No writing 101?

English: Close up of the felt-tip STABILO poin...

English: Close up of the felt-tip STABILO point88 fine 0.4 Polski: Zbliżenie końcówki pisaka (cienkopisa) STABILO point88 fine 0,4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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?


3 thoughts on “No writing 101?

  1. Pingback: Writing 101: I’m Happy Where I Am – The Serendipity Memoirs

  2. Hi Leigh, thank you for this comment. I too suffer the same ennui. Too many years writing about things that don’t really matter to me, I think.

    I haven’t written online since Ellie passed. This morning, before I read your post, I was wondering if that is because I am avoiding the pain, wallowing in self-pity, or simply resting.

    I don’t have an answer but I did realize a couple of things. 1) my yearning to fill the void, and ease the pain, means I need to write about what matters to me, which includes my grieving process.

    2) I have a desire within me to cause myself to feel, feel, feel the pain by keeping me from doing the one thing I know that helps me heal — write about what matters to me.

    Either way, writing about what matters is what matters. Writing to a prompt, particularly when the prompt is somewhat disconnected from feeling, exploration of what matters, or facile, simply doesn’t work.

    Thank you my friend once again for inspiring me! I so appreciate when you are writing about what matters to you!



    • I noticed you’ve been quiet since Ellie’s death. I so well know that pain. My “soulmate” cat died something like six years ago and I still miss him — and sometimes call the current cat by his name…
      And yes, I think posts that come from something that matters to the writer are the ones that sing. When you’re ready to write more about Ellie and your feelings, I’m sure we’ll all love what you have to say.


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