Don't misunderstand, I'm engaged in the act of writing every single day. Writing songs, jotting down notes from daily Bible readings, annotating books as I read them and then writing reviews on this blog, jotting down Japanese words and translations while I watch J-dramas for listening practice, writing emails, writing movie and J-drama reviews on this blog, and maybe a few other things that I'm forgetting. It wasn't until I decided to insert a little creative writing back into my life that I realized that I'm already writing all the time as it is. I don't know why I just had to add to it with this "Everyday Writing" challenge. But I was up late and greatly inspired when I made that decision, and even though I'm not as consistent as I'd like to be I don't want to stop. If I can respond to 1-3 prompts a week, then I'm okay with that. Now, onto what I've learned.
The biggest lesson I've learned during these past two weeks is that drawing material from my own life is an excellent tool to get and keep those creative gears turning! In no way do I mean just writing about myself all the time, though sometimes a personal story bests suits the prompt at hand. For me, it's difficult to just come up with something out of the blue, especially if a prompt involves situations/phenomena/objects that I either don't care about or I'm not personally familiar with. When I try to write something from nothing, it feels forced, I end up trying too hard, and the work ends up feeling quite empty. But if I can make something about the prompt even the slightest bit familiar to me, like the motivation behind why a character decides to rename herself, or the name of the place where a character gets gypped out of paying too much for parking, that makes all the difference. That little sliver of familiarity helps ground me as the writer of the story, and I no longer feel like I'm desperately grasping at straws. Once I've set this sort of home base, I feel more confident being playful and venturing into the unknown as I write. And I find the story flows better too. So, to sum it up, this fortnight's lesson is to draw from what you know and use that as a springboard to be imaginative and push yourself!
And lastly, my favorite prompt this time around was the wackiest one and the most fun to respond to:
WPTDS #8: What if?
What happens next? You figure it out.
A schizophrenic patient who thinks he/she is Jesus escapes from a mental health institution. Write what happens next.
Happy writing! See you in two weeks!