Well, it’s closing in on 11 PM, and it’s been a week since my last post! That puts me in grave danger of failing in my goal of posting at least once a week, and we certainly can’t have that.
According to the app I use to track habits I’m trying to improve on, I’ve successfully posted once a week for the last 50 days. Can’t let that slip!
With that in mind, I set out to try a prompt post. My friend Andrea recommended them a while back as a daily writing exercise for aspiring bloggers. I don’t know if I’d put myself in that category really, but I like to write. I want to do it more. Hone the skill. Eventually write that novel I’ve always dreamed about.
Rather than trying to tackle a daily posting or free write (I know I’m not quite there yet) I shoot for once a week. My biggest obstacle is usually running out of stuff to write about, which is why prompt posts seemed like such a great idea.
I don’t have a prompt box, nor a list of potential topics, but the prompts on The Daily Post have struck me as a great idea in the past. When I realized I was about to lose my admittedly meager posting streak with no drafts in reserve I decided to go for it.
Today’s prompt was ‘Witness.’ I took one look at that word and my mind became predictably blank. It’s funny how you’re always thinking about something – you’re never without a thought until you really need one. Until you decide to think about something specific and come up with words for it – then, nothing. Complete and total cognitive silence. The best you can manage in those moments seems to be thinking about thinking, if that makes any sense at all.
On the other hand, I’m now about 300 words into a post about the word ‘Witness’ and while I haven’t touched on it as a topic, I have managed to write about wanting to write. That sounds very circular, much like the thinking about thinking I was doing when I first tried to start this post, but it’s also different.
Writing without a plan this way is something I haven’t done in a while. Most of the things I type are thought out and analyzed (perhaps excessively so) – going without a script so to speak is kind of exciting.
Nerve wracking, but exciting. And liberating. Mustn’t forget that 🙂
So – my first attempt at a prompt post. What do I have? I’d say a success and a failure (but mostly a success). I’ve completely abandoned my prompt (note to self: change the title before you hit ‘Publish’) but I’ve also gotten to some thoughts about writing that I don’t think I realized I had.
This isn’t to say I don’t still plan on including some prompt posts in the future – based on my past experience with writer’s block, I think they’ll actually be an essential tool. I can say that I think I’m more capable of come up with unplanned words than I previously believed. That, and being up for actually sharing those words (even now I feel that nagging doubt about publishing this post – which I’ve resolved to do even if I think it’s garbage after I read through it) are small victories in and of themselves 🙂
So – as the clock continues to tick toward the end of the day, I’ll leave it at this: writing for the sake of writing is something I’m realizing I don’t do enough of. Probably because I didn’t feel capable of it – but I’m deciding here and now to be up for the challenge!