Have you ever had one of those itches that you just can’t scratch yourself? Sometimes you need a back-scratcher (or a helpful spouse) to hit the right spot and get you back on your way, and that’s exactly the way I’ve felt about writing lately.
For several years I ran a successful hockey blog, often publishing multiple posts on a daily basis, but after making a career change and relocating my family to New Jersey, I’ve fallen out of that practice. That itch keeps coming back occasionally, however. I’m often not quite sure what to write about or which angle to take. Basically, I needed a good mental back-scratcher.
So the other day I bought 642 Tiny Things to Write About, a sampling of prompts from the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. It’s a remarkable collection of pushes & prods to get your brain moving in unanticipated directions, and I’ve enjoyed looking through it so far. The basic idea is that you’re given a particular prompt, and only a small amount of space in which to write your answer, usually with room for 2-3 sentences at most.
Personally, I enjoy the “tiny” aspect the most. If you’re active on Twitter, you know that brevity is essential; 140 characters doesn’t leave much room for extraneous verbiage fleshing out the point that you’re trying to communicate to your readers (see, that’s how it can all go wrong!).
Rather than just keep these exercises to myself by scribbling in my book, I’m starting a new category here on the site called “Tiny Writings”, which will feature my reaction to these various prompts. I hope they serve as a useful creative catalyst for you as well, and I invite you to participate in the comments below this article. Once you’ve left your comment, you can even click here to send out a tweet and pass along the invitation to your followers, too!
So let’s get started, shall we?
Tiny Writing Prompt
Write yesterday’s fortune cookie. It got everything wrong.
“Brace yourself for an impromptu journey to an exotic destination.”
The thinking here is that yesterday I had anything but an impromptu journey, but instead I made one of my recurring business trips to Altoona, Pennsylvania. While it’s a busy, blue-collar town with a nice minor-league ballpark (I almost saw an Altoona Curve game last week, but it was rained out), I wouldn’t exactly call it “exotic”.
So there you go folks, my first crack at a Tiny Writing Prompt. Head down to the comment box below and take your shot!