators can easily be found on line by doing a search of writing prompts. Here are a couple I have come up with on the top of my head:
I’ve used both of these, but like I said, use a search engine and you will have more ideas for writing than you can wish for. Use them to start a novel, a short story, a nonfiction book, or my favorite - creative nonfiction essays. Or just jotting down some ideas in journal. It’s all good.
Talking about nonfiction essays, the work of Rebecca Solnit was suggested to me, and I have been enjoying her writing. I’ve been reading her book “A Field Guide to Getting Lost”. It’s a five star book in my opinion.