Everyone needs a creative outlet – even those who don’t think they do. It is part of being human. For many of us, writing is that opportunity to share a bit of our hearts with the world.
The writing life begins when a person makes a commitment to write. Most of us who are serious about writing try to write every day. As this becomes a ritual habit, we enjoy the exciting fulfillment of our creative urges when we see the results: a viable story, article or poem. This feels so good, we want to do it again and again.
The daily writing habit can be as simple as writing to a prompt. For me, sometimes the key to working with prompts is to let my imagination run free, feeling loose enough to write down whatever comes to mind. At other times I plan a bit ahead of time and then see where the story takes me. Most of my prompt writing takes the form of flash fiction – stories less than 500 words.
Prompts give immediate writing practice, and do not need to produce masterpieces. Writing done for practice can be turned into something worth sharing and submitting, but it doesn’t need to be perfect every time. It just needs to be a daily ritual, to help us develop our writing talents. Every creative artist needs to practice, and this is how many writers do it.
When you write to a prompt, it doesn’t matter if you write poetry, a script, fiction, or non-fiction. All genres are good for writing practice. It only matters that you set down your words, crafting them to the best of your current ability. Save your practice writing for later inspiration, for development into larger pieces, or for posterity. But whatever else you do, don’t stress over it and don’t waste time comparing your writing skills to others. Every writer has a different voice. You need only express yours.
The more you write, the better you will get at it. Don’t be afraid to play with your words, using outlandish descriptions and wild dialogue. Remember, if you don’t like the result, nobody will ever have to see it but you. The goal is to be free with language, getting away from any stilted prose, getting closer to the true expression of your inner creative light.