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  • Writer's pictureVicki Macchiavello

Hacking Writer's Block with Prompts

You know that feeling when you want to write but for some reason you are stuck?

It sucks right? You put the pen to page or your fingers to the keyboard and nothing comes out. But in your head while you are doing other things your writer voice is literally WRITING ALL THE TIME.

It is so frustrating. And it's easy to think that it means there is something wrong with us, that we lack some fundamental thing, some elusive quality that causes us to seize up and hold back once we finally sit down to write.

I am here to tell you it's not you. It's resistance and it's part of EVERY writer's process. Practicing writing means showing up and writing through the resistance, writing down literally anything regardless of it's usefulness as a means of unclogging the well of inspiration.

And you've got to do this A LOT. Repetition breeds muscle. “Practice makes perfect” is the old adage, but we believe that it's more practice makes possible. Making it a practice of pushing aside all the barriers to writing and just writing ANYWAY is what strengthens the muscle of writing.

Prompts can help with that. Using writing prompts are a like receiving a key to the closet door where your words are stored.

It works like this: you sit down to write and your first thought is “What am I even going to write about? UGH!” But then you remember the prompt-by-text service and you pull up the latest one and put it at the top of a page. Prompt: “Light came back after a long time and ...” Then you set yourself a timer for 5 minutes, you put the pen to the page, and you write. Releasing all judgement or worries, you focus only on keeping that pen moving. As you write you feel that fullness in your belly, that spine tingling satisfaction that comes from the motility of your ideas. When the timer goes off you put your pen down, take a breath, shake out your hand, and feel a deep sense of satisfaction.

And now you have something to work with. Prompts are generative, they get the words out of you. From there you have the blessing of choice, meaning you can do what ever you'd like with what you wrote.

One of the things you can do is submit it to us for consideration of publication.

For 3 prompts a week texted to you please go here and sign up.


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