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  • Writer's pictureSofia Sawyer

3 Ways Writing Prompts Can Improve An Author's Creativity

A few years ago, I discovered how helpful writing prompts were for boosting an author's creativity. I used to LOVE getting on Tumblr and checking out the writing prompt accounts. After spending a ton of time on whatever manuscript I was working on, these writing prompts were a breath of fresh air.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing a novel-length story. It’s fun to finally get to the end and do the first read through, seeing how amazing it is to create something from nothing. To build worlds and people. To give readers that happily ever after they need.

But it’s also a lot of work. There are tons of days, even weeks or months when you’re busting your ass to make it work. To fix plot holes. To make characters more believable and likeable. To research so whatever you’re writing about is realistic.

It’s not as simple as imagining a story and writing the words. There are bursts of creativity, excitement fueling your impressive word count. And there are moments where it’s just a boring, stressful slog.

That’s why writing prompts were a godsend to me. It provides the necessary break to refocus and tap into creativity again.

Here are three reasons why writing prompts are great for improving an author's creativity and inspiration:

1. You can turn off your inner critic.

It’s no secret that writers are their own worst critics. I find this especially true during the editing and revising part. You are literally staring at your work critically and tearing it apart so you can rebuild. Unfortunately, that process isn’t a one and done deal. I’ve found that I’ve had to do revisions several times for my stories. One recently has had nine revisions rounds and counting!

Going through that process, it’s hard not to wonder if your writing isn’t just pure shit. And although the writing community is great and supportive, it’s also hard not to compare ourselves to the lovely curated lives filling our social media feeds day in and day out. How can we ever compare? We’re only human, and it’s in our nature to use other people as benchmarks for our own success and failures.

Here’s the thing, though—all of that gets in your head and can get in the way of writing. Your self-doubt can creep in, somehow limiting how far you can stretch your imagination or censoring your voice.

With writing prompts, though? It doesn’t matter. Writing prompt responses can be crappy. There’s no pressure to make it perfect, and that’s what’s so freeing about it. Think about how much you could write or what you’d write about if you let go of all those expectations and doubt.

2. You can experiment and build new skills.

I primarily write women’s fiction and romance. I just enjoy those stories so much more. However, writing prompts let me dabble in different genres.

Through this, I’ve written dystopian future, suspense, horror, thrillers, and fantasy. Writing something completely different from the norm lets me explore new concepts and build new skills.

It also lets me see which other genres I have fun with, which is great because I could marry one of those genres with the ones I typically write. For example, maybe I’ll lean more into romantic suspense. Or women’s fiction with a touch of psychological thriller.

Being able to test other genres really opens up new options for authors.

3. It can help you get over any blocks.

It’s amazing how a person can solve a problem when they aren’t obsessing over it. How often have you beat your brain over something and, suddenly, the solution came to you in the most random time? Maybe during a shower? A long commute home? While washing the dishes?

Writing prompts let us focus on something else, giving our brains a break from stressing over things like plot points or how to rewrite an ending that would satisfy our readers.

By giving us a different creative outlet, you may find the answers to whatever block is holding you back. I know I have countless times.

If you’re a writer who just wants something new to play around with or are a new writer who wants to get your feet wet, I highly suggest writing prompts. They’re a fun way to get your creative juices flowing.

Bonus: they’re fast too! Rather than spending forever writing a manuscript, these flex your writing muscle without a lengthy or demanding commitment.


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