Before this week, I had struggled with the idea of writing prompts. I always wanted to challenge myself and so went for several random words at once, but none of the random word engines I came across seemed particularly good or reliable.
When bunches of fairly easily connectable random words came up I began to wonder how astute the random word generators actually were. I began to contemplate how many words were actually in these generators; whether all the supposedly random words in each group were truly independent of one another, or if they appeared in a finite number of fixed groups which just seemed to be random.
After all, I didn’t want to be the thousandth person out there writing a story about a squirrel eating metal sandwiches whilst trying to somersault on a motorcycle in front of swans fighting furry ladies.
But I feel a little differently now. Partly I’ve just joined a writing course, which I think is helping me to look at everything as an opportunity to write. I haven’t heard anyone’s work yet, but already a competitive streak is starting to emerge in me. Though admittedly my competitive streak is not renowned for being entrenched in sound logic. For example, I am irrationally competitive with Frank Sinatra because we share a birthday. But that’s a story for another day.
Another helpful factor has been stumbling across a particular word prompt website which is totally fantastic. It’s called The Write Prompts and has a variety of different challenges to try, supplying a new one every day to get you writing frequently. I’ve already made use of several of them myself.
So in conclusion, my advice is to open your mind, push yourself and look for more unusual stimuli to stay motivated. And by ‘motivating stimuli’ I do not mean arranging to being poked in the back every hour with an electric cattle prod.