How to Build a Writing Practice around Daily Prompts

Two problems of a daily writing practice

Writing takes practice. But as a writer, I often face two problems. The first one is the same someone might face going to the gym namely to actually go. In this instance to sit down by the desk.

The second one is what do I write when I get there. Doing a yoga sequence I know the postures and the end salute namaste. But where do I start and end my writing practice?

In other words, how do I go about my everyday practice?

What to write?

This December to bypass the question all together I came up with a list of December prompts every day until Christmas day and I am sharing them as a calender-challenge on Instagram.

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They will be similar to the ones I started sharing in November

How to start and end the writing session

The last time I worked with prompts it was with the ones from the book A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves. I would read the prompt of the day, put on earphones, and write using the writing app Ommwriter for half an hour to a whole hour.

This December I will stick to the allocated time I have set for each prompt. I would love to use the hourglass I have but I have not yet managed to time how long it takes for it to run down. So instead I am just using my phone and switched the alarm sound for a song.

And I will write in hand. Perhaps I will type it up so I can share it on Insta but haven’t decided yet.

One could argue that the writing session ends when the alarm sets off. But I like to wrap up by blowing out the candle at my desk and making sure that the desk is tidy for the next time I show up.

Beware of the pitfall of having to use the phone for both the prompts and as an alarm. See if it possible not to check the phone during the 5-15 minutes the daily prompt takes to complete.

Most of all have fun writing and enjoy december

And how did I make it to the writing desk? I set aside an hour each morning and another hour in the afternoon. Both times non-negotiable. I show up and I am becoming better at not squandering the time with planning and tinkering and better to spend the time writing. This is mostly due to the fact that I am a mother now and those allocated time slots are the only times I can write so it has actual made it easier to find my way to the desk.

So to sum up. First choose where to get a daily writing prompt from, decide on the time of day to write, and make it non-negotiable. Return to the desk every day and wrap up the writing session when the alarm sets off with a ritual of your own.

Bonus tip | Instead of an alarm I sometimes choose a song the length of the writing exercise and write to the sound, lyrics, and rhythm of the music.

Happy to connect both here and on Instagram.

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