I recently added this PDF of five photo-based writing prompts to my Classroom Departures activity and resource portal. [working title]
Below is a sample. Enjoy…
Because I have 50,000 other things I should be working on…
I’m going to do NANOWRIMO this year and, like 2006, 2008, and 2010, I’ll finish.
I promise! [That’s me talking to me. I’m pretty sure you folks won’t lose sleep over it.]
–I’ll take my own prewriting course over the next few days prior to Nov. 1. Just to see if I know even a nano-iota of what I’m talking about [i.e. stealing from smarter, more experienced writers].
–Plus, a little inner dialogue as I venture ahead…
Critical Me: So, why are you even doing this?
NANO-Me: I need a deadline. I want to do push ahead on a new project. I want an excuse to not look at the clutter in my garage. I have to prove that I can still crank out words, since I promised my wife that a dog would actually make me more productive. [Of course, I wasn’t serious, but it was well worth the good laugh.]
Critical Me: Do you want this to be, eventually, a marketable product?
NANO-Me: Since I’m not great a Round Two Writing, that’s not even on my radar.
Critical Me: Do you have a plan for your story?
NANO-Me: Why yes I do, smarty-pants. In fact, I have a chronology all set up in my mind, a sequence of 180 mini-chapters, if you must know.
Critical Me: And you really think you’ll finish all 180 mini-chapters?
NANO-Me: I mainly want to finish my 50000 words and see which comes first.
Critical Me: What do you like about NANOWRIMO?
NANO-Me: I like the freedom to inject all sorts of detours into a story depending on your mood on a given day. And I like Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem book.
Critical Me: What’s so special about that book?
NANO-Me: Well, it’s like this. He’s the guy who started it. And his fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants suggestions are worth the read. And it is just that devil-may-care [am I using too many hyphenated expressions?] approach that inspires me to spend my words like a drunken, well, not Hemingway, because he didn’t waste words…spend my words like a drunken Tolstoy, how’s that?
Critical Me: First of all, yes, you are sucking the well of hyphens dry. Thanks for noticing. Care to share any gems from Baty’s book?
NANO-Me: Sure. I’ll put them at the end of this. I wouldn’t want them drowning in this sea of blather. Time for a break, right?
Critical Me: What for?
NANO-Me: For lunch, that’s what for.
Gem #1 from No Plot? No Problem
“Having an end-date for your quest through the noveling unknown is like bringing along a team of jetpack-wearing, entrepreneurial sherpas. These energetic guides not only make passage easier through the myriad formidable obstacles, but they’ll fly ahead and open coffeeshops and convenience stores along the route.”
Where do these ideas come from?
Some of my sources…
For more ideas how these warmups might help…How to use writing prompts by Emily Wenstrom.
Here’s a fun image that might spark a fun short story or some thoughts about ‘real life’.
Need some musical inspiration?
Try this. [I’m thinking you won’t need to listen to all 15 minutes. ;->]
Disclaimer: These suggestions are pertinent to the topic of time and do not necessarily reflect the tastes of the author of this post. [Unless, of course, you like the selections, in which case the author is a genius.]
I’m sharing three highlights from openculture.com, a leading provider of open educational resources. More to come in the future.
1. http://www.openculture.com/ Scroll to Writing Tips in the inner right column. Guidance from the list of fair-to-middlin’ writers [;->] below is available.
There is a section on journalism and writing, including this iTunes-based creative writing master class. I figure even if you drop in at your leisure, mug of coffee in hand…
Ebooks from Neil Gaiman, Phillip Dick, David Foster Wallace, and John Muir, as well as some struggling amateurs ;-> like Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Shakespeare. Also, consider scrolling down to the bottom to the ‘Assorted Texts’ section.
“Be ruthless about protecting writing days…”
7 Free Windows Apps for Exploring Your Creative Side muo.co/2taPMAL
Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.
Has your stream of creative ideas dried up? Here’s the Answer! hubs.ly/H07C6xZ0
Opening comment: I hope readers gain even half the value as I do from writing this down freehand and rehashing/posting it.
But feel free to throw money, coffee, good pastries, or an ‘I adopted a shelter pet!’ certificate my way. [I’m a pretty simple guy, really.]
Become a Documentarian of What You Do.
“Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording
your process as you go along has its own rewards. You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress.” [It’s what I’m trying to do at jrmays.com.]
Be an Amateur
“Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. They take chances, experiment, and follow their whims.” [I have a poster on my wall: If not now, when? Works for me.]
“The world is changing at such a rapid rate, it’s turning us all into amateurs. Even for professionals, the best way to flourish is to retain an amateur’s spirit and embrace uncertainty and the unknown.”
“Reading about people who are dead now and did things with their lives makes me want to get up and do something decent with mine.” [In his case, be a good dad and husband, create, curate, and share art and experience.]
He continues, “Take inspiration from the people who muddled through life before you–they all started out as amateurs, and they got where they were going by making do with what they were given and having the guts to put themselves out there. Follow their example.”
Some of her gems include:
You want inspiration to think creatively? Here’s your site: