We writers are a quirky lot with our habits, superstitions, and idiosyncrasies—whatever we believe it takes to get the attention of the muse or elicit inspiration. I have a friend who has a particular hat… another friend who insists on a certain pen… one who places a goofy little figure beside her computer while she writes and puts it away again when she’s done. And oh there are so many others.
Journal Conference 2016 is a celebration of all things journal and I’m delighted to join conference organizer Kay Adams, who is celebrating thirty years as a pioneer in the field, and more than thirty other master teachers, authors, pioneers, and all-stars for the event. I’m presenting “Wild Voice, Wild Writing” in a couple of pre-conference workshops.
I always think of writing prompts as music that invites the writer to dance. Or, to use another metaphor, they’re like starting blocks a runner uses to kick off for a race.
Prompts aren’t “exercises,” which tend to give directions—“Two strangers get stuck in an elevator; write their dialogue.” Instead, writing prompts suggest images or events or spark memories—each prompt evokes something different for each writer. And because they aren’t directives, the writing can take off in any surprising direction.