The Different Types of Writer’s Block (And How to Battle Them)

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Writer’s Block ia a subject that we have discussed many times on this site in the past. It can be a frustrating and often overwhelming condition that writer‘s of all levels face at one time or another, no matter their style or expertise. What you probably don’t know is that writer’s block comes in various forms and each requires a different approach in order to overcome the obstruction and take back your creativity.

The Different Forms of Writer’s Block (and How to Tackle Them):

Lack of ideas

This is the most common form of Writer’s Block and consists of literally staring at a blank page. Perhaps you will manage to write something down, but chances are you will delete it shortly there after. This can be a very frustrating experience and usually you can’t even get started because you have no idea what to write about. You are halted before you have even begun.

There is good news for those that are suffering from this type of Writer’s Block, this is one of those times when ‘doing a writing exercise’ may actually work. Try, for example, free-writing for a few minutes. This means writing without thought, simply put your pen to the page (or fingers on the keyboard) and let the words flow from your mind. Don’t worry about editing, or making sense for that matter, set a timer and simply write whatever words come to mind. Once you are done you can read through what you have written and pull out any ideas that may be useful. Another way to generate ideas is by reading, pick up a magazine, visit your favorite bogs or utilize online bookmark sites. (StumbleUpon is a great source of inspiration) By reading different materials you can generate ideas for your own writing. You may find a topic that needs more in-depth information, a different point of view or slight expansion, just be sure you share your source of inspiration so the original author gets the credit they deserve. Be sure to check out writing prompts (there are many listed on this site and even more that can be found though a simple Google search) sometimes simple inspiration to get you started is all you need to break through this barrier.

An abundance of ideas, but a lack of discipline

Another form of Writer’s Block is the challenge of having a ton of ideas but the lack of discipline to follow through with any of them. This common case of Writer’s Block is the type that I struggle with most often, I will have an ample amount of ideas about what I want to write about, but I lack the discipline required to complete the writing. Perhaps you have lists of topics you want to write about, you may even begin each piece, but somewhere along the way you get sidetracked and these pieces never get completed. I have files full of half-finished articles, stories and blog posts that require a bit more attention. The best resolution to this form of Writer’s Block is to file them away until a time when they do get your creative juices flowing. Chances are eventually you will be able to turn them into something in the future, but trying to force them out now will only result in disappointment. Set them aside until a later date or try putting a new spin on them, but don’t force them to work or you will wear yourself out.

The fictitious brick wall

We have all faced this obstacle in our writing lives. You start out with a great idea and the ideas are flowing freely. You are writing up a storm and all is going well, then suddenly you hit a fictitious wall and you get stuck.  It is moments like this that make you think about the art of outlining. Some writers work well with outlines, others are far better off just jumping into a story feet first. Outlines aid in creating a road to follow, but the good news is that they can be introduced at any point.

Creating an outline can help you break through any obstacles or barriers you come across in your writing, but they don’t necessarily have to begin at the beginning. Using an outline to get from point A, to point B, to point C will work just as effectively to get from point F to point G. If you find yourself ‘stuck’ create a quick outline of what you want to have happen next, and consider how your character is going to get there while staying true to themselves and the story-line. An outline, whether created at the beginning or the middle point will simply prevent you from travelling off-route and keep you in-line with your ultimate goal. So many times I have gotten stuck and ended up far-off from the point I wanted to end up at because I allowed my mind to wander freely without direction, and though this is not always a bad thing, you run the risk of taking a wrong-turn a hundred pages back and not realizing the result until it is too late.

The bold beginning without an end

This form of Writer’s Block runs along the same lines of the fictitious wall, you have a great story idea and your writing is going well then you suddenly realize that it is time to end the story and you have no idea how you are going to accomplish this goal. A good, even grand ending can make or break a book. (or article, or even blog post) Your ending should leave the reader satisfied, yet thinking as well. You can not be barreling along and suddenly come to a halt, nor can you end your piece without tying up all your loose ends. I have read so many books that have my undivided attention and then out of nowhere they come to an abrupt end leaving me stunned and somewhat disappointed.

This is another time when the outline comes in handy, consider also brainstorming to come up with ending options and choose the one that makes the story feel most complete. Make a list of all the loose ends you need to tie up before ending the story in order to prevent readers wondering what happened next. There should always be room for imagination, or continuation, but there should not be unanswered questions.

Chaotic characterization

Characters can create a whole other type of Writer’s Block. Perhaps you have spent hours creating these bold, substantial and vibrant characters with depth and detail. You have written pages and pages about them, they way they look, where they live, what they do and who they are in general, but they don’t seem to be ‘doing’ anything.

Strong characterization is important to your writing, but over-characterization is just as dangerous as none at all. Spending too much time chalking out your characters personality leads to boredom and inactive plots. You can quickly fond yourself without a story for this amazing character to act out.

Don’t get discouraged, it is not a complete loss. Sometimes spending time writing pages of nothing actually leads to something. By creating in-depth information about your characters you are getting into their world and once you set out to start the story you will know your character inside and out. The downfall to this approach is that most of what you have wasted time writing will need to be cut out during the editing process. Consider instead creating a ‘character questionnaire’ that you can answer for each of your main characters before you begin writing, this is like a story outline for your characters. Include questions such as, Name, birth date, zodiac sign, career, likes and dislikes, etc. Gather as much detail as you possibly can and keep this list close during your writing, adding information periodically when it fits in the story. The aim is for your reader to develop a full picture of your character over time, while the story unfolds around them.

Debilitating self-doubt

Self-doubt is one of the biggest causes of Writer’s Block. You start with a great idea, you begin writing, then you start questioning what other people are going to think and you lose your momentum.

Your inner critic can be your biggest setback and until you complete your first draft, that voice needs to be drowned out in any way possible. Don’t focus on the feedback you are going to get later, or later will never come. Chances are the problems you are imagining are simply that, imagination. You are never going to get ‘any’ feedback if you don’t first write. So tell that inner voice to shut-up and focus on getting your ideas down on paper. You will need that inner critic at a later time, during revising, so tell it to sit tight until then.

A Lack of Language

Another huge barrier that writers face is the challenge of finding the perfect words to convey their message. This is important if you are writing poetry or trying to set the imagery of a specific scene, but for the most part during the first draft the exact wording is not overly important. Rather than wasting time trying to find the perfect word to describe something, use the first word that comes to mind and highlight it in some way to be edited later. If you waste precious time on single words you will lose sight of your final goal and you runt he risk of this obsession over-taking your mind. Save simple changes for a later time and move on with your story and information.  If moving on is not an option, for example, finding the perfect word is all a part of visualizing the next scene in your head, than by all means take your time or take a breath until you can move forward with your piece.

From the inside out

This type of Writer’s Block forms with a fantastic idea you have inside your mind, you have a plan and you just know it is going to be great. You begin writing your idea down and suddenly it doesn’t seem so fantastic after all. Is this simply your inner critic getting the best of you? Perhaps, or perhaps there actually is a problem with your idea that you are only seeing for the first time in black and white.

You have two options with this type of Writer’s Block. You can choose to motor on forcing the idea out of your head in the hopes that it somehow takes the shape you dreamed of, or you can cast it aside and set out in search of greener pastures. There is nothing wrong with letting a bad idea die incomplete if it means opportunity to begin a new piece that may be closer to your ultimate goal. If you decide to let the idea go, don’t delete it, simply set it aside for future review. Sometimes old pieces of unfinished work turn into treasures after your mind has had a chance to focus on other adventures. These long forgotten pieces may become a missing link to a future story, so keep them on hand for inspiration.

If you choose to follow through with your idea be prepared for disappointment. If you are ‘forcing’ your writing, chances are you will never be completely happy with the outcome, but this does not mean it is a complete waste. As with the previous option, if even after completing your project you are still not happy with result simply set it aside for revision later. A fresh mind, and a few changes, may be all it needs to become the idea you once held inside your mind.

Writers often spend so much time developing and idea inside their mind that by the time it gets to the page it is twisted and contorted into something it never was, save time with an outline and a clear idea of the result you are looking for.

Erratic over-editing

The last form of Writer’s Block comes from erratic over-editing. This is when you continuously edit as you write and eventually lose sight of what you were writing in the first place.

One of the hardest things for writers to learn is to avoid editing until you have completed the first draft. There is no harm in correcting simple spelling or grammar as you go, but complete revisions of characters or story-lines should be saved until the entire piece is complete. You must let the story unfold before you truly know what changes need to be made. No writer has ever sat down to write a novel in one sitting, so stop trying. Focus on getting all the main ideas out of your head and on to the page before you try to perfect the product or you will find yourself stuck half-way through with no idea where you started or where you aimed to end up.

If you do find yourself in this predicament the best thing you can do is read through what you have previously written (without changing anything) and hope that the inspiration returns. If all else fails look back to the original idea (or the outline) and start over if you truly hate what your piece has become.

No matter what form of Writer’s Block you are suffering from, the best thing you can do is to keep writing. If a project has truly got you stumped move on to something else. Often times changing they type of writing you are doing, even temporarily, is enough to clear your mind of its obsessive focus. Take a break or try looking at things from a different perspective. Ask for help and always seek out new and interesting forms of inspiration. If you are truly stuck and suffering feel free to utilize our ‘Get Connected’ section here on Perfectly Prompted or email your questions, comments, issues, submissions, or even frustrations to: perfectlyprompted@live.ca

Until Next Time…

Write On!

How do you cope with Writer’s Block?
What is your most common type? 
Share you tips, tricks, advice and stories in the comment section below. 

Inspiration to Break Down Those Icy Walls.

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With the cold weather fast approaching there is no better time to get down and dirty with your writing. Snow drifts and icy winds tend to keep us cooped up inside the house where we can stay warm and cozy. For many of us this cold weather leads to cabin fever and frustration. If you are anything like me, winter can be the ideal time to advance your writing and find new sources of inspiration. Below are some exceptional and inspiring writing prompts that are guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing and help pass the colder months with creativity. So snuggle down and get in gear for some imaginative and interesting writing ideas that may change the way you look at the world around you, and help to expand your writing style.

Writing Inspiration for the Cold and Windy Winter Months:

Take 5 minutes to describe…

  1. A crime you would commit if you knew you would never get caught.
  2. One memory from your childhood you truly miss.
  3. Something you would do differently if you had the chance.
  4. An object, without actually naming the object itself.
  5. What you would say if you won an award for your writing.
  6. A good deed that needs to be done more often.
  7. Your favorite poem/book/blog/story.
  8. The inside of your closet.
  9. What is perfect in your life at the moment or What you would change.
  10. How your favorite color would smell, taste, sound and feel.

Take 15 minutes to write a scene that involves…

  1. A disgruntled customs clerk.
  2. A family run restaurant that is going out of business.
  3. A character that has intentionally hurt a family member.
  4. An email message that has been sent to the wrong recipient.
  5. A horrible first date.
  6. A mother and daughter having a heated argument.
  7. A man in the women’s restroom of a shopping center.
  8. A conflict that involves a computer disk.
  9. A man in a suit walking barefoot down the highway.
  10. A confrontation in a check-out line.

Finish a paragraph that begins with…

  1. “I have no idea what I was thinking…”
  2. “This was not the plan…”
  3. “The minute my eyes opened I knew…”
  4. “I remember it as if happened yesterday…”
  5. “I finally had the proof I needed…”

Using as much detail as possible describe…

  1. A snake.
  2. A murder or crime.
  3. A stain on the carpet.
  4. An overdue apology.
  5. Your favorite smell.
  6. A bad habit.
  7. A person you love.
  8. Your favorite food.
  9. How you feel when your sick.
  10. Your child/own eyes.

Make a list of…

  1. 20 interesting ideas for stories.
  2. 15 titles for a story/poem/post/etc.
  3. 10 character traits.
  4. 10 posts you would write if you could only find the words and had no fear of judgment.
  5. Great names for characters in a story and/or Bad names for characters in a story.
  6. Places you want to travel to or Places you don’t want to travel to.
  7. All the things that make you angry/happy.
  8. Your greatest temptations.
  9. All the things you would change if you had the power.
  10. 20 great settings for a story.

*Bonus Inspiration*

  1. Create a list of every word you can think of that begins with the letter ‘A’ (Each day move along the alphabet completing the exercise until you have made a list for every letter.)
  2. Describe/list your best/worst features, your values, your unique abilities, your goals/dreams.
  3. Describe what you feel like when you are writing.
  4. Write a story that involves a mother, a stolen diamond, a canoe and a missing penguin.
  5. Write an entire story with only dialogue.
  6. Describe in detail the next stranger you see. What they look like, where they are going, what their life is like, who they are overall, etc.
  7. Modernize your favorite nursery rhyme to fit the ‘real’ world today.
  8. Write a few paragraphs in a neutral narrative voice that describes the scene of a crime without ever revealing what the crime itself was. Use clues and details to help your reader figure out what crime has been committed.
  9. Write a story from the point-of-view of a child lost in a crowded place (e.g. mall, parade, market)
  10. Turn your favorite story into a poem/favorite poem into a story.

**Feel free to share your writings in the comments section below or link to your site**

Submissions of your result or your own winter writing inspiration ideas can be sent to perfectlyprompted@live.ca if you wish to have them posted on this site in the future for inspiration and critique.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Write When You Don’t Want To…

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We all have those days when no matter which way we look at it we just don’t feel like writing, but avoiding your work if you truly hope to succeed is not the way to accomplish your goals. Procrastinating or pushing aside your writing once leads to further avoidance and before you know it too much time has passed without a single written word.

You do not have to spend hours writing to get things done, in fact, often times just a few focused minutes will do just fine. Below are a few ways to get yourself writing, even when you really don’t want to…

  1. Make Lists – A large number of my posts on this site, and others are built around lists. Making lists is a great way to generate ideas while keeping your thoughts focused and organized. Build a list of your favorite sites, quotes, or even post ideas you want to complete in the future. Creating the list will get you writing and chances are it will lead you to completing, or at least starting, one of the items you have come up with.
  2. Create Catchy Headlines – Lets be honest, after a long day it can often be overwhelming to consider writing a long detailed post. Instead of wearing yourself thin trying to come up with an entire article write only headlines. Writing and creating headlines works a lot like writing lists, it generates ideas and gets your writing gears moving in the right direction. Don’t feel as if you have to finish anything at that moment, simply create ideas for a time when you have the time to write.
  3. Edit Old Posts – If you are really stuck for new topics consider looking to the past. Editing old articles or posts can be very inspiring and often leads to new ideas that are expanded from old ones. Visit the early posts of your site and re-write one of your posts, you will probably be surprised by how much your writing has improved in just a short time.
  4. Clear The ClutterWriter’s block can happen because our minds are filled with too much clutter and we have no room for new ideas. Make room for inspiration by clearing out the crap that is cluttering up your brain. To accomplish this all you need is paper and a pen (or your computer) and a few minutes of your time. Sit down somewhere quiet and simply write whatever comes to mind. Don’t think, don’t attempt to make sense, and most of all don’t edit it in any way… Just write and get it all out of your head and on to paper so that new ideas can fill the empty space you have created in your mind. Remember to keep this ‘free-writing‘ sheet and look at it in the future, you may be able to pick out useful pieces out of the chaos that was inside your head, but if not don’t stress the point is to simply clear your mind, inspiration and usable content is not important.
  5. Relive a Resolution – One sure-fire way to get something written is to write about a problem that you were able to solve. Perhaps you figured out how to get grass stains out of your 8-year-old’s favorite jeans, found a solution to rebellious teens, or simply discovered a quicker way to clean the kitchen, writing about how you solved a problem is a great way to get writing, and it might help others who are facing the same dilemma you once were.
  6. Seek Inspiration Elsewhere – It might sound strange but you can easily find inspiration in other people’s writing. Visit your favorite blog and read through the content than take a piece and re-write it with your own spin. (Remember to link back to the original author) If you are uncomfortable re-writing someone else’s idea than consider expanding on their piece instead, again being sure to link back to the original post to give the author the credit they deserve.
  7. Answer a Question – Much like sharing a resolution, answering a question can be a great way to get a post on your site. Ask readers to send in questions, or simply create your own based on your site’s content. Sharing information about yourself or your business helps your readers to connect with you on a different level and opens up ideas for future posts.
  8. Explore Unusual Genres – Many times when I am stuck for something to write I will turn in a completely different direction for inspiration. I find writing in an unfamiliar form to be very inspiring. If I am having trouble finishing an article I will step back and pound out a poem or short story. Doing this keeps me in the writing mode, but allows me to look at things from a different perspective. By the time I am ready to tackle my original task I usually have an open mind and plenty of new ideas to write about.
  9. Outline – Outlining is a great way to get started without having to get too in-depth. If you are not in the mood to write try outlining something. You never want to avoid writing because it will lead to lost time now and later, the more you avoid it now the greater chance your writers block or lack of motivation will grow and lead to further avoidance. Instead of walking away from your goals do something that will help them move forward. Outline a post, short story or article that you can write in detail later, this way you are still writing, but you are not forcing yourself to spit out usable content that could have been better written when you are in a writing mood.
  10. Write a Letter – If posts, poems, and articles are simply out of the question for your writing mind at the moment than write someone a letter. When was the last time that you sat down and wrote a letter (not an email) to a friend or family member? Letter writing is a dying art, but I am seeking a revival. Writing some one a letter (even if it never gets sent) is a great way to get yourself writing without the pressure of having to do it well.
  11. Be a Teacher – We learn a great many things in our lives, why not share those lessons with others? Teaching is a wonderful thing, you don’t have to be an expert to teach people something, simply having some experience and an opinion is more than enough. In the modern-day it is easy to sill in the holes that you may not be sure of and with a bit of research you can create a factual post in no time. Use your life lessons to teach others and help them accomplish the same things you have without the hassles you had to face.
  12. Seek Out Strangers – Lastly, if you are really stuck for something to write about, look out the window. Pick a stranger on the street (or from a photo if no one is around) and write about what the picture tells you about them. The man in the park feeding the birds, the woman with her child that has tears in her eyes, the teenage girl with the pink spiky hair… Look around you, there is endless inspiration to be found in every face you see. If you are feeling really gutsy then strike up a conversation with someone and see where it takes you. You never know who you are going to meet.
If you want to succeed as a writer you must write. This is not to say you should force yourself to create amazing works of art when your heart, and mind, are just not in it, but you need to keep writing no matter your mood. If you have decided to be serious about your writing than you have probably scheduled daily writing time into your routine, it is important that you keep this appointment with yourself. Use the ideas above as inspiration on those days when you really don’t want to write and work yourself thorough it. It is not about writing something amazing, it is only about writing. Don’t pressure yourself to be amazing, just be the writer you know you are inside.
Until Next Time…
Write On! 
How do you cope when you don’t feel like writing?
What inspiration do you use when you face writer’s block?
Share your tips and thoughts in the comment section below and remember that questions, comments, thoughts and submissions can also be emailed to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca

Sure-Fire Ways to Kick-Start Creativity

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Writer's Block

Image by thorinside via Flickr

Keeping your content fresh and up-to-date is an important part of running a successful blog. Finding the inspiration to write new and fresh posts can often pose a problem.

Below is a list of a few sure-fire ways to kick-start your creativity and get you writing:

  • Forget Your Focus and Just Write – Not every word you jot down is going to end up in a great piece of writing. One of the greatest ways to get inspired is to forget that you need inspiration. Sit down with a pen and paper, or your computer, and just write without expectations or direction. Free writing like this can create an abundance of brilliant ideas. Don’t concern yourself with making sense or staying on topic, just write whatever comes to mind and then save the results for a later time when they may help to spark your creativity.
  • Tamper with Titles – One of the ways I get myself writing when I am in a rut is to create a list of ‘titles’ I want to write. Like headlines in the newspaper I come up with catchy post titles and work from there. I always keep this list handy, adding to it, and completing posts as I go. By writing only the titles you may find yourself creating topics that require deeper research, more creativity, or entirely different perspectives. Every time a catchy title comes to mind jot it down, it may turn into your top post!
  • Mind your Memories – When you are in serious need of inspiration it sometimes helps to refer to the ‘good-old-days’. Telling stories has always been a big part of human nature, use stories from your past to enhance your present. Share a great childhood memory, or tell of a time that you overcame a fear, write about your greatest success, or even your crazy Uncle Billy. Your story can become everyone’s story if you take the time to tap into the endless inspiration you hold within your mind.
  • Re-write to Ignite – Another simple way to find inspiration and creativity is to review and re-write your older posts. Chances are you have some very old content that could use a bit of a ‘face-lift’, reviewing and re-writing these posts will not only help the overall appearance of your site, chances are it will inspire you to write something new, or expand on an old idea in a new way. In the very least your blog will be fresh and showcasing your best material.
  • Read to Write – If you are trying to write about a specific topic it often helps to see what others are writing about it. Often tips I will search a specific topic, quickly view a few articles, and wait for inspiration to strike. If you are not writing about anything specifically then try checking out the top searches today, top news, top tweets, or just hit random websites for inspiration. StumbleUpon is great source of inspiration, taking you to different websites based on your interests.  Reading anything will usually help if you keep an open mind and allow yourself creative freedom.
  • Remember the Routine – The most basic advice to writers will hold true until the end of time. Make Time To Write! This can not be stressed enough. Having a regularly scheduled writing time will get your mind in gear for writing. Pencil in some writing time everyday to help fight writer’s block. By keeping writing as part of your daily schedule you will not only be forming a good habit for a career, but you will be prompting your creative mind to be ready as well.

The most important thing to remember when you are lacking creativity is to keep searching for inspiration, but don’t overwhelm yourself. If you are getting frustrated move on to something else until you are ready to face the challenge again. Writers on every level suffer from lack of creativity at some point, just keep writing and never give up.

 

What do you do to beat writer’s block?
Share your tips and tricks in the comment section below. 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

 

*Questions, comments, or submissions can be sent to: perfectlyprompted@live.ca*

Finding Inspiration to Write… What to do when you can’t get started.

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Writing

Image via Wikipedia

Writing is a lot easier if you have something to say
– Sholem Asch

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is finding a subject to write about. Those that have suffered from Writer’s Block, know the helpless feeling lack of inspiration can cause, and even the most creative soul can lack ideas from time to time.

So how do you get started when it seems there is nothing there to write? 

If you hope to succeed as a writer you must seek out inspiration at every turn. When times get tough you must fight through the wall and find a source for your words. Like an artist, words are your paint, you need to learn to use every color if you hope to create a masterpiece. Inspiration is available all around you, you simply need to open your eyes, and your mind, to let it in. If you are faced with a creative block and can’t seem to find a suitable subject, try out these tips to get your mind working and spark your creativity:

Finding Inspiration to get you Started

  • Read – Often times the best way to get inspired is by reading what someone else has written. I have said this many times before, and I will say it many times in the future. Some of my most inspiring writing is brought on by reading another writer’s blog. Not everything needs to be a ‘great new idea’ it is perfectly acceptable to take someone else’s idea and make it your own. Next time you stumble across a blog, article, or story you enjoy consider how you can expand upon it and make it your own. The only rule here is to provide credit where credit is due and link back to the inspiration.
  • Get out and about – Sometimes all it takes is a little socialization to get your gears going. Meet up with a friend for a chat, or head to a busy café and strike up conversation with a stranger. Conversation produces ideas, and ideas can be turned into art, so get up, get dressed, and get talking… Even a short chat on your favorite social media site can stir up creativity so log on to Facebook and enjoy a chat.
  • Savor the Silence – When social situations are not the inspiring, often time solitude is what we seek. The silence and beauty that peace and quite brings is often very inspiring for a writer. Head to a quiet place in nature, like a hidden beach or quiet forest and simply savor the silence, listening only to the sounds around you and your thoughts. If you can’t get outdoor create solitude inside, retreat to a quiet room, or head to the local library for some down time. Bookstores, art galleries and museums are also inspiring and relatively free of crowds. Bring along a notebook and jot down any ideas that come to mind. Enjoy the peace and allow your creativity to connect.
  • Tune in – Music can be very inspiring for a writer. Next time you are lacking a subject to start your writing step away and crank up the tunes. Listen to the lyrics (if there are any) and really consider how the song makes you feel. Ask yourself what the artist is trying to say through the piece, and allow their inspiration to fuel your own.
  • He said, She said – Quotes are another excellent source of inspiration. A few simple lines can spark endless possibilities. Head over to your favorite quote site, (I like q.uote.it) and immerse yourself in the words of others. There are quotes available on literally ‘thousands’ of topics, and they are a great way to start off your writing (see above) or inspire you to expand. When reading quotes consider not only the words and the source, but the underlying symbolism that these simple pieces often hold. Allow your mind to fully process each written word, and evaluate how they truly make you feel.
  • Just Breathe – Not every moment is meant to be spent writing. If you find that you just cannot find inspiration to get started simply step away. Often times a short break is all that a writer needs to regain perspective and get their creativity back in gear. Take a short walk, step outside, have a bath or do the housework. Focus on something else for a while until you are ready to tackle the task again. By taking time out to relax you are clearing the clutter of your mind and allowing new thoughts and ideas to enter.

If all else fails don’t forget to visit the Prompt section of this site. Writing prompts can be a great way to get started and often lead to other ideas. You can view the prompts this site has available HERE or follow the link at the top of the page.

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

How do you cope when you are lacking inspiration?
Where do you find sources for your writing?

Let Me Start By Saying…..

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Let me start this Wordy Wednesday with a special Thank-you to a great blogger and even greater friend… Marcos Gonzales over at Experification   made my day today when he wrote a post about this site. It seems that the tips and tricks I have written here have truly inspired him, and through inspiring him.. I have been inspired more myself. It is always great to see that someone appreciates what you are trying to say, do, or accomplish… so once again Marc Thank-you one thousand times! I truly appreciate your post and link. If you haven’t already you must check out his blog through the link above. He is an inspiring writer who shares deeply and has a passion for words. It is definitely worth the read!

And now down to the nitty-gritty…

This Wordy Wednesday is all about getting started.

Sometimes beginning is the most difficult part of writing. I have found myself staring at a blank page many times with no thought of where to begin. The process of getting writing on paper must begin with a single word. Below are some ideas of where to find inspiration, and a few word prompts that might help you start…. As always feel free to share your results in the comments section below, or link to your own blog. Perfectly Prompted is a place for writers to get connect, get inspired, and most importantly get writing…. Enjoy!

Where to find inspiration:

  • Photos – Look at a photo and describe how it makes you feel, what you see, or what you think is going on.
  • News – Re-write the headlines. This is especially fun if you don’t like what you read. Take that sad story and share some positive light or look deeper into the story and find a way to solve a problem. News does not always have to be bad, in fact it can be whatever you choose to make it… there are three sides to every story… choose one.
  • Magazine Covers – Magazines are packed full of exciting information and the cover is the cake that entices you to read. Take one of those catchy headlines, and without reading the article, spin it yourself… I am willing to bet your story turns out quite different from theirs…
  • Dictionary – Words can work wonders on you imagination. Open a dictionary, or thesaurus and choose a new word. Expand on it, explain it, or share how it makes you feel. The possibilities are endless and the words are plentiful.
  • Other Sites – Often times reading someone else’s post inspires a thought of my own. Take time to read other blogs, or writers and enjoy the inspiration they provide. You will learn many lessons from reading that you would otherwise never have learned.

Word Prompts To Get You Started:

Use these words in any way you choose, a beginning sentence, a poem, a description, a feeling, whatever inspires you…

Attractive

Demure (shy)

Lynching

Conquer

Sorrow

Elegance

Shadow

Willow

Perfection

Enjoy your writing and always have fun. Be bold and take chances. Reach for the stars.

Feel free to send questions, articles, stories, or tips to:

perfectlyprompted@live.ca

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Method to my Madness…Oh, The Mind of a Writer!

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I realize that I have been completely neglecting my duties to my blog… and while I do feel terrible there has been method to my madness… I started this blog not only to inspire myself, but to help inspire others as well. I started this blog because I was suffering from a terrible bout of Writer’s Block… and though that bout has since passed I am aware that some people do not overcome it as easily as I. Being an overly creative person I am overwhelmed when I can not come up with ideas.. such an issue often finds me deeply depressed. For me writing is my outlet, it is my shoulder to cry on and my stress release.. as it is for many others, so when I am unable to release those thoughts and stresses I tend to bottle them up inside where they often boil over and flow out in unproductive ways….

I thought a lot about this blog over the last few weeks, considering both the purpose, the content, and the direction I want it to take. Throughout my life I have not been one for sticking with things, generally one idea quickly spirals into many until I have lost the original and there is no resemblance traceable at all… I don’t want that to happen with this blog, as it has with my others…

And so after much thought and consideration I have decided to re-format this blog and create a set outline of what my posts will offer. Not only will this help you the reader, by knowing what to expect.. It will help me the writer, come up with ideas for posts that stay on topic and make it easier to produce regular content.

Though I am sure there will be many times I may stray from the set path, this is the basics that I have come up with:

Monday’sMystery Mondays will be about creating answers, asking questions and looking deeper at ourselves. There will be prompts posted in the form of questions that may be answered in any form you like. This will allow anyone to benefit from these prompts. I find when visiting sites to gather ideas that many prompts are specifically written to suit a certain form, such as poetry for example…  but if I don’t feel like writing a poem that day it is almost as if that prompt becomes useless to me. I want every prompt posted here to be one that can be used anyway you choose. You may choose to answer the question literally with factual information, or creatively through story, or song. You may decide that it sparks a great idea for a poem, or maybe it produces a thought for an article you want to write… Which ever form you choose Mystery Mondays will be about looking at questions and answers in one way or another and there will be no right or wrong response…

Tuesday’sTips and Tricks Tuesdays will provide you with information that will help you grow as a writer. Articles, links and information on various topics will be discussed, and we will look at the many different forms of writing that are possible. I am hoping that this topic will generate conversation and get people working together to inspire and help one another. We are all here for the same reason, we all have a dream and desire to write, by talking, learning, and helping each other out we can all become more successful as writers. There will be guest posts, Open discussions, and valuable tricks. I hope that you will check back often and share your thoughts. Even if the topic, or writing form, is not one that would normally appeal to you, have a quick read… Opening our minds to new adventures is one of the easiest ways to grow.

Wednesday’sWordy Wednesdays is everything words. Writers have one thing in common no matter their choice of style, we all love words. This section will share the many sides of words and may include: New and interesting words, commonly misspelled words, finding the right word, poor usage, over usage, and the common mistake of too much flair. Anything and everything to do with words will appear on this day… Who knows, maybe some fun word puzzles will even show up here to test your skills and get you going… stay tuned…. and again feel free to add your thoughts or comments.

Thursday’sOpen Themed Thursdays will be my outlet to deviate from the set routine. This day will host a wide range of topics, prompts and other ideas. It will be the day that I most encourage others to submit any tips, tricks, ideas, or even articles that they have on any aspect of writing. Feel free to send questions or share ideas that you would like to see appear on this Open Themed day, and stay tuned for the wide variety of subject that I am sure will arise.

Friday’sFun Fridays will be the break from a long week of hard work. Hosting jokes, riddles, stories and comedy. Fun prompts, and silly pictures… Anything and everything to have fun writing. Reader input and submitted stories are always welcome.

Saturday’sSinful Saturdays will be full of prompts geared toward more adult topics, and more intense writing with open ended questions, controversial topics, and more detailed prompts. The content will vary from week to week, but the point will be to get your mind moving and to start producing content that you can actually use. Will be aimed more towards article and discussion ideas, but will also include options for other forms of writing.

Sunday’sShare and Shine Sundays will be all about sharing your writing and ideas with other like minded writers in the community. I eventually hope that this day will become the time that we can share our writing and get input from each other. It is often hard to find people to critique your work with an open mind, and having other writer’s that are willing to read your writing and share their thoughts is a valuable tool. To start things off I will be posting various pieces that I have written throughout the years. Feel free to share your opinion, point out any typo’s (as I will place some in there on purpose) and give your overall outlook on the work. Also feel free to send in your own writing if you wish to have it looked over by other writers… You can include a short bio, or keep it anonymous if you prefer. All I ask is that all content be review with respect and honesty.

Well there you have it. This is the new outline for Perfectly Prompted. I hope that you will all follow along and hit subscribe to get the latest updates. Fill up the comment area with your thoughts and ideas, and lets make this a great place for writers to connect with one another and get inspired to write. We all want to live the dream and become successful writers, with support and inspiration from others we can quickly achieve that dream, together.

Until Next Time….

Write On!

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