Bromo-Seltzer for the Soul

So today’s Daily Prompt is another winner, one of those lovelies that draw an immediate “Uhm…well…I got nothing” twitchy response.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you wouldn’t give to anyone else? Why don’t you think it would apply to others?

I could sit here, paging through the long term memory (the “search” function of my brain is very inefficient and slow) and seeking a useful example. That sometimes does turn up results, hours later–as many of last month’s posts will indicate. My brain does get there (eventually), but it’s like an uphill trolley. There must be a more efficient way?

So I’ve decided to offer myself the following advice:

Stop looking for free plot idea advice and just write.

When the prompts turn up these duds (as they often will), discard the prompt and just start writing something. Maybe you can come back to the prompt later, after the slowly chugging subconscious process of your brain turns up an idea. Maybe you can adopt a different idea entirely (Writing 101, 365 days of prompts, even :gasp: your very own ideas!!)

You’re being a lazy slug and leaning on these prompts too much. Just stop it. Attitude adjustment is in order, stop whining about your First World Problems. No editor is breathing down your neck demanding 5000 words on this topic by the end of the day. You’re doing this stuff because you enjoy writing, dummy. If DP fails to noodge any easy gimmicks loose, well, you’re just gonna have to think o’ something all by yourself. Wah wah wah, poor baby.

Shut up and write.

I have no idea if anyone else needs advice like that. Gosh I hope not; I sincerely doubt I would give it to you.

I always reserve self-ridicule for, well, me.

^ Ooh, look, I’ve constructed a bromide! Two points!

RecDave Seal

Come to think of it, this entire post may qualify.


8 thoughts on “Bromo-Seltzer for the Soul”

  1. Yeah, I had to really think back to come up with something for this one.

    I’ve also worried that I’m relying too heavily on the prompts. Why can’t I just come up with something on my own? It’s been a good practice for me though, forcing myself to respond to crummy prompts.

    A lot of these prompts are for items I’ve already written about …at length…

    1. Apparently (from the other comments) it’s a pretty common worry.

      But I keep reading authors saying “The idea is the easy part.” That’s where I’m putting my wager.

  2. I’ve wondered whether I lean on the prompts too much as well. On the other hand, it’s fun to spend time agonizing over a prompt and then spending the rest of the day reading how everyone else answered 🙂

    1. Strange idea of ‘fun’. Nothing worse (for me) than drawing a complete zilch for inspiration.

      But the other authors can be a help shaking loose some kind of idea. Maybe I’m in too much of a rush to get something up today.

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