Prompted to Write

Prompted to Write is a blog for writers - professional, amateur, and for anyone who wants to take a stab at writing. The blog is produced and edited by Nicky Pitman, the Authors Advocate. Writing prompts will be posted once a week, and whomever reads them can write and post their responses for others to read. If you are self-prompted and want to share your work - please post it here on this blog.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Prompted by Pets

Use one of the following titles, cliches, or phrases to inspire a poem, short story, or stream of conciousness rant or rave (or use your very own pet to inspire a creative burst ):

That's me and my pup on the right. Her name is Love (I didn't name her - I adopted her when she was three years old) - and she's a bundle of it! She has inspired me several times over to write short stories. You can check one out in the commments section on this post.

"Dog Day Afternoon"
"It's raining cats and dogs"
"Cat got your tongue?"
"My dogs are barking."
"The Truth About Cats and Dogs"
"Must Love Dogs"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Prompted by Pablo (Neruda)

Answer one or all four of the following questions...

Tell me, is the rose naked or is that her only dress?

Why do trees conceal the splendor of their roots?

Who hears the regrets of the thieving automobile?

Is there anything in the world sadder than a train standing in the rain?

*Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, diplomat, and politician who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. The questions above were taken from Neruda's The Book of Questions

From an Anonymous source:

Is there anything in the world sadder than a train standing in the rain?
There is nothing in the world sadder than a train standing in the rain.
Except maybe a train standing in the rain with open doors.
And windows.
That sounds sadder, don’t you think?
I mean, if a train were standing in the rain, and the windows and doors were closed, then the inside of the train would be dry.
So it’s sad…But a train standing in the rain with its windows and doors open- now that’s really sad.
Come on- think about it: Exteriors get wet. In a way that’s what exteriors are for, right? To protect the inside from outside elements.
But when the interior gets wet- well…what’s the point of an exterior?
So, do you see? It’s sad- a train standing in the rain.
But it’s sadder, a train standing in the rain with open doors.
And windows.

From Joseph Mastroianni:

Roots deep in mother earth's embrace,
knotted wind-bent trunk majestic branches rise on high,
with leaves a-sway in gentle rhythm to the silent song of being.
Witness to antiquity,
presence filled with dignity.
Teach me what you know of life, of death, of God.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Prompted by the (Almost) End of the Work Week

Continue the rest of the sentence and see where it takes you.

It was Thursday and...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ready, Set - Write!

Writing has always been a huge outlet for me- creatively, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. About two years ago, I began the practice of responding to writing prompts as a means of igniting my creativity and imagination when both seemed to escape me; as a way to get started on a project or to continue a project where I felt stuck; and I used the prompts just for the sheer pleasure of writing.

Writing prompts can be anything - a beginning of a sentence, a phrase, a feeling, a picture, a style/genre, an impulse, a thought, a reaction - anything that will get you (or me) started. As far as writing goes.

My experience with writing prompts began with a creativity workshop I took two years ago with Jill Badonsky, M.Ed (link). Jill wrote a book entitled The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration for Artists, Poets, Lovers, and Other Mortals Wanting to Live a Dazzling Existence, and the workshop was based on the book. Writing prompts were a big part of the class. And I loved them!

I continued using prompts through an online writing club (also run by Jill), through books, and from my own internal and external experiences. Over the past couple of years, whenever I'm prompted, I write! In fact, some of my best work has come when I thought I had nothing to write - when I thought the prompt "did nothing" for me.

What I have discovered through the prompts is freedom. Freedom to express myself in the moment and to enjoy the process rather than worry about the product. Writing has been a gift I have given myself- the gift of time to actually do it and the gift of allowing myself to explore any thought, feeling, or idea that comes to me in any way that it comes.

This blog is for you (and for me) to have a place to explore - any thought feeling and/or idea, and have a place to express and share those things. Think of it as a playground (except that it's on your computer screen, two-dimensional, and there are no swing sets or sand pails - except the ones you conjure up and create for yourself) - a place to play freely. To have fun. To dream.

Let this be a cool, fun, safe space for writers of all levels to share .

I'll provide prompts twice weekly. Write and respond as much as you'd like. Also feel free to post any creative writings you'd like. If you ever want feedback - supportive and constructive feedback - let us know.

So, write, post, read, and write on!