Writing Prompts vs Real Questions

I started blogging on Sunday Epidemic last December simply as a way to challenge myself to write something every day.

On a number of occasions I’ve been at loose ends deciding what to write about. I have a list of places to look for writing prompts. WordPress.com’s Daily Post. Several other sites that list things about each day of the year.

Tomorrow is Penguin Day. No joke.

Still, sometimes I look over all the lists and nothing seems to pop out and say, “Write about this.”

I like penguins just fine. I just don’t feel like writing about them at the moment.

One writing prompt booklet’s suggestion for today is to write about whether I’m an early bird or a night owl.

(Usually night owl. But most nights I’m wishing I could climb into bed at around 8:30. It rarely happens.)

It’s much easier for me to write about things that I know about or things that are currently going on around me. And, so far as prompts go, it’s much easier for me to find writing material in real questions and puzzles rather than hypothetical situations.

Writing prompts tend to feel a little too much like the teacher assigning the “what I did last summer” essay each year on the first day of school.

If you did anything the world cares about on your summer vacation you probably wouldn’t need the assignment to write about it.

After four months of writing something every day I can’t claim to have the corner on writing enduring classics.

I can only say that my best posts haven’t required writing prompts to get started.