An alternative approach: Using prompts in blogging

Life has got hectic recently. The return to college for the new academic year seems to have taken over my life, leaving little time for anything else. However, I want to continue blogging and establish my publishing routine. To achieve that I’ve had to think creatively about blogging. My plan for the next couple of months is to use the WP Daily Prompts as my starting point so I’ll be using prompts in my blogging. You can read more about this and my answer to today’s prompt over on my personal blog.

My focus today on Wise and Shine is to discuss if this is an appropriate and acceptable approach to blogging, looking at a range of arguments. I hope I don’t persuade myself that its a bad idea.

What are the WP Daily Prompts

I’m sure most people are aware of the WordPress Daily Prompts as they appear daily via the app or website. The prompts encourage us to write a response to a question posed. These are usually straightforward questions to answer, but occasionally can produce quite reflective and insightful answers.

My objective

In responding to the prompts, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to produce posts that will take less time to write. As I’m more likely to be reflecting on my own experiences, that should also save time. Additionally, as I’m writing opinion-based pieces, there will be less need for research to gather evidence.

While I’m looking for speed and convenience, I also want to ensure that my work continues to be engaging and of good quality. I need to ensure I don’t let my standards drop which should be possible even though I’m working with prompts.

Prompts are everywhere

While I’m choosing to work with WP Prompts, there are a lot of other prompts across WordPress and others respond to them regularly. Its common practice for bloggers to use prompts for their writing. I don’t think its an indication of someone being lazy or unable to think for themselves. Quite the reverse. By embracing prompts we are sometimes taken out of our comfort zone and may write about something different. A prompt could be considered a challenge, stretching us. I’ve certainly looked at some prompts and thought I couldn’t possibly write anything I’d want to attach my name to on a particular subject. If I’m going to focus on prompts and want to produce quality work; that’s certainly challenging me.

Prompts are good for new bloggers

For new bloggers I can certainly see the appeal of using prompts. It helps them get used to writing. The question gives them a focus and they can work on developing their technique. However, I do accept that they need to develop their skills more and write meaningful responses that will attract and interest other bloggers. That said, we all needed to start somewhere and I’m sure we all made mistakes. Its a good way for our newer bloggers to learn.

Established bloggers should be capable of writing without prompts

I have read arguments that once we’re established, we shouldn’t be using prompts. We should be able to write, to create without any external influences. While it could be argued that the Daily Prompts are manufactured and to some extent force us in a particular direction, I would also argue that inspiration can come in many forms, and that can be a prompt too. I can be sitting on the bus or train, travelling to work and see something that triggers a thought – that too is a prompt of sorts. Therefore I would argue that we are surrounded by prompts if we’re open to receive their messages. Likewise, we choose which prompts to respond to and which to ignore. I don’t think we should automatically exclude things as we might miss something significant.


My opinion is that a prompt is neither good nor bad. It is as good as the writer/blogger makes it. We can decide how to respond. Do we simply write a couple of lines, or do we give the question some serious consideration before producing our response? We determine the quality of the post we write; the prompt is simply the catalyst, irrespective of its source. I’d also so say to anyone thinking about using prompts to trust your instincts and do what feels right to you. Blogging is such a personal journey; don’t be swayed with other people’s opinions.

I will continue with my experiment to use prompts to shape my blogs until I have more time to write my more in-depth, researched posts and hope you continue to find them of value. For more of my writing check out my personal blog, but I also hope you’ll sign up to Wise & Shine to benefit from the writing of the many great bloggers contributing to this site.

38 thoughts on “An alternative approach: Using prompts in blogging

  1. Writing for prompts can trigger our creativity in directions we hadn’t thought of before. I do write mostly for prompts, though it’s almost been 5 years since I started my blog.

    1. You were … are …. one of my positive examples, Sadje. I think it’s really down to what we make of our opportunities, including blogs. Keep up the good work Sadje

      1. Thanks Brenda! I think that like you said, prompts and challenges, especially poetry challenges take me out of my comfort zone and help me grow both as a writer/ poet and a blogger.

  2. I have been able to use the prompt questions provided by word press to my comfort and write in a creative way. A question can be approached in multiple ways and I love reading other bloggers work for the same prompt.

    1. I know what you mean Ganga. It was an interesting post, exploring this. Thanks for sharing your perspective 😊

  3. Interesting approach Brenda. I like when you say that prompts sometimes take out of our comfort zone and we may write about something different. I don’t use WP prompts but I take ideas from my readings. I don’t stretch out too much because I read what I like but I also don’t waste time in waiting for inspiration.

    1. I dont tend to wait for inspiration… it tends to grab at me when I’m not looking … or wakes me up at 4am. You always seem to come up with interesting and relevant topics, Cristiana

  4. I personally love the WP prompts. I’m having a bad case of writer’s block, which finally might have a light at the end of the tunnel…
    But in the meantime the prompts allow me to write and express thoughts, whether they be simple or introspective

    1. Sorry that you’re struggling with writers block. You’re right, although there are different reasons, the prompts allow us to continue writing.

  5. Very hard for me to keep up during the school year, too (as a teacher). But I keep a list of ideas going and have even been looking for collaborative opportunities as a way to motivate me to stick to some sort of regular regimen!

  6. I love your conclusion that, “We determine the quality of the post we write; the prompt is simply the catalyst, irrespective of its source.” Right! An interesting post, Brenda!

  7. I was thinking of trying that myself. Thanks for the encouragement though this post Brenda!

    1. It’s worthwhile if a prompt ‘speaks’ to us.
      I read your post … im jealous that you were in Seville

      1. 😊☺️🎈Amazingly beautiful city, even for someone like me who is not a city person. Now next stop Lisbon ( another great city ) and the Camino Portuguese walk on Wednesday.
        That walk, I imagine will awaken a lots of good questions and prompts, no?

      2. I would imagine. 😁
        I spent 6 weeks in Seville while I was at Uni. It was amazing. I feel I need to revisit so I can blog about everything 😁
        enjoy Lisbon and I look forward to reading about El Camino

      3. Wow! The UNI that used to be the Tobacco factory of the king? Lucky you☺️

      4. No. I was at a summer school. I was at university in Glasgow. But yes, to study at the old tobacco factory would have been interesting. I only have a photo from the outside

        I also love the story of Carmen

      5. She was a gitana, working in the tobacco factory. But also centres around the bullring

      6. Ohh yeah they told about the Gitan women working there. They had a bad reputation from before so could be used as workers there. And it turned out to be the win win situation for those women. Who could work and earn their own money and fight for their rights in the workplace.

        I will read her story. Thanks for the recommendation.

  8. Stellar blog post here. Well written and encouraging post about the an alternative approach to blogging by using prompts.

    Daily prompts appear everywhere on WordPress and the good news is that they always allow a Blogger to write about something new. As for me, I don’t use them but I do like to read other Blogger’s work and comment as a way to participate in the question posed by the prompt. It is that my niche is strictly centered on Men’s Fashion & style and nothing else. I only write and can be creative in only this one niche being fashion & style💯👏

    1. Thank you as ever for your support and encouragement. Yes, i can imagine the restrictions of remaining within a niche area. We need some fashion prompts for you 😁

Leave a Reply