Undulate. That’s today’s writing prompt from WordPress. English is not my mother tongue, and I had to look it up:
“To move with a smooth wave-like motion.” Got it. I’ll “undulate” my way through this post, which is about the usefulness daily prompts have proved to have for the reluctant writer I used to be.
“I sit, I stand up, I walk, I sit down, I get coffee and then some more. I’m not a patient writer. But then, once in a while, I get completely absorbed in the task before me and ideas and words flow freely. The sun sets and when it seemingly suddenly rises again, I’m still sitting there in front of my computer.” This is how I used to describe my writing habits. I really wanted to write on a regular basis, but there was a resistance inside me so strong that it seemed like a physical barrier.
Then I discovered the daily prompts from WordPress. “To write more, write more,” they reminded their bloggers in 2010 and encouraged us to write a post every day in 2011, presenting us with a daily writing prompt. “Yeah, right,” I said but jumped on the challenge, and the resistance faded away as the days and weeks went by. I began to think about the resistance as birth pangs, unborn stories struggling to find their way into the world. There’s only one thing to do and that’s to sit down and start writing.
Another writing initiative I enjoy is the annual NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month, which is actually a global event), modeled after NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and founded by poet Maureen Thorson in 2003. The challenge is to write a poem every day throughout April. Cinquain, ottava rima, tanka, and pantun have been among the daily prompts, not to forget the dreaded sonnet. I’m a narrator more than a poet and didn’t expect much to begin with, but I was surprised by how easily the words and word-pictures came to me. Come April, I might give it a try again.
In the meantime, I rely on the daily prompts from WordPress to keep my writing going. They are like daily push-ups to keep the writing muscle in shape.
WordPress Daily Prompts: Undulate