Daily Writing and the Power of a Good Prompt

By | Creativity, Habits, Prompts, Writing | No Comments

The value of a daily writing habit can take many forms. A few hundred words a day might be my therapy; your brainstorm session; his story workshop; her blog building.

Whatever your creative goals — from journaling to ideating to reflecting to storytelling to teaching to inventing to sharing — there are unifying factors what it comes to mustering the will to write on a consistent basis.

Writing can help you bring clarity to your thinking, generate new ideas, build discipline, and make progress on long-term goals. These benefits are tied together by threads of exploration, invention, and discovery. And at root, they’re all united by a powerful practice of giving yourself space to focus and create.

Finding a Creative Catalyst

However, it’s often not enough simply to set yourself a writing goal — like most challenges worth taking on, this is easier said than done! If you want to make your writing habit stick, one incredibly useful way to start is to find a strong catalyst. That could be an external goal like NaNoWriMo, a certain structure to hold you accountable (a class, a writing group), or a reliable source of creative inspiration.

For this latter class of catalyst, one of the best things you can do for your writing is harness an array of sparks or prompts to use as inspiration. Read More

21 Ways to Make Magic Happen by Writing Daily

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I’m big into writing, and in particular, I’m kind of obsessed with the Miraculous Magical Wonder-Well of Writing Every Day.

Okay, I don’t have like a quick and easy incantation, or specific GPS coordinates to the treasure map, exactly, but I’m serious — dive deep down into the rabbit warren of regular word-making, and you’re liable to find incalculable riches.

What use is a writing habit, you might ask? Please, allow me to proselytize.

Personal Goals / “Life List”

Consider your aspirations for next week, next year, next decade. Write them down; sort and shuffle the resulting lists. This is a good exercise for thinking deeply about your goals, and you can do it across many different time periods and segments of your life (career, relationships, health, creativity, etc.) A few years back, my parents encouraged me to try such an exercise, and I ended up making a document I called my “life list”, containing various goals for things I wanted to do, make, or become in the future. Every year or two I’ll go through it, think about what’s changed, evaluate my past year, and write out new goals for the future.

Daily Journal

Reflect on the events of your day — what did you experience? How did you feel? What was positive and what was negative? This can be a great way to process your emotions and raw experience, and think through significant (or mundane!) things that happened to you. This can be useful for evaluating your recent progress in some area of your life, tracing some kind of emotional trajectory, and keeping a simple record of events you’ll probably treasure years down the line. It’s also a great way to blow off steam!

Recent Reading

Think out loud about the book(s) you’ve recently read, or are reading currently. Or write up your thoughts on various other things — blog posts, essays, articles, podcasts, videos — you’ve watched or listened to lately. What’s your take on the thing? How would you change it? Where did it lead you in terms of thoughts, feelings, memories? Read More

Creative Prompts to Spark Your Writing: Part 1

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From October 2013 to October 2014, I successfully completed a personal challenge of writing at least 750 words per day for 365 consecutive days. Over the course of the year, I found myself writing about a ton of different things, and came up with a huge list of writing prompts to draw on — an important resource, given that in-the-moment inspiration doesn’t always come so easily!

I’ve gone back through all 365 of those posts and drawn out my favorite writing prompts. I’ve rewritten them to be a bit more clear and specific, and listed many of them here — from reminiscing about quirky favorite childhood activities, to mining your everyday experiences for stories, to considering what you’d change about how your favorite subject is learned — for you to use as you like!

I hope they’ll prove a useful resource, whether you’re just starting to build your own writing habit, or are a long-time writer looking for new sources of inspiration.

This is Part 1 in a series where I’ll be sharing my complete collection (thus far!) of my favorite writing prompts. Scroll to the bottom and enter your email to download a free PDF of all 50+ sparks. Read More

How I Wrote 750+ Words Every Day for 365 Days

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Beginning a year’s worth of writing 750+ words every single day…it wasn’t easy. In fact when I started, I had no idea I’d keep the streak going for so long!

When I first set out to start a writing habit, I’d never been too conscious about writing on consecutive days, let alone actively keeping a streak alive.

In the post below, I share my story of a full year’s worth of daily writing, as well as several of the most important lessons I learned from the experience. I made a nice clean PDF isolating just the most important stuff — these lessons, including a few more I couldn’t fit in below (11 in total!) You can download that for free by signing up here:

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