A prompt is a push. Its purpose is to get you going. Where you go and how you get there are up to you.
The one thing you don’t want to do in your writing practice is to sit there trying to decide what to write. Strange as it seems, more writing ideas will come to you while you are writing than while you are wondering what to write. A writing prompt gets the writing started and opens up space in your mind where ideas can flow.
Sometimes, however, a prompt can leave you flat. If a prompt is uninspiring to you change it. The important thing is to start writing.
Take this prompt, for example. “Some people have [blank], but I have [blank].” Fill in the blanks any way that you can think of.
Here are some more ideas about how to use this prompt and how to change it.
Some people have allergies, but I have easy breathing. I hope that never changes.
Some people have lipstick and mascara, but I have lip balm and face cream and that’s about it. And lavender bath salts, if that counts. Do they make me beautiful? (Is that what lipstick and mascara are for?) Lavender bath salts make me less grumpy (I think) and that’s certainly beautiful.
Some people have air conditioning, but I have windows. Big windows that can make it damn cold in here when it’s cold outside. And out the window, raccoon tracks, highways of them, also cats and a dog (tracks) and moose (tracks, the moose went by last week, a very small mama and her smaller baby) and snow (not tracks, but planes of it, bogs, mounds, slabs that came off the roof — what would snow tracks be, anyway?)
Some people have heated garages, but I have a parking place, along with a pen that is almost out of ink and very hard to write with.
January 29, 2017