• Casey Roberts

Prompts, No Thanks

I’ve looked through several writing apps that all boast prompts. Why would any writer need prompts? This also concerns writers in the social media climate. If you need prompts to get started, you are not a true writer. For true writers, the material never stops working its way out, there is always something to say. It’s like sneezing, you can only hold it for so long before it explodes. And make no mistake, true writers are born with chronic colds. It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are.

A lot of writing for social media is one to three lines of information. And I know for a fact that those writers are wringing their hands in worry about their content-articulate yet brief. Trying to be clear and expound while in a 200-400 character limit is enough to give some of them ulcers. I can understand the temptation for prompts here, but I think using prompts would only further limit the amount of space for the writer. I think a good rule of thumb in those cases would be: If it's not your's, it doesn't belong.

To continue with social media writing, it is very difficult to do given the limited space, it's the biggest issue. Writers are like people who never stop talking, we never want to stop telling you what is happening and what we think, we just use the keyboard to talk. There is a sort of trick or skill writers develop to combat this. It's the old saying, I'm paraphrasing, that if a word can be removed from a sentence without changing the intention of the sentence, it probably should be. We learn to make long sentences short by compromising. That last sentence was an example of this trick-no word could be taken out and the sentence still make sense. This is what social media writers rely on, doing this on a daily basis multiple times a day. They need to stay away from prompts, it's only taking up space.

Prompts border on plagiarism. It's not like stealing someone else's words verbatim, but they’re still not all genuine words. Maybe it's a "purest" thing, my aversion to prompts, but I think my position is a reasonable one.