If you're like me, you start new projects with enthusiasm. Nothing will stop you. And then, something does. If you've hit a roadblock and need some new energy, try one of these prompts to get you started again.
When you get stuck, it's easy to slip into despair– to question yourself and your work. But don't let those initial doubts overwhelm you. There will be days where you won’t meet your word count, or even write at all. That doesn’t mean you’re not a writer.
You ARE a Writer
Here's some real encouragement for writers: The great thing about going to sleep every night is you get to wake up the next morning to a new day. A different year has nothing to do with what you can accomplish. Every single day is a chance to start again, to do what you’ve promised yourself, to be who you want to be. To be the writer you want to be.
Didn't write yesterday? Write today.
3 Writing Prompts to Rekindle Your Enthusiasm
Today I’m going to ask you to think about the coming year a little differently, and hopefully renew some of the enthusiasm you may have already lost. Try one of these prompts to remember why your writing is worthwhile:
1. Local Writer Makes It Big!
I want you to imagine this: You wake up one morning and see the headline LOCAL WRITER MAKES IT BIG! The entire article is about you.
What did you accomplish to earn such a heading? Is it a published book, a bestseller, a movie deal? Did you contribute to twenty different anthologies, finish a memoir, write a hit blog?
Take your writing resolutions (for this year or for the next twenty) and pretend you’ve already succeeded. Then, write the story that goes along with this triumphant headline.
2. How Did You Produce This Masterpiece?
Maybe, instead of a news story, you're prepping for your first interview with a magazine editor or about to walk out onto a late night TV show. Here are some of the questions they're about to ask you:
- People around the world are raving about the story/blog/screenplay/etc. you’ve written. What inspired you to write it?
- You’re already awesome, but all writers know they can always improve. What one thing would you give up in order to become a better writer?
- What is the most difficult thing about your artistic process and how did you overcome it to produce such a masterpiece?
- What does writing mean to you?
- What’s next for you?
Envision the writing masterpieces that led you to this point. Then, answer these questions (or write your own!) as though you're being interviewed by your favorite editor or TV host.
3. Bragging to a Stranger
Maybe you're not being interviewed; you're just bragging to a random person on the street or a stranger at a party. Imagine they're riveted, hearing you talk about your amazing career as a writer.
Why? What successes are you sharing with them? Write the conversation. (Bonus for practicing dialogue!)
You've Made It!
Whenever your writing resolutions flag, whenever you get discouraged, when you wonder whether this writing thing is worth it at all, pause and remember why you're writing at all. Envision the future, that point when you've met your writing goals. Let the thrill of your success fuel your writing. That's some of the best encouragement for writers.
Then, write — that's how you'll make it there.
How will you succeed this year? Tell us in the comments.
Choose one of the prompts above, then take fifteen minutes to write about it.
Feel free to mix it up and repeat this exercise whenever you feel down. I know it always helps me!
When you’re done, share your success story in the Pro Practice Workshop here, and be sure to leave feedback for your fellow successful writers.
Sarah Gribble is the author of dozens of short stories that explore uncomfortable situations, basic fears, and the general awe and fascination of the unknown. She just released Surviving Death, her first novel, and is currently working on her next book.