No-Prompt Writing Prompt

The title of this post may sound strange, but read on for an explanation.

A couple weeks ago, our little writer’s group was in a writing slump. We couldn’t decide on a prompt, so we each started just writing whatever came to mind for ten minutes, then we moved our notebooks to the left and continued with whatever each of us had come up with. For the next couple weeks we are going to share those words with you. You never know what may come out when you are forced to continue writing on someone else’s thoughts; some of these came out quite funny. We hope you enjoy them and find ways to keep your own writing journey going.

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The Importance of Editing



The other day when our writer’s group met, we started off with a writing prompt. No surprise there. And after taking most of December off from writing and being sick, it had been a while since I’d written anything except my name on a debit slip for Christmas gifts.

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Round Robin – Final Piece

Pat finished the story. We’d love to hear how you would have finished it had you been spot #4!!

“Have you ever helped someone hide?” she asked, testing him.

“Sure, that’s basic stuff. Who are you hiding from? Police?”

She shook her head.

“FBI? CIA? Homeland Security?” her head continued to shake as he quizzed her.

“The Amish?” he asked, with a grin.

She smiled back. “Thank you,” she said. “I haven’t smiled in weeks.”

“So, Miss Ninja, tell me your story,” he said as he stood and walked across the room to a mini fridge. “How about a bottle of water?”

“I’d rather have caffeine if you have it.”

He pulled out two Cokes and opened hers before handing it to her. “I have a feeling I’m going to like this story.”

She didn’t know where to begin.  It probably didn’t matter. She just needed to keep hiding. How they figured out who she was baffled her.

“Do you know who I am?” She asked.

“Professor Weingarten, instructor of Religious Studies, English Lit, and Non-Fiction Composition,” he answered.

“True. That’s true for the past two years.”

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What do writers do when they don’t feel like writing?

This blog is written by four writers of Paddle Creek Writers Group. The title line was our assignment. And I am supposed to post today.

It is 4:14 am and I am finally putting words on the “page” on my computer screen. What do I do when I don’t feel like writing? Apparently, I just stall and put it off until the last second! Plus:

  1. I think about the fact that I should write.
  2. I scribble a few words in the notebook in my purse and count it as writing.
  3. I ponder.

Number three is what I’m really good at. Pondering. It is a great way to spend time not writing. It feels like writing. At times it leads to writing. Oftentimes it improves the final product if, and should, you ever actually get to the writing stage. And it’s fun because there are no editing rules. You can play with your thoughts as if they are balls in a giant ball pit. Just toss up the thought, throw another one up with it, give them a pop as they come back down and watch them bounce and soar. It’s fun. Not really productive, but fun.

Over the years (read decades there) I have had every experience of writing and not writing (like any other writer I am sure).

Through the first years of this century I could have written the e-book “How to Get Yourself Writing When You Do NOT Feel Like It”. It would have been 55 pages of practical how-to’s and charts and examples and my story of how I produced dozens and dozens of children’s ministry products. I was diligent and excited and productive and I loved it.

The end of the last decade if I would have written the same e-book it would have been 16 words long: “I really wish I knew because I have a ton of writing I want to do.” The end. Eighteen words if you count “The end.”

Oh the phases of a writer’s life. You can smile here if you are a writer. We all have the same stages. Yes, indeed, misery really does love company.

It’s comforting to know that my writer friends struggle with the same thing. It’s tremendous to have others to reach out to when you need to be encouraged or receive a kick in the seat of the pants. And it’s lovely to have someone who will say: “Let’s meet for lunch!” when you both know you should be doing something else.

At our writing sessions on Saturdays invariably someone (or someones) will not want to write a prompt. But someone will say “Let’s do it!” and we do it. And we are glad that we did. Then, when it is time to work on our personal projects, most of the time we set a timer and work away for a while then break and chat and work again. But sometimes someone (or multiple someones) has to be goaded into working (and, by the way, that someone can be any one of us on any given Saturday) so someone goads and we work. And we are glad for it.

And sometimes there is a void of someone to do the goading and we do this:

Monopoly Deal

Pathetic, aren’t we? But we have fun! And we do have written credits each of us so somewhere along the line we have actually written productively.

I read this phrase the other day “You can do hard things.” I love that. And it’s true. I can. And I have. And I will again.

Just not when the Monopoly Deal cards come out.

What do you do to get yourself doing what you don’t feel like doing?

Pat Meyers


Prompt: E-books vs Printed Books

Okay, from the wording of this prompt, I’m assuming there are pros to e-books. If you had asked me two years ago if there were any, I would have answered no.

But now, having worked on one and actually purchased a few, I can honestly say there are a few pros to e-books.

First, they’re usually shorter and less expensive to buy. Second, they only take up technological space as opposed to shelf space in my house. Third, they can be found world-wide from a computer and not just in countries that still have physical stores. But the most awesome pro of e-books from a writer’s perspective, (which I am one), is that you can write, publish and sell your book in a matter of weeks. This is a major breakthrough for writers who know they have something worthy and important to share with the world and there is no gatekeeper, guard, or obstacle to prevent them from getting their book out. This doesn’t mean the book can be sub-par, unedited, or indecent, though. It still needs decent content, good editing, and a point to it. But the e-book revolution has opened wide the gates for all writers to enter and this is a good thing. Many a writer has been turned down for good books and now they can put them out there if they choose. The control has been moved to the writer.

There are a few cons to e-books as well. They are hard to read on small screens, and as I get older, I need larger screens, and print, not smaller. Also, because the gates are wide open, there is a lot more junk to wade through. And far more content to compete with.

However, I prefer to use a paper bookmark and turn pages of printed books, and think I will always prefer physical books to e-books. But printed books also have a set of pros and cons.

The cons to printed books are the cost and amount of resources to produce. And traditional publishers are picky about what they publish. And some hardbacks can be heavy to carry.

The pros to printed books include not taking any batteries or electricity to read, they are still portable and they advertise themselves when carried to the beach or elsewhere. Libraries are a great place to check out books to save money.

This is what I came up with the day we had this prompt. Now it’s your turn. What would you say the pros and cons are to e-books versus printed books? Let us know in the comments.