You’ll be writing about 750 words, an entirely arbitrary number or limit. We need enough to be able to spot bad habits, problems and areas for growth. You will want to jot down some ideas before committing to the piece. You will NOT turn in a first draft. Ernest Hemingway: “All first drafts are shit.” So don’t expect too much from a first draft, and don’t subject your reader(s) to a first draft. Allow yourself to fumble around a bit, to even fail. You will re-vise, self-edit and polish before submitting.
I’ve put together some prompts below to help you get started. The key for each is vivid description. Don’t just tell us she was pretty; SHOW us by richly, vividly, pains-takingly describing her to us ON A PARTICULAR DAY or moment. This makes good writing.
Option A: Recall your first love. Remember the person. The emotions. The big date, or prom. Remember his or her smell. What did you talk about? What did you share in common? What drove you crazy about him or her? Looking back now, is there a sense of sadness, of loss? Something else?
Option B: Recall your brush with the stars (or a star/celebrity/public figure). How did it happen? How did it make you feel? What were you wearing? What was he or she wearing? How close did you get? What were you thinking at the time. Sights, smells, sounds.
Option C: Recall your first memorable experience with your own writing, good or bad. What did you write? What aspect of the experience was especially painful or joyous or whatever it was? How did it alter how you think about writing, or your attitudes toward the activity of writing? How did you learn from the experience? How has it changed your behavior.
And remember: Writer’s block is a fiction (ha!). An excuse. Writing is work. Imagine a plumber saying, “Oh, I have plumber’s block today. I’m just not feeling it. I’ll plumb when I get the feeling back.” You may not feel inspired, but go to work anyway. Sit your ass in the chair and write. We all want to write well RIGHT NOW. But it takes time and work. If there is no wind, ROW!