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In order to make my writing prompt time useful and fun, I try to follow these guidelines:

      1. Keep Writing – whether you’re typing or writing in your notebook, don’t stop. Just let the words come, even if they don’t make sense. That’s okay. You’re not writing a piece that anybody might ever read but yourself.
      2. In order to keep going, don’t censor yourself. Just allow whatever is coming to come and write it down. Don’t stop because your inner critic decides that what you wrote is lame or stupid or whatever. Keep going and tell your inner critic to zip it.
      3. Ignore writing rules. This is a space and place for you to play. So you write major run-ons or fragments? That’s okay. It’s your voice. If you stop and correct, you’re censoring yourself and stopping the creative flow that you’ve opened up. Keep it open.
      4. Write what’s important to you. Write what you care about, what matters to you. Go to those scary places that might make you a little bit nervous – that’s where you’ll find your truth. And, if you write what matters to you, it will also matter to your readers.
      5. Have fun!! This is a time to play with words, to enjoy words without thinking about a grade or what somebody might think. Maybe you’ll share it, maybe not. This is for you, so just allow the words to come, in whatever form they come in. If a poem spurts out of your pen, write it. If it’s dialogue, or a funny story, or a memory, write it. Just let it come and enjoy the process.

Do you have any other “rules” you use when you’re responding to a prompt? Share it in the comments below.