Writing Prompts are Dumb and a Waste of Time

What do you feel about writ­ing prompts? Some­times I use them, oth­er times I don’t. The Non-Fic­tion Nov­el­ist, Lar­ry Kahan­er pulls no punch­es in this piece by say­ing “Why not just start work­ing on your short sto­ry, book, blog or what­ev­er you’re try­ing to churn out? That’s how you get your cre­ative spark ignit­ed” Is he cor­rect? That is a good ques­tion, My friend Mar­i­lyn Davis is a firm believ­er that every­thing should have a plan, there are times when I agree, but there are also times when I believe in Free Writ­ing as the only way to get the juices going and get you piece mov­ing. His ques­tion, are you wast­ing your time get­ting your engine revved.

This is an inter­est­ing ques­tion, I am truth­ful­ly in nei­ther camp ful­ly, I like a plan, but I also like to get going, much depends on the day and task at hand. I do add a prompt if I think of an idea to be used at a lat­er point in my writ­ing even when free writ­ing. I would love to hear your view my readers.

Lar­ry Kahan­er intro­duces the topic:

I must say it, no mat­ter how much you’re going to hate me: Writ­ing prompts are dumb.

I don’t know any work­ing writ­ers who use them.

Why would you spend time and ener­gy on some­thing that you’re not going to use, some­thing that’s sup­posed to “get your cre­ative juices flow­ing” and then toss aside?

Why not just start work­ing on your short sto­ry, book, blog or what­ev­er you’re try­ing to churn out? That’s how you get your cre­ative spark ignited.

I know, I know… many new writ­ers feel naked with­out the cloak of writ­ing prompts.

Source: Writ­ing Prompts are Dumb and a Waste of Time

What do you think?

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2 Replies to “Writing Prompts are Dumb and a Waste of Time”

  1. To tell you the truth there is a time and place for every­thing. Some writ­ers love writ­ing prompts oth­ers don’t. I myself have only used then when I was in high school. But, they can be very help­ful to some writers.

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      Bren­damarie, To me it depends on what I am writ­ing (and per­haps the day I am writ­ing it on). I love to per­form free-writ­ing exer­cis­es and do that most days, just writ­ing freely on a top­ic, with­out research, with­out prompts, and with­out any obsta­cle but rarely, if ever, do I pub­lish those items in a raw form (if at all). I have devel­oped a per­son­al rule that under my post there should be three of four sub-top­ics upon which I write a small or large amount, some­times this is in the mind but at oth­er times the only start­ing thoughts are a set of bul­let points.

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