Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

On Hating Writing from Prompts


Very lucid piece for today’s re-blog…

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz Alice Lowe.jpgBy Alice Lowe

You hate writing from prompts, because you’re no good at it, because despite the human brain’s instantaneous capacity to absorb new input and coordinate an appropriate response, you cannot put pencil to paper with any degree of intelligence or coherence. Within seconds of hearing a prompt—prompts like “write about saying goodbye” or “riding the all-night train” or “a pool of blue water”—all potentially interesting and challenging topics—you’re at a loss, stammering internally, increasingly anxious as a fleeting memory or opening line evades you, as any possible direction remains out of reach.

You look around the table—prompt-writing usually takes place in a small group around a table—you look around as the prompt is being read, and at the dropped voice, the sound of the concluding period (or ellipsis) ending the prompt, it’s as if a starting shot has been fired, heads down, pens and pencils moving in notebooks with seeming constancy…

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2 responses to “On Hating Writing from Prompts

  1. juliecroundblog November 17, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I find I actually like getting writing prompts, both in a writing group and as a starter for short story competitions. I do not like the ‘write about anything’ competitions as you don’t know what you are up against!
    I am no longer on Linkdin but enjoy the contact on wordpress. Julie.

    Like

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