The Prompter Room

For Monday, November 2, 2015:

“Start writing, no matter what.  The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

Louis L’Amour

Every writer knows this is true, but getting started is usually the hardest part.  That’s why Julia Cameron’s ‘Morning Pages’ and books filled with writing exercises are so popular: they prime the pump.

This is also one reason I started these daily prompts.  In the past couple of months, several friends have told me they want to — they feel like they need to — start writing something specific, but they don’t know how or where to start.  That blank page or computer screen can be the widest empty space in the world, and we wonder how to fill it.  ‘Nature abhors a vacuum,’ after all, so I hope one or more of these posts has helped open the word faucet.

I also started these prompts for me, to make sure I write something every day.  It doesn’t need to be much, but it needs to be something.  It doesn’t always need to be on a work-in-progress, but it needs to be something, anything.

We hear it all the time, and we know this intellectually, but we truly do need to exercise our writing muscles.  We need to develop a discipline that can carry us through and to that next word, that next sentence.

If you haven’t yet read my blog post called ‘Handy Work,’ check it out to see if that exercise might work for you.  Using our non-dominant hand can start the flow.  It moves us away from the tangled staleness in our heads and frees up access to the creative side of the brain.

How about we make a pact with each other?  Let’s commit to write one page a day — of anything, even copying the back of a cereal box — with our non-dominant hands so we can open up that faucet a little more every day. If nothing else comes to you, copy down the quotations in these daily prompts.

I will if you will.


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