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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Practice Writing

So I’ve been focusing on my writing lately (hence, the lack of blog posts!) And I’ve been reading about writing (that always sounds funny to me, but it’s true.) And over the past 8 days I’ve had the opportunity to attend 3 different writing events. I say ‘opportunity’ because earlier this week I got sick and didn’t get to make one. (Boo!)

And here’s what I learned (again.)connecting with other writers energizes me. Each time I think, “I could be spending that time writing!” but choose to go to a writers gathering instead, I always (always!) come away feeling better about my art and my ability to produce it. Yay!

Having said that, at 2 of these events, there was space to practice our craft. Both sessions gave freedom to write using writing prompts, and it occurred to me, I just don’t use writing prompts often enough. Usually when I sit down to write, it’s either to work on a novel I’ve been outlining, revising one of those novels, or putting thoughts down about a short devotion I could submit to a publication. That same thought creeps into my head – “I could be spending my time better by working on what I need to with the little time I have, rather than on something that no one will ever read.”

Yeah, except there’s a connection to emotion you can tap into with free writing, that you just don’t get from a preplanned novel you’ve been plotting for years. Connecting with that emotion clears the cobwebs from inside the brain, making the actual writing process for projects you want to focus on, much more productive. It makes you a better writer. 

Why do I always forget this? I’m such a human. I seriously need to be reminded of the same things over and over again. 


Anywho, I figured I’d give some writing prompts to inspire some of you (and to inspire me!) and to help get that mushy part of the brain moving, the next time you sit down to write.

Writing Prompt #1: Take 2 minutes to reflect on the past 24 hrs, listing as many situations that evoked a strong emotion, as you can. What made you angry? When did you cry? Who brought you the most joy? Pick one or two (or four) and set a timer for 30 minutes of free writing on one of those strong emotions.

Writing Prompt #2: Grab the nearest book (or Kindle) and flip to any page. Count down 5 paragraphs and read the 2nd sentence. Write about whatever image that one line brings to mind.

Writing Prompt #3: Go to a news website and find the lead headline. Imagine yourself involved in this situation. How would you react? What would you feel? Would you have made the same decisions as the people involved?

Writing Prompt #4: Ask a small child to draw a picture of something imaginary. Take that picture and write what you see.

Writing Prompt #5: Take a word – something someone said earlier in the day? A word you heard on TV? Something you read on a blog? – and think of the emotion that word invokes. Here is a small list to get you started: sustainability, asphyxiation, hypocrisy, tyranny, graveyard shift, skeleton, kleptomaniac, railroad, passport, Michael Jackson, Mother Theresa, 1969

Now, go write! Or go do whatever it is you were going to do today – and then write! And feel free to leave your own writing prompts in the comment section below! 🙂


Happy reading, friends!

P.S. This is my eleventy-first blog post! I feel like Bilbo Baggins! Yippee!

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