Sunday, July 1, 2007

Writing Prompts and a Small Rant

First, let me say that this is my 49th post. I intend to do a "Top 5" for tomorrow, my big 50th. Whoopee!

Sheesh, I have been looking for free writing prompts high and low to share with you people and no one told me about The Imagination Prompt Generator. I clicked through a few, and then one stopped me cold. It was, “I generalize about _____ because...” Wow, what a great topic to get your writing muscles pumping. I imagine it will call for a lot of introspection and delving. What a bargain from a free tool.

You may be asking yourself why I care about writing prompts. I could go off about how they are akin to a workout for your writing ability. But instead, I found corroboration at where Deanna Mascle points to her list of 10 reasons you should use writing prompts over at word-craft. I know some people use prompts as blog entries, but for me most of the topics suggested are usually too personal to just post, willy-nilly, for public consumption. I don't know you that well!

I don't generally post from her site because, well, it's so “hard sell”. I end up feeling like I've just read the script for an infomercial. Too much bold type, too much capitalization, and too many quips like, “NO hours of slogging over a keyboard. NO waiting for quarterly commission checks. NO deadlines.” Bleh. I prefer the hard work end of the stick. At least then I can be proud of what I write, even if I don't make a six-figure income..

All of that came out rather more snotty and high-horsed than I had intended. I'm sure Ms. Mascle worked very hard on her site, writing all of that copy and trying to convince everyone to buy products. I don't know anything about her writing ability outside of a few samples. But for me, putting up a site that purports to be about helping you write better should either tell you up-front that you will have to pay for the assistance or be free.

I am not far enough along on my freelance journey to believe that someone would pay me to help them writer better. If it got to a point where people were asking I can see why it would be useful to start charging something. Time is money, after all. But it would be my time, not “courses” from other people for which I'm taking $40.00 from you to pass along a download.

Sorry, I'm ranting this week. Use writing prompts. Explore your head. Write. See you tomorrow.