reddit_larrieHOW TO START.

That’s an article that I could use every day.

How to start getting out of bed in the morning.

How to start saving more money.

How to start keeping your house cleaner.

How to start writing the next article, blog, or short story.

Starting is one of the hardest parts of the writing process, especially when you hit a bump in the road. I sometimes find myself waiting for inspiration to hit and then I’ll know: “this is it; this is what I’ll write about.”

Do you know how to find inspiration, though? By writing.

In a memoir writing class that I took, we started each class with a free write. The two writers who organized and taught the class would give us a prompt and time us for five minutes. The rules were simple: write for five minutes without stopping, without correcting for spelling, even if what you write is rambling and strings of “uhhs”. Write.

I found that I could always do it; I could always write about that prompt for five minutes. And then my hand hurt.

Since that class, I’ve been without provided prompts and I haven’t done free writing exercises.

But I’ve found some prompts.

I’ve found lots of prompts.

Over on the beautiful website (that isn’t beautiful to look at): Reddit. It’s a subreddit called Writing Prompts. Users post new prompts every day, every minute, even. Here are some of the latest prompts at the top of the site today:

When you are born in 2105, everything in the known universe stops dying of old age: humans, animals, aliens, etc. Scientists come to the conclusion that you are the cause. [r/WritingPrompts]

You can communicate with your past self, but only with one tweet a day that can only go back 24 hours. [r/WritingPrompts]

Earth loses gravity at night. [r/WritingPrompts]