I know creative writing prompts are usually thought of as, well, creative writing prompts. But the truth is that professional writers can learn from them as well.
Skeptical? That’s okay. Just bear with me.
Believe it or not, creative writing prompts actually offer a number of benefits to professional writers. For the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to stick with just three of those.
Let’s start out with the fact that trying your hand at fiction can give you new insights into how you present yourself and your messages. That’s a positive in just about any situation, but it’s especially important in today’s business environment.
More and more, professional writing is becoming much more conversational in its tone and style. And creative writing is – at its best – a conversation so riveting that one person (the reader) doesn’t feel like talking, only taking in what the other has to tell.
Of course, professional writers are used to starting out business articles or work-oriented copy. Chances are pretty good they don’t dream up story ideas 24-7. Which is perfectly fine. They don’t need to thanks to creative writing prompts like Innovative Editing’s Writing Prompt #1:
They say revenge is sweet. But when you have your enemy in your sights, I say it tastes much more like pizza.
Care to give it a try? All you have to do is continue that story with whatever lines, paragraphs or pages it inspires.
If your answer is no so far, fair enough. Then try approaching this challenge from a problem-solving perspective instead. Perhaps, in real life, you’re a boss who’s dealing with a problematic employee or an employee dealing with a problematic boss.
Instead of envisioning your hands wrapped around this problematic person’s neck, try writing a story out where you approach them or they approach you. How does that turn out? How can it turn out?
Or maybe you’re at a professional crossroads, where you have a decision looming over your head. In that case, Innovative Editing’s Writing Prompt #36 could be just what you need:
I had a choice to make. There was no room to hesitate. So I flung that third door open and ran in to whatever it held.
What would it look like if you went with “that third door”? What would be the benefits and negatives?
Keep in mind that this is more than just a bulleted list of pros and cons. With a creative writing prompt, you have the chance to more actively feel emotions and further explore possibilities.
Then there’s the stress-relieving advantage to consider. You get to put aside your professional requirements and delve into absolute fantasy here: worlds you can control and dictate, mess up and fix as you see fit. There’s no stress or deadlines or requirements involved. It’s just you and your imagination.
That exploration can be nice and reality-based like Writing Prompt #61:
“Has anyone ever told you your life doesn’t have to be nearly this stressful?” he asked.
That blew me away.
Or you can go crazy with Writing Prompt #63:
The hydrojet glided through the air, its engine purring with pure menace. Looked like the thought police were out again.
Whatever it is, you jot down the story-continuing lines that pop into your head. Maybe it’s a few more paragraphs. Maybe it’s several pages. And maybe it turns into something much more substantial and sustainable and even profitable.
You just never know where creative writing prompts might lead or how they can help. Not until you try them out for yourself, professional writer or not.