14 Prompts

Practice Writing Prompts that Inspire

Want to Get Better at Writing? Write MORE!

If you want to get better at writing, focus on writing MORE not writing better.

A high school pot­tery teacher split his class in half. To one half he told them they only had to pro­duce one per­fect pot by the end of the semes­ter and they would get an A. He turned to the other class. They had to pro­duced fifty pounds of pots by the end of the semes­ter. It didn’t mat­ter whether the pots they made were good or not. They had to be pots and there had to be fifty pounds of them.

By the end of the year, who do you think pro­duced the best pot?

It’s really a ques­tion of what makes bet­ter work, qual­ity or quantity?

I recently got back from a year-long trip around the world with a big group of peo­ple. One day in the Transylvanian moun­tains of Romania, one of my friends asked for some advice. “I want to be a writer. How do you do it?”

“Write every day,” I said. “Do you do that?”

“No, but I have a lot of ideas for good books.”

“That’s not enough. To be a writer, you have to write. Every day.”

He didn’t bring up the sub­ject for a cou­ple of months. I thought I had scared him off when he came up to me in Turkey. He had spent two weeks writ­ing a novel, and wanted my advice.

“How much have you writ­ten?” I asked, expect­ing about five or six pages.

He replied, “One-hundred and fifty pages single-spaced.”

Holy crap. There I was strug­gling to write a page a day and he was writ­ing ten a day. Later that year, he wrote three-quarters of a movie script and five episodes of a TVseries. I saw some of his stuff and it had plenty of flaws, but in the mean­time, I only had writ­ten a few blogs, a dozen pages in a novel, and another two dozen of worth­less crap.

It’s a ques­tion of what makes bet­ter work: quan­tity or quality?

Who pro­duced the best pot in the class? The quan­tity peo­ple or the qual­ity peo­ple? The qual­ity peo­ple spent hours on a sin­gle pot, throw­ing it and rethrow­ing it. But by the end, none of them had made a per­fect pot. The quan­tity peo­ple on the other hand, made so many pots so quickly that over time they fig­ured out how to do it right. By the end of the semes­ter, they could throw the per­fect pot.

Quantity wins.

And my friend? He’s start­ing to become a bet­ter writer than me. Now, I’m ask­inghim for writ­ing advice.

PRACTICE

For fif­teen min­utes, write as much as you can about the peo­ple you work with. Do you ever have any con­flicts with them? What do they look like? What are your inter­ac­tions like? Don’t edit. Just write.

Make sure you post your prac­tice in the com­ments. Let’s see who can write the most!

About Joe Bunting

Joe is a ghostwriter, editor, and an aspiring fiction author. He writes and edits books that change lives. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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