A few years ago, I decided to include an impromptu, warm-up writing exercise at the beginning of my writing group. That’s how I got started creating prompts. I wanted people to write—to write about anything the prompt brought to mind, without worrying about grammar or spelling, without second-guessing the direction of their story or poem. The writing prompts became so popular that I added more to the end of our agenda, and then I realized prompts would be perfect for this blog. To date, I’ve received more e-mails and comments on the prompts than on any other category of post. Thus, The Doorbell at Dawn: 125 Writing Prompts to Spark Your Creativity & Summon Your Muse was born.
My little booklet is full of prompts just like the ones on Just Write. All my prompts are designed to make you write—not to test your ability to follow directions. If you read a prompt and the idea it conjures is on another subject entirely, follow your first impulse and write where the idea leads. Don’t form expectations about what will happen to the piece of writing that emerges. It might lead to something bigger, or it might not. As I say in Doorbell, “If not, you’ve just had ten minutes of good writing exercise. Think of it as sit-ups for your brain.”
In addition to 125 writing prompts, Doorbell includes a section aimed at people who are writing personal/family history or memoir. It covers the most frequently asked questions I’ve encountered in the years I’ve been working in this genre, both as a writer and a coach/editor, questions like: Where do I start? Should I change the names? How can I make sure my work is copyright protected? This section also includes twenty-five specific questions that can be used either to help a writer begin a personal history/memoir, or as a questionnaire by someone conducting an interview.
Printed copies are available for under $10 (before shipping and handling) and downloaded copies are $3.00. Just click on the Lulu link under my profile!
Photo courtesy of William Vermeulen at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/871973.