Christmas Adventure Calendar

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Dec 9: The Value of Writing Prompts


By Chris Dunmire | Posted 12/13/19 | Updated 3/9/20

“It's always the simple that produces the marvelous.”
—Amelia Barr, British Novelist and Teacher

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WritingHave you ever thought about the value of writing prompts?

Like, how an author facing writers block could, through a 10-minute timed writing exercise, loosen up the subconscious to spill forward with words?

Or, how a simple question or leading phrase can become the start of a thread you can weave into a written tapestry unknown?

Writer's prompts can come in all shapes and sizes. Small questions. Leading phrases. Overheard conversations. Personal experiences. Memories. Books. Creativity Portal has a large library of prompts just waiting for you.

Famous novelist Amelia Barr, quoted above, authored 80 works of fiction. Born in 1831, Barr used material from her childhood to weave stories and scenes. Barr's own memories prompted creative adventures while serving as valuable source material for her books. Anything can be a prompt if it inspires you to write.

The value of writing prompts is immense for getting started, but also for digging deeper. I remember in high school English class our teacher Ms. Hartshorn would write a daily prompt on the board to lead us into our daily journal writing. The prompts were often introspective in nature, which was perfect for teenagers longing to be heard and understood through their private writings.

Ms. Hartshorn used our daily journal writing as a validating practice, years before Erin Gruwell's story was told through the film Freedom Writers, and the creation of The Freedom Writers Diary and Freedom Writers Foundation, a fantastic organization that does life-transforming work in schools.

Questions invite us on an inner quest. Prompts are often questions in disguise that allow us to explore our inner landscape and learn more about ourselves. When we understand ourselves, we develop more empathy and compassion towards others.

Following are some prompts you can dig into right now from Creativity Portal's 365 Photo Prompts feature, which runs every day of the year. These are curated specifically for our Christmas ADVENTure calendar, and I challenge you to listen for other prompting messages today that might get your wheels moving.

May this reflection help you gain a new appreciation for writing prompts and small leadings you encounter that inspire inner reflection and imagination.

Holiday Spirit

Writing Prompt 1: Holiday Spirit

Where does holiday spirit come from?


Writing Prompt 2: Peace

Can there really be peace on earth?

Christmas 150 Years Ago

Writing Prompt 3: Christmas 150 Years Ago

What was Christmas like in this house in the 1870's?

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