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30 Oct 09 How to Build a List of Writing Prompts

Written by: bikram

In the last blog post, I discussed about what is writing prompt and how to use it. I hope that discussion gave you some confidence to fight with the big monster we call writer’s block. In this post, I will tell you how to build a list of writing prompts to help you in time of need. Yes, I know I told you yesterday that anything can work as writing prompt as long as it helps you get out of “staring at blank page” syndrome. And I am also aware that you cannot include every kind of writing prompt in your list. Nevertheless, a list with writing prompt will help you a great deal when confronting the monster. That is why you need to build a list of writing prompts.

4 ways to build the writing prompt list

  1. Know yourself. Ask questions about your religious beliefs, your political opinion, your view of your community, and your stance on the social and economic issues confronting your community. Ask questions about your views on your community, culture, government’s policy, medical policy, etc. The idea behind this exercise is to look inside yourself and find what you are and what you believe in.
  2. See the world around you. A good writer is one who observes his surroundings. One who remains absorbed in oneself all the time can be anything but a writer. See how people around you interact, how they react in certain condition. What are their inhibitions, what they are afraid of doing, how strongly they cling to their belief, and what makes them stay together.
  3. Notice the nature. Have you seen that little green-colored insect that stays on the flower? Have you seen what the shape of the cloud was today? The point is to get close to nature and observe its beauty. It has motivated many and will not fail to motivate you as well.
  4. Take to people. Ask as many questions as you want. Get as close to people near you as you can. Know about them. Ask about their daily life, their fears, their hopes, their dreams, their ambitions, their aspirations, etc., and you will get enough material to write upon.

There are many more things that can help you build your own list, but the things that I have talked about here will help you regardless of the genre you write in.

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