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.
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.