Today’s post is responding to questions in Salted Caramel’s Blogging Insights 3.0 #3.
How do writing prompts affect your creativity? Do they expand it, or do they restrict it?
I guess it depends on your approach to the prompts – if you only write because the prompt inspires a response, then they can expand your creativity. I think if we approach the prompts as an obligation, however, and that we must respond to each and every one, then I can imagine that could inhibit creativity, as we force words to come in response to something we don’t relate to or are under pressure to “perform”.
For me, I respond to prompts that elicit some sort of reaction. What I like about the two I’m already responding to, including this one by DrTanya, is that they allow me to explore new areas of writing. Sadje’s “What do you see?” prompts allow me to experiment with and explore creative writing. Therefore, in my case, responding to prompts does expand my creativity.
Can they be considered ‘real’ or ‘true’ writing?
I’ve been surprised by the ways in which different bloggers/writers respond to the prompts. We all bring different interpretations shaped by who we are and our lived experiences, creating an array of distinct real writing from the bloggers who take up the challenge. I also believe that we can be prompted by many things (deliberate and opportunistic) which can influence our creative thought processes and our writing – so in answer to this question, yes I do think that the results emerging from writing prompts are real examples of true writing, just as our writing would be if we were influenced by some other source.
What is your favourite kind of prompt?
I don’t think I’ve been engaging with prompts long enough yet to say I have a favourite. There are,however, different things which attract me to both Sadje and DrTanya’s prompts.
Sadje: I like the fact that I can just look at the photograph and see where my imagination takes me. I tend to look at the photo first to see what ideas occur before I then look at what Sadje has written or any posted comments. However, I don’t pressure myself if I’m not inspired, not every photo is going to say something to me, and sometimes I might just be too busy; which is sad as I’m exploring and developing my creative abilities. I should be practicing as much as I can, but stressing myself out is not going to help the creative process.
Salted Caramel: DrTanya’s question prompts are appealing because they have structure – you’re simply answering questions and as long as I have opinions, I’ll be able to respond to her question prompts. It comes down to whether the questions relate to topics that matter to me or are of interest; if I’m not interested in the subject, I’d probably pass.
I know there are other types of prompts too, that I’ve not ret tried but I’m not ruling anything out and who knows where my curiosity will take me next.
Overall I tend to go with what resonates with me rather than following a particular prompt, and if we think more widely, we are surrounded by prompts and triggers all the time in daily life which probably can inspire us enormously. One final thought is I wonder if being receptive to prompts opens us up more generally to finding inspiration in our daily lives, in our routines and feeding our creativity.
Over to you now – what do you feel about DrTanya’s questions? Do prompts inspire you to be more creative?
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