Why Daily Writing to Prompts Is Valuable

Writing on a Laptop

Writing on a Laptop

Writing for just ten minutes to a daily prompt can be a valuable adjunct to developing as a writer.

You . . .

  1. can write every day without having to come up with an idea first.
  2. will get in the habit of writing.
  3. learn to trust the ideas that show up—no judgment.
  4. will not be judged by someone else’s opinion, so writer’s block is less likely.
  5. have free play and can allow ideas to branch at will, return to earlier impulses, or explore new avenues of thought.
  6. can have fun; no evaluation awaits you.
  7. can develop the freewrite response to the prompt into a longer piece later if so inspired.
  8. can observe the path of your writing process on a regular basis.
  9. will own your own writing process because all aspects of it will become intimate and familiar to you.
  10. will be a writer.

Writing prompts are published monthly on this site. Check back often.


© Pajche | Dreamstime.comFemale Hand Writing On Laptop Photo

Writing is a Fractal Process

Lena River Delta, Courtesy of NASA

Lena River Delta, Courtesy of NASA

A Fractal Process: Writing is a fractal process.  When we view the writing process through the lens of the reflective mode, the foundation of all modes of  writing, we see the branching of ideas that occurs.

Impulse and Flow: We begin writing with an impulse. The impulse may be a prompt, the wisp of a remembered dream, an assignment, even an overheard conversation, whatever, and  that impulse links back to another impulse in our awareness, which links to another, maybe even two others. And branches of thought are born. A text emerges that flows over a page (or screen) like a river sprouting channels, tributaries, creeks, and streams.

Fractal Patterns in Nature: The fractal pattern of branching is a part of nature, visible not only in the way that rivers flow over the land, but also in the way that our blood flows through our bodies, or the way a fern frond replicates its outer edges. It is a pattern of progress, of moving forward through a set of linkages and connections. A fractal pattern in nature is beautiful—filigreed and complex—much like a piece of elegant and logical writing. Each branch supports another and connects to another, spreading out in manifold development.

An Infinite Flow: This fractal nature of writing visually demonstrates for us why writing blocks never have to occur. The flow of ideas from the mind is infinite. Always, another idea is appearing and branching out to yet more ideas. We just have to settle down enough to attune ourselves to the flow of ideas and not mind the gaps. The gaps help create the beautiful formulation and connection of ideas.

Pruning the Branches: It is true that, eventually, we may have to prune those branches and shape that flow for a particular audience, but the flow of nature is always there within us. We simply have to sit to write, turn our awareness inward,  and be ready to catch the flow as it emerges and branches out.

Monthly Writing Prompts for April

April Calendar

Prompt # 9

Describe what you think society will be like in 500 years.

Prompt # 8

How would you characterize the moments of your days?

Prompt # 7

Is there a decision you made five years ago that you would make differently today and why?

Prompt # 6

You open your eyes and you are in an unfamiliar universe. Describe the landscape.

Prompt # 5

How is my greatest fault my greatest strength?

Prompt # 4

Describe an alien world, perhaps a different planetary world, a world in another dimension, or simply a fantasy world out of your own imagination. What does the landscape look like? What are the laws of nature in that world? End with a metaphor or simile drawn from that world.

Prompt # 3

Imagine you’re writing a children’s book and create a character sketch for your protagonist. Explain the character, nature, and other details of your protagonist.

Prompt # 2

Some Intuit elders state that the earth’s orbit has tilted to the north, based on their observations that their sky has changed. Imagine how the earth may have changed/or not in one hundred years if the earth continues to tilt more to the north.

Prompt # 1

Spring is often represented by baby chicks, cute lambs, flower blossoms, or butterflies, representing new birth. Inherent in these symbols, however, is the notion not only of new birth but also of transformation.

What transformation is underway in your life at this time? Describe the change(s) that you see occurring now.

Beginning in April, I’ll post writing prompts for those of you who feel like writing for ten minutes a few times a week.

Simply read the prompt and start to write. No brainstorming involved. This exercise is meant to help you watch your thoughts unfold in a spontaneous and natural manner. Editing requires a different “hat” and, for now, should be put aside.