Menu

Blogging 101, Day Sixteen: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt.

Writing prompts can be a blogger’s best friend: when inspiration is low and fresh ideas few, responding to someone else’s question can do get you out of a slump. There’s no need to treat them as requirement, though; prompts work best when you personalize them to fit your interests and perspective.

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt.

Why do this?

  • Because learning to interpret prompts will be an invaluable skill when writers’ block hits.
  • Because the best way to become a better writer is to write — and prompts and assignments force you to focus on your writing.

Prompts are not homework, and they’re not mandatory. They’re also flexible: prompts are here to help you, and the best way to make the most out of them is to personalize them.

Maybe you’ll know what you want to write as soon as you read the prompt — great! If not, don’t abandon it. Just like you customize your theme to match your tastes and preferences, you can tweak prompts to fit your interests and blog.

Take this (terrible) prompt:

Two plus two equals four: yes or no?

Sure, you could just answer the question. You also could write about why you love math, rant about the technology behind solar calculators, post a few photos of pairs of things, or tell a story about how you met your best friend in 9th-grade algebra. None of those posts answer the question; all of those posts respond to the prompt.

A reminder: comments are closed on Daily Prompts, so don’t forget to add a pingback to your post to be listed with all the other responses to the prompt. And of course, be sure to use the zerotohero tag.

Today, practice turning a writing prompt into a post that fits seamlessly into your blog. Read today’s prompt, and interpret it. Focus on a particular work. Take a broad-brush view. Use it metaphorically. Find an alternate interpretation.

If the prompt still isn’t moving you, write about whatever thought popped into your mind when you first read it. Write about why you think the prompt is silly. Or check out the comments: some bloggers might’ve already posted their responses, and you can post a reaction to one that strikes a chord. For more, check out our tips on making prompts your own.

(If you really aren’t moved by a given day’s offering, check out past prompts or browse our 365 Writing Prompts ebook. You can also search the Reader to find other options.)

We’ll be building on this assignment tomorrow, so no skipping!

Show Comments

91 Comments

Comments are closed.

Close Comments

Comments

  1. Hey guys, I’ve been blog-hopping a lot lately, and I found out that most of ya’ll have like Instagram accounts, but don’t exactly include it in your blogs. Most themes on WordPress offers social media extensions/displays, so make it easier for your readers to keep up with you and your life.

    Instagram and social networking sites are really essential not only to increase traffic, but also to let your readers know more about you, and your lifestyles, so as to complement your mainstream posts with another perspective.

    I’ve followed quite a number of bloggers I met for the past few days, and I found out a lot about their daily lives and all and what inspires them to do what they do. So, if you have an Instagram account, leave it below so I can check it out and let people know more about you.

    Your readers who have a deeper understanding of you as a person will most like associate you as a personality/brand instead of some random blogger out there, and will end up staying with you, reading, liking and commenting on your posts for at least the forseeable future :)

    Take care guys!

    1. Great post and yes I agree with you! I found out that all of the other social media connection widgets were out there and I added them all that I had another profile for. Good advice!

    2. Hi! I tried putting my instagram on my account, but I really didn’t like the way it just put loads of photos in my top bar, it took over the page! I’d prefer it if there could just be a link, but I haven’t found a way of doing that yet! Anyway, mine is laurafeasey x

      1. Oh, actually you can’t adjust the number of pictures to be shown. So if you don’t want it to flood, maybe you can just select 2 or 3? Anyway, sent you a follow!

        Take care!

    3. I’ve been working on incorporating my other other social media sites… and diversifying what I put on them (so there’s overlap, but each site has a little bit of a different flavor :) I’ve also tried to provide links to the other places I am on social media (under the About Me page). Of course, my entire blog is going to get an overhaul, layout wise, now that I’m done with Camp Nano and have a bit more time :)
      My instagram is easy: eclecticali

      1. Haha what a coincidence I am actually going to join Camp Nano later this week, but I’m still considering tho cause it’s pretty tough since well, writing a novel in 1 month is no easy task. I followed you :) Your pictures have that American feel. Man.

    4. I use Instagram – it feeds my top two photos, which are typically of my son (one of my primary blogging topics) into my sidebar. I have my Twitter account and a separate Facebook account set up for my blog. As well as Tumblr. My Tumblr & Pinterest accounts grew organically on their own apart from my blogging activities but they intersect in my interests so I use the same “handle” to keep things seamless.

      I have neglected my Pinterest account as of late though. Now that I’m creating my own “art” in the way of taking my lego photos and matching them with quotes on my 3L Wednesdays (Life, Love & Lego) I need to create a Pinboard because that is a great way to generate long range traffic for my blog because my copyright on my photos for the Lego shots are masala&blarney.com.

      Anyway you can find me on most places as Masala & Blarney or MasalaBlarney

      P.S. I love love love your blog it is stunning

      1. Thank-you for your kind words haha! Pinterest is a really great platform to share art, although I don’t use it myself since it’s a li’ll bit more peculiar than the other mainstream social networking sites. Sent you a follow, hope to know more about your lifestyle! Take care!

    5. Hello again, Lhu(Is Lhu good? What name do you prefer?)! I do have an Instagram account, but it’s one I use almost exclusively for drawings so I don’t intend to put in my blogs right now, but I guess I might at some point. My account is chinnitheace.

      -The Ace

      1. Haha my name is actually Wen Kai, but I love it when people call me Lhu. Usually people who are out of Singapore call me that. Pretty kewl actually cause I have like two identities and who doesn’t love two identities. I followed your Insta. Hope to see more postings over the years :)

        Take care!

    6. Haha Lhu it is then, even though I think Wen Kai is a totally cool name :) I guessed that might be it, it’s an Asian thing to have last names first(I’m Indian) and I find not many other people know about it. Turns out two identities aren’t enough for me-I have 4 identities-one ‘IRL’, one my alter ego, and two other online identities that both have something to do with ‘the ace’ in some form.
      Oh and thanks for the follow! I followed you too, but you probably knew that.

      -The Ace

    1. Nice good to know that now you can eat spicy food. I always have space for spicy food- thai and malaysian in particular. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. HeyLo,

    Prompts are like pills, when you run out of ideas and are stuck in the lonely jungle of blankness. All of you have to do is find the daily prompt , modify it to your own style, you know inspiring, funny, creepy, HORROR, and give it a little bit of seasoning and VOILA your new post is ready!!!!
    Prompt also magically increases your traffic as people tend to see who has wrote what related to the day’s Prompt!
    I personally love the ideas of prompt and follow it at times when I am lost!!
    It’s one of the biggest help that WordPress gives to its user!!

    So what are you waiting for?! Go on select a prompt, modify it and have fun!!

    Take care

    From the not so
    -purrfectgirl

    1. I so remember the Buried Life! It would be awesome to have MTV foot the bill to complete a bucket list. I’ve always thought of doing one, but haven’t yet. I would love to travel to Italy and Ireland to see where my family is from.

      1. My mom has been to Ireland and absolutely loved it! I definitely recommend making one, I’m not having as tough of a time thinking of items as I thought I would! Good luck with yours & thank you for the feedback! :)

      1. I really want to write/direct at least a short film and get it into a film festival, that is my #1! I have quite a bit that I would really like to do though! What was your favorite thing that you’ve completed on your list?

    2. My bucket list-

      1. Leave India
      2. Study Business Analysis
      3. Settle in Australia
      4. Travel to Machu piccu
      5. Travel to Ghana and meet my sponsored child.
      6. Adopt one or two orphans, educate them, give them a better life

      Number 1 is priority. The rest will just come along.

      Thanks for sharing your post mikmaster9000.

      tc

  3. Incidentally, for past few days, I was not able to zero in at a subject for my next post. I think, yes, this is a good idea & I find the prompts quite interesting, though haven’t responded to prompts except one instance. Well, today let me treat this as an icebreaker!

  4. This is a great one – Ring of Fire!!!

    I live in Turkey for goodness sake – everything I eat brings forth a ring of fire lol!

    Will post shortly – I’m a little incapacitated right now.

    1. Loved your blog. Coming from a house of one with no pets, I love to hear about families, pets etc and the good and bad that happen day to day.. thanks!

  5. This is good to know. Anyway that I can get ideas so that I can continue to write and get the practice I need to enhance my skills is greatly appreciated.

  6. This was a fun assignment. It took some brainstorming to get a story going, but once I started that was it! Thanks for the challenge, I am looking forward to what we will be doing with these posts tomorrow. Thanks for giving us a writing assignment! Y’all check out my post and let me know what you think.

    Now that my assignment is done, it’s time to read. I’m looking forward to see what you wrote.

  7. I normally do a photo prompt on Wednesdays from another site and had already posted it when I saw this. Will definitely return yo the daily prompt though as always looking for inspiration. This is what I posted instead (and it’s still personal so kinda counts I think) http://wp.me/p3ysl3-cj

  8. Prompts are awesome for a few reasons: it provides a topic on days when you have a block, it gives niche writers an opportunity to step outside of the box, it introduces you to various other blogs and it drives more traffic to your site. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on a prompt. Perhaps before the week concludes

  9. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU. I know have 50 followers/subscribers and have had my 1001th viewing. Thanks to everyone who has looked at my page and subscribed. Its mostly due to the Blogging 101 challenge and I cant recommend it highly enough. Firstly for us all gaining more experience and getting to know each other and for highlighting our blogs to a wider audience.
    Cheers!