Write On! (Some Writing Prompts and Encouragement)

By Kellie Purcill

words mean more

It’s an inescapable law of the universe that if you want to read something, someone must have written it previously. Just as immutable, is the sometimes painful truth that if you want to have written something, you have to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, voice to voicemail, lipstick to mirror, marker to small child, first. Even if your receiving medium doesn’t have a pulse, getting the words started can be terrifying, no matter how brave we may normally be.

Roller coaster rider

What will I write about? What’s my opening line? Am I digging at an itch? Do I want her to laugh? I don’t know what I’m going to write about I’m never going to write anything because I suck and a story about a gargoyle afraid of heights is stupid and I should go and mop the garage and why is this page so EMPTY?!!??!

It happens. I haven’t met anyone who writes who doesn’t experience the above paragraph in some way, way more than once, with associated procrastination, wailing and/or dramatic drooping. While dramatic drooping can be entertaining, it can also be painful, so here’s what I suggest instead – just decide to spend 5 minutes writing something. It could be anything at all (I’m not going to suggest what it could be!), if it’s got words in it then it counts. Just 5 minutes, 3 minutes, or even 30 seconds. Just a moment in time where you remember that you can write.

Diving belle

To help, I’ve compiled some pictures and ideas from “writing prompts” for your musing and entertainment…*

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Where Art Thou, Inspiration?

By Kellie Purcill

I am not my right breast.

Uh, okay. I thought in response. I’ll take your word for it.

I was browsing the “For Sale” books at my local library, and that first line was the title, stretched out along the peeling spine of a hardcover. I continued looking over the assorted bundles, sniggering at the Mills & Boon titles (“Sheik For Hire!” and “Baby In The Boardroom!”) and rescuing the dejected pile of knitting magazines from tumbling lemming style off the table – all the while with a chunk of my brain chewing on the original title.

What if I AM my right breast? What would that mean? I like my bosom buddies, so that’s kind of a compliment. What if I’m not my right breast? What would I be best summarised as; my left bicep? My odd little toes? Why them? Why not? That is a clever title for a breast cancer survivor book though… If I was going to write a book about something I know what would I call it? “Can I Please Have a Tazer? A Guide to Surviving Divorce”? Maybe “7000 Reasons to Eat Dessert/First”? Then I realised I was running late (libraries ambush me all the time) and I had to shove the whole discussion into the impossible, universe-deep drawer labelled “Inspiration” and go buy carrots and toilet paper. And that right there is what frustrates and delights me about inspiration – you never know when you’re going to dodge a falling piano, or get smacked upside the head with an insistent alien tentacle.

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