Thursday Thoughts: Why Write?

IMG_2214July 3, 2014

It’s Thursday Thought-day again, so instead of posting a prompt, I’m posing another writer’s question.  Ponder, discuss among friends, consider, debate.

We write for different reasons at different times. Why do you write? Do you write to understand life more fully — to explore subjects, people, or places? To better understand yourself? Do you write to express and share beliefs? Do you write to create beauty?


Genre Swap

June 28, 2014  Prompt #57

photoTo wrap up revisions week, here’s a playful prompt. See if you discover anything about your writing (or yourself!) with this one.


  1. Choose a section of a story or essay you’ve written that is about a page long. Or choose a single piece of flash fiction or a short to medium-length poem.
  2. Rewrite the piece in a different genre. If it is literary fiction, for instance, try writing it in the style of traditional criminal mystery novel. If it is an critical essay, say the same thing in verse. Change a poem into investigative journalism.
  3. Write for 15 minutes.


Further Writing

  • Read what you’ve written aloud. Circle a favorite phrase or sentence. Can it be reworked into the original piece before the genre swap?
  • What style of writing intimates you the most? Try writing in that style — on any topic — for 20 minutes.

Writing Group Variations

  1. Each members fills out three index cards.
    • On the first card, write the name of a genre, such as high romance, free verse poetry, or critical review.
    • On the second card, describe a person or object. (A swimming instructor. A 9-year-old boy. A razor blade. A wooden spoon)
    • On the third card, write the name of a geographic place (Times Square in NYC. Texas Hill Country. A marsh.)
  2. Put the cards into three separate piles — genres, person/object, and geographic place.
  3. Each member draws one card from each pile and, using the genre, person or object, and place, writes for 15 minutes.



Thursday Thoughts: Trans-Genre

June 26, 2014  Prompt #55

Instead of a prompt today, I’m posing a few writer’s questions. Think about them yourself, ask other writing friends, or discuss your ideas here.

  1. Do you write in more than one genre — for instance poetry, fiction, and essays?
  2. If you write in more than one genre, do you consider yourself, for instance, a fiction writer who dabbles in poetry? Or a poet who writes the occasional essay? Or do you feel equally comfortable in a range of forms?
  3. Are you able to be more playful in the genre that is not your official form?
  4. Within a given genre, do you practice or experiment writing in different styles. For instance, if you write literary fiction, have you tried literary mystery or speculative fiction?