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Writers often use writing prompts allow them to find a way in.

“In?” you might be asking. “What’s that mean?”

It means that unless I write something down or explore it in words, I often don’t know what I’m thinking., and having taught teens writing for years, I think that’s pretty common. Often its not until the end of a draft that kids have finally figured out what it is they want to say.

It’s through the process of writing that we writers figure out what we’re thinking and truly find those pieces of our truth that make our stories real. Sometimes, I approach a writing prompt with an hour, sometimes with five minutes.

The shorter sessions are “quick writes,” and it is often during a quick write that I find those kernels of truth that become stories, or essays, or blog posts or . . . whatever it is they become.

A “five-minute draft” often has potential to become something much better. Sometimes I re-read back over what I wrote and laugh or cringe, but sometimes, I like it and polish it, play with it, practice on it.

Longer writing prompt sessions tend to become more evolved pieces right there, but I also find kernels and snippets I like that grow to something bigger and better.

In her book A Writer’s buy bupropion sr online Book of Days, author Judy Reeves says, “By taking the time for writing practice [using daily prompts], you are honoring yourself as a writer. When you write on a daily basis, your self-confidence increases. You learn what you want to write about and what matters to you as a write. You explore your creative nooks and crannies and foray into some scary places that make your hand tremble and your heart beat faster. This is good” (3).

I agree. Using prompts is writing practice, and if you want to be a better writer, you need to practice.

It’s no different than playing a sport or an instrument. In order to get better, athletes and musicians play. They practice specific skills and sometimes they just play for the fun of it.

Writing is no different. So, go the to Writing Prompt page, find one you like, and start writing. Or, put on your favorite song ever, pick up a pen, and let go. What does this song make you think of? Why do you love it so much? Now . . . WRITE . . . and have fun!

In the forums, I’d love to hear your thoughts on writing prompts. Do you use them? How? What’s your favorite prompt?