Suspend Your Disbelief

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Resolved to write more in 2012? It's not too late.

January calendar

Perhaps one of your resolutions this year was to write more. (You too?) And now January is two-thirds over, and well, you haven’t done quite as much as you’d hoped.

All you need is a gentle kick in the pants prompt to get you started. This year, two great writing sites are each offering tidbits of inspiration:

First up, Figment, a digital community for young fiction writers, is offering a new “Daily Themes” newsletter. Between January 2 and March 30, subscribers will receive a prompt via email—what a great way to get writing first thing in the morning! Good offers a peek at the prompts so far:

Figment’s prompts have asked writers to draft a journal entry describing a character’s aspirations, dream up a scene in which disaster strikes just before a major event is scheduled to take place, and draw out the tense moments leading up to a decisive action. Figment’s prompts will occasionally come from guest writers, including today’s by Nell Freudenberger, author of forthcoming novel The Newlyweds, and a whole week later this month hosted by author Lev Grossman.

Visit the Figment blog to subscribe.

And for those who want inspiration for the whole year, the Grub Street Daily, the blog for Boston’s independent writing center Grub Street, has started a new series called 366 Days. (Disclaimer: I teach for Grub Street.) Every day of 2012, the series–curated by writer and instructor Stuart Horwitz–will offer a literary fact, along with a related prompt or meditation to spark your own work. Here’s a sample:

FACT: January 4 (1960) Albert Camus is killed in a car crash. In his black leather briefcase are found copies of Nietzsche’s The Gay Science and Shakespeare’s Othello.

PROMPT: Read authors you have an affinity for so you enjoy yourself. It’s okay to sound like them for a time until you land your own style. By studying past models of creative expression that you actually like, you will find your own mode infinitely more quickly.

It’s not too late.  There are 346 more days left in 2012.  Now go forth and write.

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