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Trust the process!

Five writing prompts for more confidence: With these techniques you’ll get your love for writing to bloom!

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Spring is not just the start of outer but also of inner renewal. Everywhere you look nature awakens and inspires our zest for action. As soon as the pink cherry blossoms bloom our ideas flow freely. Suddenly the whole world seems ripe with stories. More than in any other season one feels called to bring the magic of new beginnings to paper. Cherry blossoms and magnolias start to bloom by themselves. It’s not always so easy for authors to find the right beginning. Fears and harsh self-doubt hinder the process before it has even started. ‘How do I begin?’ ‘Where do I find my ideas?’ ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Do I truly want this?’ are all questions that are pondered not just by authors before they undertake a new project. The first word has not even been committed to page and yet hesitation sets in. It’s one of the great ironies of life that the only way of defeating the fear of beginning is to – well – begin.

Oftentimes the task you’ve set yourself seems too big to tackle. Therefore, it might be wise to divide huge book projects into smaller, manageable pieces. Sometimes after the harsh months of winter what is really needed is to warm up to the writing process itself. In both cases, writing prompts might help you to defeat your trepidations. We at novum publishing have found five great prompts to awaken your love of writing from its hibernation. The sound of pen on paper or the hammering on your keyboard, incidentally, are great ways to tune out the voice of your inner critic.

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Five writing prompts for more confidence

Re-narration

‘If we have found our own “why” of life we shall get along with almost any “how.”’ These words from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche inspire us to look for the ‘why’ behind the urge to write. If you look for the point of inception the continuation becomes that much easier. Write about the first time the magic of writing took hold of you. Write down that experience in the form of a short story, fairy tale or even as poetry. Forge onwards with pen and paper on a quest for the ‘why’. If there are memory gaps, simply fill them in with your creativity. Read your story out loud to yourself as soon as you’ve finished it and bask in the glow of every word that reminds you of all the good feelings you associate with writing.

Recycling

You are afraid that you are facing a lack of ideas? In that case it’s clearly time to look at old calendars, notebooks, diaries, notes on your devices, sketches, or even social media posts. Look through your thought fragments on the hunt for sentences that might be incorporated into a short story or a different type of text. You’ll be surprised how much potential and creativity lies dormant within you. Maybe you’ll even have enough material for a new book after this writing prompt!

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Characterization

No critic is more ruthless than the one we face daily in the mirror. Try to perceive yourself through someone else’s eyes. Think about a person in your close-knit community. Now take a look through their eyes and describe yourself from their perspective. You should fill at least one sheet of paper with this characterization.

Now you can try an extended version of this prompt. Write a short story through the eyes of a person that you do not know. Imagine that a stranger enters a room, where you currently are. Their glance focusses on you. Imagine the thoughts this person might spare you and commit them to paper. How could this story progress? Does this person walk towards you? Does he or she start a conversation with you? Write down all the thoughts this person could have as soon as they encounter you. This technique not only fosters self-love but also invites a playful utilization of different perspectives.

Discipline

Only too often we approach our work through pressure, discipline, and perfectionism. All three of those terms read like a manual for writer’s block. Writing shouldn’t feel like a boot camp. Try a more mindful approach, when utilizing the following reflection prompt: Write the word ‘discipline’ on a blank sheet of paper and brainstorm around it. What does this term mean to you? Why do you have to present as disciplined? What do you regard as wilfulness? Can you find more friendly terms for discipline? How about calling it ‘routine’, ‘dedication’ or even ‘joyfulness’? What positive aspects slumber behind the term discipline? Likewise, what negative associations with the word can you find? The goal of this prompt is to radically change your outlook, so you may face the writing process with more serenity in future.

Self-portrait 

You are probably well-acquainted with the voice of your inner critic. But have you ever asked yourself what he or she looks like? What qualifies them to judge your talent? This prompt urges you to portray your inner saboteur. Write down with whom exactly you are dealing here. What sex does the sceptic in you possess? What characteristics does he or she exhibit? What’s the purpose of this opportunist in your ear? Take as much time as you need with this prompt. Maybe the end result is that you realize that this detractor inside you isn’t always right!

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Leave us a comment about your progress with our prompts. Or maybe there are some other writing exercises you can recommend? We would love to hear from you!

3 Comments

  1. Nakeisha Lavern Demby

    21. January 2022 at 8:56

    Need help writing my life story

  2. Elizabeth Crewe

    19. March 2022 at 14:34

    Find an incident, funny or tragic, that’s happened to you, develop the story of that incident into a short story and heigh-ho, you’ve written a chapter! Also, that incident may be at a certain age that you were, so you’ve the years before it to remember and the future after it to focus on and then suddenly you’ve written a book!

  3. Look to any events or experiences that have created a memory from YOUR past. This follows Hemingway’s dictum….’only write about what you know about.’ Regards…Phil.

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