It is easier than you think to use a writing prompt.

  • Spend 15 to 20 minutes working on the prompt no matter how you feel about it or whether you think it relates to you or not. You will be surprised at what comes out of you if you apply yourself to the prompt.
  • A note about copyright. The prompts are copyrighted to me. You have permission to use them for the creative purpose of writing (all images prompts are copyright their respective listed owners). You do not have permission to post the prompts elsewhere or collect them to distribute as a collection. Feel free to link to any post. If you wish to publish a resulting piece please rewrite any text that came from the prompt provided — in this case the Continue On prompts.

The writing prompt doesn’t speak to me so can I skip it?

The writing prompt doesn’t have to speak to you. The idea is to work through the exercise offered up to you. You may be surprised what happens once you commit to the prompt writing process. You may start off in one direction with the prompt but once your creativity takes over it may lead you in another, something that might never have happened if you skipped the prompt all together. Besides it’s great practice for writing outside your personal comfort zone.

What type of journal should I keep?

You might want to have one journal that collects everything or you may want one for different aspects of your life: personal growth, spiritual, vacation, dream, work, ideas, fiction (the possibilities are almost endless), poetry, prompt writing. You could work on them collectively or focus on a particular one during specific times in your life. There is no hard and fast rule.

For a writing site don’t you think you should edit better?

We all can do better but that definitely doesn’t happen with ridicule. I do appreciate hearing about typos and grammatical errors but please don’t poop on my marshmallow. Even some of the best publishers have books in circulation with errors. And that’s after having numerous eyes read through them. I only have two and some times they get crossed. An error does not give anyone free rein to be mean or rude. By all means, if you notice a error let me know and I will research and fix it. But please be nice about it. For example: I noticed a typo on this week’s prompt and thought you would like to know, here is the link.

I have not been able to find the perfect prompt to get started. Now what?

There is no such thing as the perfect writing prompt. Writing prompts are not some magic elixir that will suddenly make you an active writer. You still have engage your mind, fingers and butt. You can blame the prompt (or the prompt writer) but the onus will still be on you to follow through with some action.

When you decide to work with a writing prompt do not think too hard about it or on it. The idea is to free your mind and write whatever the prompt brings up. Your mind has a constant train of thought, use it now. It does not have to be witty. It does not have to make sense. You may never use the end result or you may rewrite it on some cold day in January turning it into one of your best short stories or novellas.

Do not surf the internet looking for the perfect prompt. It does not exist. Take the first writing prompt you come across and do something with it. Make it work for you whether you like it or not.

How do I use a visual prompt?

Whether you are a visual person or not, using an image writing prompt is a good exercise for your creative energies.

Image prompts are incredibly versatile. If you spend a few minutes looking at an image you can probably come up with with at least five different scenarios of what is happening. In fact that is a good place to start with any image prompt. While you are viewing the image quickly jot down five situations or thoughts that come to mind. When you are done pick one and elaborate on it.

Images provide a visual cue to get us started but there are so many avenues to explore. The same image can provide a writer with a new prompt every day of the week (or more if she is persistent). It depends on the mood of the writer and her creative influence at the moment of viewing. With so many images around us a writer has no excuse for not writing something new.

Will you read, critique, edit, or otherwise give me some feedback on my writing?

No. Please do not send me your writing for any of the above reasons. I do not edit or critique stranger’s writing. I do not even critique the writing of my friends. I am not a publisher, editor, or agent. And please stop sending your work to people you do not have a relationship with or who are not legitimate editors or agents who have requested you to do so.

Where do you get the images from and can I use them?

Most of the images I post come from flickr’s creative commons search. At the time of their posting they were selected because they were allowed to be used along with attribution. If you intend on using the image then I recommend you follow the link back to the owner’s flickr page and confirm their usage terms. It has been my experience that once a creative commons image, does not always mean a creative commons image. Update: currently checking out a few other free image sites.

I am the owner of the photo you posted, please remove it.

I would be happy to remove your photo if the terms of use and attribution have changed or if you do not wish to have your image presented in this manner. Please use the contact form and provide a link to the post the image appears on so I can find it.

Happy writing!