It’s taken me a while to realize that instead of feeling sparked by participating in writing 101, I’ve felt increasingly stultified. After the first few, for some reason the prompts left me cold and the more I tried to participate the more I felt my posts growing stiffer and less me. Instead of finding a stronger voice I’ve felt like I’ve been losing it.
Generally with prompts I’m either so inspired that a piece immediately starts writing itself in my head or so uninspired that my mind goes completely blank every time I contemplate it. Occasionally if I’m slightly intrigued but don’t immediately start writing in my head, the piece will start coming together later. But usually if the prompt doesn’t grab me right away it never does.
I don’t know what it’s been about the assignments for writing 101 but I’ve just felt blank. Even the ones where I could manage to dredge something up based on the suggestion have felt like they came out stilted. I’ve felt like I’ve developed a voice in the three years I’ve been blogging. When I force myself to write about something that doesn’t really interest me, though, I can see that I lose that voice. The writing becomes formal and stiff like I’m back preparing briefs on econometric forecasting in utility cases (don’t ask–it’s even more boring than it sounds…); you can write about it well enough to make your case but there’s no way to give it your personal flair…
I’m curious how other people work with prompts. Can you write something on any prompt any time? Do some prompts inspire while others leave you cold? What happens when you try to write about something you’re not really into?