Image courtesy of graur codrin.
"I would love to write. I just don't know what I'd write about."
I can't tell you how many times I've heard those words. And for a while, I couldn't understand how someone could both 'want to write' and 'not know what to write about.'
Then I started blogging, and soon I developed a following. Suddenly, I had readers - readers with expectations that I write well and frequently - and on more than one occasion I found myself thinking those very same words!
Every writer knows what it's like to stare at a blank screen and not know where to start. You may even know part of what you want to write - you know your subject, for example - but the words, the ideas, just won't come.
Welcome to "Write Words Weekends."
Every Saturday morning, I'll post a few 'write words' on this site. These words are intended to get you thinking about your stories, your message, in new ways.
These are writing prompts, but without the 'writing prompt' structure. For example, instead of saying, "Write about a time when...," I might put up a list with the words "shoes," "understanding," and "birthday."
Then, over the weekend, imagine yourself lowering one or more of the 'write words' into your memory well. At some point, you'll likely feel a 'tug,' and when you draw the word up again, it will come filled with a story.
The goal of "Write Words" is simple: Get writers writing. Sometimes the 'write word' will remind you of a person or experience. Other times, you may already have a subject in mind - you're writing about your relationship with your father, for example - and the 'write word' "birthday" brings up a memory of a special birthday spent with your dad. Or the first time you celebrated a birthday while you were in college. Or that first difficult birthday of his which came after he passed away.
"Write Words" bring up stories in ways that more structured writing prompts sometimes don't. Please understand, I'm in favor of any word, sentence, conversation, billboard, or t-shirt that inspires a writer to produce a new story! Just add "Write Words Weekends" to your resource list when the well seems to be running a litle dry.
Here's how it will work:
- Look over the write words list. Write them down on something you can see, like a large sticky note.
- Lower the cup of write words into your memory well. That just means "think about them for a little while."
- Find a memory or even a fictional story through the use of any or all of the write words and pull it up out of the well.
- Now write and write and write. Write while the memory is fresh and vivid and dancing through your mind. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, chronology, or anything beyond just drawing out that story and taking a good hard look at it.
- When you've landed your story, then you can start revising. If you need help from me in editing or proofreading, well, you know where to find me.
- As you finish your stories, you may post links to your stories along with one or two brief sentences describing your story in the 'comments' section of the corresponding Write Words post.
- Readers can then click over to your website to read your story and offer positive observations and critique of your work.
- I hereby relinquish copyright to all posts written by Write Words contributors. Remember to add the words "copyright <your name> all rights reserved" on your own work, at your own site.
Ready? Pencils up, laptops on, memory wells open! Your first Write Words are:
All right? Then, ALL WRITE!