How helpful are writer's prompts? The short answer is VERY HELPFUL!
If you are a seasoned writer or a novice, you often feel unable to get that story down because you don't have an "in" or you are overthinking your ideas. Perhaps you are not in the right place to write your 3 volume novel, play or work of non-fiction. This is where a writer's prompt comes in - especially if there is a deadline and, yes, the chance of a prize, monetary or otherwise.
A few months ago, I signed up to Reedsy and every week I have thought about writing a short story based on a writer's prompt - I have read many of the entries, but I still felt a little nervous, or I simply ran out of time.
But last week, my partner was telling me a story about her life, and I cannot really explain it, but I just had to write it down, and coincidentally that morning, I received an email with the prompt "write about someone who finally stands up for themselves." The story that my partner was telling me fitted the bill perfectly.
Even though it was 26 degrees outside - and instead of enjoying our garden, the one we spend hours on - I hid myself away and fired up my laptop and wrote. It felt so good! I had nothing to do but write! I worked on it for 2 days and then with only a few hours left I hit the button and sent it in.
My story "The Seed of Rebellion" is set in 1968 - a period of revolution, and angst - and of youth rebellion especially, a difficult time, but one that brought about change - and much of it good; the breaking down - or at least putting a dent in - the barriers of class and race, and demanding equality for everyone. But sometimes we can't think about global problems and issues, we must first think about our inner struggles and allow ourselves small victories.
My story is based on a true story and I hope that gives it a feeling of authenticity but I also allowed myself to break away from the facts, that's the fun part isn't it?
Whether I win or not, I am very happy that my story has been read and entered into the contest. As writers that is all we really want isn't it? We want readers, we want to entertain, and we want people to like what we do.
Moreover, I think the story is timely - we are going to have to keep on fighting - because look at the world - look at the injustice! We have lost some ground lately and we will have to call on 18-year-olds today who are going to need to start finding their voices to help us get back on track. I wish you luck, justice and equity. Let's hope that we can believe that love will triumph as was the belief in the 1960s.
You can check out Reedsy's writer's prompts here for this week:
Do let me know if YOU decide to enter - I would love to hear from you!