Blogging U has a four-week, post-a-day challenge entitled Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration. This course looks at finding inspiration in a variety of sources, including from quotes, lists and tweets. Although it is not specifically aimed at writers of fiction or poetry, it is a great way for anyone who is feeling a sudden or alarming lack of creativity to find inspiration from previously undiscovered places. You don’t have to follow the challenges to the letter, so you could use each day to inspire you writing however you wanted to!
This is our final discussion on the topic of inspiration. So far, we have examined some key areas where writers might find inspiration: writing groups (online and in person), imagery (such as photographs and art), music (in its many varieties) and personal experiences. Today, we will discuss writing challenges and prompts, with a few examples of websites to look at and explore.
Blogging U also provides other two- and four-week courses, including A Poem A Day and Writing 201: Poetry, which are both great challenges for poets and can connect you with a huge number of eager writers on WordPress. Keep an eye out for their courses, as they run all year. Look beyond this, though, and you will find that there is so, so much more. There are many places on the internet dedicated to challenging writers, such as Story A Day, which runs a May challenge to write each and every day throughout May to a prompt sent directly to your inbox.
Writing challenges can come in many forms. They can be complicated and detailed, or extremely simple. Some websites and small publishers will happily provide their followers with regular prompts, from words or phrases to whole paragraphs. Others will challenge you to write to a picture prompt (as we have discussed) or in a specific style. If you write something that catches somebody’s eye, you may even get featured on their website or asked to contribute!
There are also websites such as Ad Hoc Fiction that allow you to submit your writing (in this case, flash fiction of 150 words or less that includes a specific prompt word or phrase) to a competition for free. Ad Hoc publishes entries on their website and puts them to a public vote for a chance at a cash prize.
These are only a few of the places where you might find writing challenges and prompts to inspire you. Social media is bursting at the seams with writing prompts and you can often be rewarded for your efforts. There are challenges for those who need a little bit of inspiration and others for those who want a bucketful. Seeking out a source of inspiration can feel like an impossible task at times, but there is something out there to support and inspire everyone. All you need to do is look.
This month’s theme is INSPIRATION. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of finding inspiration, then please post a link in the comments or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Inspiration.