I never know what to do for writing prompt intros. Do I talk about the world? About me? About writing? I guess it’s a reminder that the blank page can always be intimidating. If you’re a writer and you’ve never sat in front of blank page feeling your palms get sweaty and you mind go blank, then I refuse to believe you are human. What is your superpower? Please share your secrets.
The blank page problem is one reason why I like writing prompts so much. The prompt and the time limit don’t give me a chance to procrastinate and feel intimidated. You press go on the timer and out comes a beautiful cascade of word vomit. And any words are better than no words, right?
Name of the game: Snap Shot
The rules: Stare at the picture. What does it make you think of? What story is it telling? Okay–thought of something? Good. Now set a timer to 10 minutes and start writing that story. Ready, set, go!
Is this a last minute writing prompt? Yes. But what’s wrong with last minute? As a society, we place so much value in productivity. Any activity that doesn’t contribute to productivity is thought of as time wasting.
These ideas are so pervasive I’m sure we’ve all felt guilt over spending an hour watching youtube, sleeping in late one morning, or checking Twitter. The idea seems to be that these activities are all fine, but only as long as you’re productive enough.
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“Look! He’s right on top of us!” There was a pause. “I wonder if he’s using the same wind we are using…”
“Whoever he is, he’s too late. See–the Cliffs of Insanity!!” -Princess Bride (the film)
I’ve found the cliffs. They are tall and awful and there’s no way around them.
It all started last Thursday. I had a deadline for a project write-up about a behavioural study I did with aposematic stick insects. I left it about a day too late and worked so so hard to get it written in time for the Wednesday night deadline. So Thursday, I obviously felt great because I’d finished it in time, but I also just didn’t want to write. Every day since then it’s been an incredible struggle to go anywhere near anything at all that involves words. The worst part is I know I can do it–it’s not that difficult to just carry on and push through. A couple days behind is fine. Except that my whole brain is screaming “I don’t want to!” at me.
Have you also found yourself at the base of the cliffs? If so, hi. Welcome to week 3. Let’s just try to get through this as best we can. We are past the halfway point after all! Here’s my care-pack/box-of-toys for you: Continue reading →
Time for another writing prompt! It doesn’t feel like it’s been two weeks since the last one. The British weather is still confused, the trees are still easing into various shades of red and gold, and I’m still behind on my reading (there’s a very large stack of scientific papers staring at me right now).
But here we go. Another image that holds a story. Or ten stories. Or 100. Or…
Anyway, let’s do this thing. Continue reading →
Early cover sketches
So it’s October, and I’m still slogging on, trying to keep up work on my writing. I thought I’d give an update on where I am at the moment and where I hope to go. This includes an entirely new novel, B Like You, which up until this spring, I was planning to keep hidden under my bed. But then I read it, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. So I decided to try and make it into something presentable. So here we go, my current projects: Continue reading →
Sometimes, I feel like the hardest thing in life is deciding what you want and then working towards those goals. I’ve been told I have good commitment, but when another evening rolls in and all I’ve done is eat and watch YouTube, it sure doesn’t feel like it.
When uni ended for the summer, I had all these great plans regarding my novels and this blog–I was going to work hard on my drafts, start getting friends to give me feedback, start posting weekly again… However, by the end of July, I’d basically done nothing. I then decided I was fed up with half-heartedly chasing my goals and I was ready to make a plan and get out there with that butterfly net.
So far, it’s going well. I know that a one-size motivation-plan doesn’t fit all, but getting me moving sometimes feels like beating a rock with a stick. So I’d like to share with you 5 things I’ve been doing this summer that (as of yet) seem to be working: Continue reading →