The Write Practice: 14 Prompts by Joe Bunting is written almost as an extended essay on “prompts,” or ways of overcoming writer’s block. Along the way it gives some great suggestions for others who might feel unduly afflicted by malaise concerning writing and productivity. I followed the hyperlinks to Amazon and downloaded free samples of the suggested books to examine later. Amazon samples can also prod a writer’s thoughts into new directions. This publication is also a prompt to follow TheWritePractice.com, something I have yet to do but I am sure I will.
This is a fast read written in an entertaining style. I kept the highlighter cursor on for thoughts that I considered particularly helpful. The 14 prompts are what I would call situational prompts rather than very specific words or phrases. Not ever segment fits every reader or writer. Following are some of the ones I liked.
Prompt one: “The best time to write is when you first arrive at a new place, whether that’s a new country, city, or even restaurant. Everything is fresh and new and strange”. (loc 165).
Prompt two: There are very specific mechanical suggestions here for things you can do to kick-start writing.
Prompt three: Whew! I hope it doesn’t take five years to find my voice.
Prompt four: An identification of an essential six elements to a balanced story. See if you agree with these elements. Should there be more or fewer?
Prompts five, six, and seven: I didn’t find worked for me but
Prompt eight: Be still. This is valuable advice.
Prompt nine: I could not identify with at all but
Prompt ten: will satisfy all those who seek ways to use their time better.
Prompt 11: too depressing for me.
Prompt 12: I had no interest in.
Prompt 13: Good, but I think it goes hand-in-hand with Prompt eight.
Prompt 14: has good advice for perfectionists.
And the end note is really good. I want to share this quote: “What is nobler still is the person awake to the breeze on a cool fall day; the person who can hear joy in a child’s voice; the person who can look out at the morning filled with that haze and half-light that mornings have; who can see the silhouettes of trees, the outlines of birds; who can hear the birds and the crickets and the life of morning, and see them. Just see them. Really see them. How can I convey what it is to see? How can I show you that there is nothing more than this moment and that it is good?” (loc 631-638).
I am not a fan of motivation books or authors who make money from trying to kick me into a higher state of awareness. I avoid books like that. I am glad I did not avoid this one.