I came across a great website for writing called Writing Forward by Melissa Donovan. It’s chock full of tips, advice and resources to help you become a better writer. I especially like the Writing Ideas and Writing Prompts section. She lists several examples of where to get ideas to inspire your writing. Her suggestions are refreshing and ‘out of the box’.
The How to Save Your Best Writing Ideas article really hit home as I also use some of the techniques she listed e.g.: leaving messages in your voicemail and using a voice recorder as well as carrying a notebook with me wherever I go. She says:
“Voice Recorder - Keeping a voice recorder on you at all times is another great way to make sure that no matter where you are (or what you’re doing), you have a way to record your writing ideas. Perfect for the car, a recorder is an ideal way to get a little writing done, or capture your most brilliant thoughts. Writers have used mini-cassette recorders for years, but now digital recorders are plentiful and affordable. Plus, many cell phones and mp3 players now come with voice recording capabilities.”
“Voicemail - If you’re stuck somewhere without a notebook, then just give yourself a call. As long as you have access to a phone, you can leave yourself a voicemail and make sure that your best writing ideas don’t disappear among the millions of thoughts you’re having during the day. Plus, you can call your mobile phone, home phone, or work phone!”
The Writing Prompts section is organized into four categories: Creative Writing, Journal, Poetry, and Writing. Each section has varied prompts full of depth and originality. Unlike other sites geared for writers that supply a simple phrase or sentence, Melissa’s prompts serve as a solid foundation to build a story. Some of her prompts are:
“A man who sees ghosts checks himself into a mental institute, not realizing that the facility has been closed for almost thirty years.”
“A team of researchers in a submarine are caught in a deadly sea storm. The instruments on board go haywire. They submerge deep into the ocean in search of calm waters until the storm passes. When it does, the sub surfaces but the instruments are still not functioning properly. They can’t get a fix on their location and cannot find land, which should be nearby. Then, the researchers realize there are two moons in the sky and the constellations are completely unfamiliar.”
Melissa Donovan is an innovative and engaging writer who conveys knowledge in a clear and effective manner. Her website is not only comprehensive and easy to navigate but has also been recognized by Writer’s Digest as one of the best websites for writers.
How do you come up with ideas and what techniques do you employ to stay motivated to write?