The Startling Start to Write from Life

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If you just open your eyes you’ll see strange and wonderful things. Also, inexplicable things.  Things that make you wonder.  Things that make you smile.  Things that are so bizarre that you are pretty sure no one will actually believe you when you tell them about it later.

Well, here at Write From Life we’ll believe you.  And we hope you’ll believe us when we share what we’ve seen and heard with you.  We are writers and observers of human nature and we love to use what we see around us as inspiration for short writing exercises. We started this blog to share our love of writing and humanity, in all its glory, with you.

But first, a little background.

Professionally we both write non-fiction, but we wanted to do more creative writing so we formed a writing group to support each other. We met regularly and used prompts for timed writing practice. We enjoyed the meetings and workshopping our writing a lot. Unfortunately, the only prompts we could find to help us were the same old boring "An alien lands in your backyard" or "Write about a time you didn’t get what you want" type prompts.  They didn’t inspire us. We used to meet in cafes to talk and write, but we ended up spending more time looking for interesting prompts than actually writing about them. Then one day inspiration sat down across the room from us.

He looked like a character from a quirky novel.  He definitely looked like a man who had a story.  We decided he should be our writing prompt and that we would create a character sketch of this eccentric gentleman. It was so much fun that when our timer went off we were still writing furiously. When we read each other our work we couldn’t believe how much creativity "the prompt" had inspired.

So we started paying more attention to the odd and inspiring world around us, collecting snippets of conversations and bizarre sightings and experiences to share at our next meeting.  Once we were open to the idea, inspiration came to us everywhere.  At our next meeting our prompt was a phrase overheard on the metro: "I like my men sparkle-free." We made that the first sentence in a dialogue exercise. Again, the result was truly original and very entertaining.

We quickly realized that collecting the prompts was as much fun as using them, so we decided to share our experiences. As we collected the prompts, we organized them into different categories to help us focus on important areas of writing, such as character, dialogue, and setting, that we wanted to work on improving. But they can just as easily be used randomly for pure pleasure. No matter what your reason for writing, we just hope you have as much fun with these prompts as we do.

On our blog, we will be posting prompts regularly, as well as our own thoughts on reading, writing, and being writers. We will share some of our own original prompt-inspired writing too. And, if you feel inspired by one of our prompts, we’d love for you to post what you wrote in the comments.

We also want to encourage all our readers to keep their eyes peeled and their ears open and to send us any interesting prompts that they come upon in their daily wanderings. Our hope is that we can build a community of creative, supportive writers who are as inspired to Write From Life as we are!

Happy Writing!