I went to a French high school. We didn’t do things like the Prom Queen and King. Come to think of it, I wonder if any of the English schools in Quebec did? Maybe it’s just an American thing. I honestly don’t know and frankly, don’t feel like looking it up because, in the grand scheme of things, it means diddly-squat. Prompt Queen? Now that’s a different story.
Somehow any writing I have done in the past few years has been a good ninety-to-ninety-five percent prompt-related. How did this happen? Is this a bad thing or a good thing? Or a nothing to even waste my energies on? I know I am far from alone. Many bloggers only write prompt-induced posts. And that is a fine thing. It has helped me work on my writing chops, I think. Plus, when it comes to creativity, I need a nudge.
I take a pause in writing to think about this, and what my point shall be while I make myself a coffee,
then get side-tracked by catching up on my daily blog reading, check my emails, and I land on my horoscope. Coz yeah, I receive it daily, even though I don’t buy what they’re selling. However, it is ironic that today’s says this:
You may find yourself asking some major life questions today, Aries. Thoughtful Mercury finds itself opposed to grandiose Jupiter, asking you to ask whether you have all of the tools you need for the career you wish to create for yourself. You may find yourself revisiting educational or travel plans today. A positive sense of optimism permeates the day, lending support and strength to your questioning.
Okay, so why I write what I write is not a “major life question” but it is one of the questions I’ve been posing myself lately, and the only one I shall tackle at this time because it does affect how I spend some of my time. Time that suddenly became plentiful, yet ill-used. Since March, our lives, the world over, have been turned upside-down, sideways and inside out in a manner none of could ever have imagined. Now that we are almost half a year into this (Seriously?!?!) we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. How are we spending this time? Everyone has seen some kind of change in their schedule. Some barely had a break as they went from working in an office to working from home (and are working up to 20% more than before), some went from working days to working overnight, many of us lost our jobs, some were/are on hold, waiting, convinced they will be able to return to their former jobs at some time (though less and less a probability) and some, like me, have managed to find new jobs. A first, it seemed this no working thing would be the perfect time to tackle projects! Um. No. I couldn’t justify it as projects require money which is no longer coming in, or at least, not with the same flow. Many took up baking and cooking and gardening. And reading. And writing.
Many bloggers went to town. Suddenly the once, twice or thrice-weekly bloggers became daily bloggers. The multi-posters wrote even more. My inbox overflowed. (I hate using the Reader though I swear I am contemplating moving to it so that my overwhelm doesn’t send me to the looney-bin.)
I know I have a point to all this. Oh yes. Prompts. I don’t know how I went from Friday Fictioneers to also participating in Crimson’s Creative Challenge, Weekend Writing Prompt and an occasional dVerse. I don’t like to post more than once per day and I’m not a daily blogger, either. I often would find myself wanting to write about something and then thinking, oh no, it’s Wednesday, that’s when I do FF and then I can’t write it on Thursday because that’s when I do CCC and then it’s too late because that feeling has passed. Just so you know, there is no obligation for me to write FF on Wednesdays nor CCC on Thursdays. It is all self-imposed. The reason I do this is it gives me a chance to read everyone else’s story/poem, whatevs… because. There is the rub. I’m an excellent participant and reciprocator. But it is as time-consuming AF to read and comment on 65 other 100-word stories. And I do. Mostly. I have since cut back on those who don’t even acknowledge my comment – after a few weeks of nothing, I drop them. Got better things to do with my time. And there are those who never visit mine. (And that’s okay, too. Just don’t expect me to go to yours after a while, either.) That’s what blogging is.
So what about those blogs I follow (and love) and read outside of these prompts? I feel so bad when fellow bloggers read me and I find myself three posts behind on theirs. How much time per day is a person supposed to sit on their ass reading and commenting on blogs? I swear I must read a novel’s worth per day. When can I sit on my ass and read a book? Because, frankly, after reading off the computer for 3-4 hours (if not more) I no longer feel like picking up a book.
That’s a helluva detour to my point, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why I do these prompts. They force me to keep myself brief as none of them are longer than 150 words. 😉 They have and will continue to serve their purpose as they push my creativity to write different things. And I think my writing has improved because of these challenges so no, I am not giving them up. I am, however, going to cherry-pick from now on because for me it is important, when participating in a challenge, to participate. I’m not a write-and-run kinda gal.
Back in February 2016, Eric Tonningson, Awakening to Awareness (a coach, speaker, writer, blogger I admire) commented with: “Hey, where are those thoughtful Dale posts??? All I’m seeing in my WP Reader is Friday Fictioneer stuff. 🙂”. I haven’t heard from him since this time, last year, but his words have been swirling in my head lately.
What would he say now? He’d probably nod his head in agreement.
I have now seen the light. I officially demote myself from Prompt Queen to Prompt Baroness.
Apologies. I understand if it was TL:DR