Introducing (again) Seattle Writing Prompts

The humble writing prompt is such a great device. When you're stuck, as a writer, often times the perception is that there aren't any ideas, and that the world is bereft of good plots.

Given the idiosyncrasies of human thinking, what's maybe going on is that you are stuck in your own loops. Prompts, from the brain/emotion loops of other humans, can be helpful to spark an idea. Other's ideas surprise you, like the punchline to a good joke, and in that surprise comes a stepping out of yourself into another possible imagination. A good prompt, taken in at the right time, can enlarge our ability to write. Or, at the very least, help us find momentum until our true work interrupts to call to us.

When we started the Seattle Review of Books, Paul wrote a couple Seattle Writing Prompts. We both love the idea, but they kind of fell by the wayside, and the other work of the site took precedence.

So when the Kickstarter Fund Project was coming to an end, I decided this would be a perfect form to run on Saturdays. First, because a lot of people only get to write on the weekends, and as they're sitting at their desk, or coffee shop bench, or room with a view, or library to write that day, maybe they're in need of some inspiration. Second, because I've lived in this city a long time, and I love talking about different parts of it.

The form the new column will take is to show a picture of a Seattle location, talk a bit about it, then list five potential prompts. The whole thing is to get you thinking of ideas, concepts, and places that you might be outside of your immediate purview. Maybe some thing in the post will spark an idea, and maybe the idea itself will come not from any of our writing, but from your own loops, newly engaged.

Look for the first of the Saturday Seattle Writing Prompts to go live later this morning. And get to work!