To Prompt or Not To Prompt

89D7CF32-2469-41AB-A53A-BE1D5F14D087I saw this comment below on another blogger’s post yesterday:

“I have no real interest in posts that are a result of prompts by others. The pleasure (to me) of this community is to read about the bloggers — their lives, challenges, wants, dreams, and myriad of things that go into their typical day.”

Do you agree with that commenter? Do those of you who are reading this have little interest in posts that are written for prompts from other bloggers? Would you prefer posts that are more about life, challenges, dreams, wants, and daily activities?

I haven’t made any definitive counts, but I’m guessing that the vast majority of my posts over the past year have been written in response to prompts. Photo prompts, word prompt, and other writing challenges. And aside from my political rants about Donald Trump and the Republicans, not very many of my posts have been about my personal “life, challenges, wants, dreams, and myriad of things that go into my typical day.”

I enjoy writing flash fiction, particularly in response to photos/images. It gives me a chance to let my creative juices flow as I interpret the images that serve as the prompts and craft short stories around them.

Likewise, word prompts, and other writing challenges also allow my imagination to run wild and to write tales leveraging the words that are offered up for inspiration.

It was nice when WordPress had its daily word prompt and its weekly photo challenge. One word prompt a day and one photo challenge a week, plus a few other bloggers’ prompts, was perfect. But since WordPress stopped its prompts at the end of May, a whole bunch of bloggers — myself included — have stepped up with their own word prompts and photo challenges. And I have been doing my best to post in response to many of them.

Which then begs the question: have I gone overboard with respect to prompts? Should I instead be writing more personal posts dealing with my real world life and daily activities?

Well, I’ve made a decision and I want to thank you all for listening and for helping me think through this conundrum. After giving this a fair amount of consideration, I have decided to continue writing flash fiction in response to prompts. And I’m going to continue ranting about Donald Trump and all the shit he’s doing and saying. In other words, I’m not going to change the way I blog.

If you have anything you’d like to say on the matter, please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

54 thoughts on “To Prompt or Not To Prompt

  1. syncwithdeep September 22, 2018 / 6:52 am

    Yea, i also came across this post today. Actually prompts have helped me to think better and discover many new words and ideas. I love the prompts and would also love to attempt at least a few.. Of course without a prompt, one can write about social causes, review, life experience or something that interested them. These actually quite a lot of stuff we read in FB and its hell boring to see repeated stuff in different versions by different people. The picture prompts and flash fictions are always a challenging attempt to write within the word count. I would definitely cast my vote for prompts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Thanks. Me too! Besides, who cares about my personal activities of daily living?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. stoner on a rollercoaster September 22, 2018 / 6:53 am

    You have come to right conclusion. In the end of the day it’s your blog. Do your thing and you will attract audience accordingly.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. rugby843 September 22, 2018 / 7:05 am

    I agree with the above comments and just say, whew. I would hate it if you stopped writing prompt responses. It IS your blog and do what you like. I very much enjoy reading your posts, whatever they involve. I’m not surprised I didn’t get that as a comment because I do a lot of prompt posts. Write what you want. There are plenty of things to read here and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it! This is a fun place to express your thoughts. Don’t let anyone ruin it for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. SoyBend September 22, 2018 / 7:05 am

    I enjoy writing from prompts. Thanks for your word a day prompts. I was so sad when WordPress stopped posting prompts. I happen to be working on a novel that started from a prompt in a writing class. Prompts work for me! Keep up the great work on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rugby843 September 22, 2018 / 7:06 am

    Rereading, I am surprised that didn’t pop up as a comment for me, but hey, they don’t read ne because I prompt too much!! : ))))))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rugby843 September 22, 2018 / 7:08 am

    Ok, it’s early. My fingers hate typing on the small phone screen….how many excuses can I use, headache? : ) Have a good day.♡

    Liked by 1 person

  7. newepicauthor September 22, 2018 / 7:09 am

    That blogger is clearly not a writer, as they want to read about people’s mundane lives and although I do think it is good to share, I would rather read posts that say something significant instead of someone droning on about themselves, their kids or their pets.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Suze September 22, 2018 / 7:17 am

    many of my own posts have been the result of prompts..they sometimes kick my brain into drive so a post can be written. I like posts that are interesting to me, touch me in some way or anger me…anything that brings about an emotional response. it shouldn’t matter where that emotion originated. I think the writer of the “disdain for prompt posts” perhaps takes themselves too seriously. Just imo.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. sandmanjazz September 22, 2018 / 7:40 am

    I find that prompts can often help inspire creativity for me and galvanise a story or what which my no have had chance to air before. Not to mention when the Daily Prompt posed a question or a set up it challenged the mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. pensitivity101 September 22, 2018 / 8:13 am

    Very interesting comments here Fandango. I’ve done all your daily prompts, and most are a reflection of my life somewhere along the line, so I guess I’ve linked the two. I enjoy blogging, and the prompts I participate in too as I find it fascinating to read the different takes on the same image.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 8:42 am

      As I’m sure you know, the comment I quoted in my post was made on your post yesterday in which you showed off your new theme. It did get me thinking about how many prompts I participate in and inspired this post. So I have to thank you for that!


      • pensitivity101 September 22, 2018 / 8:44 am

        It’s good isn’t it, how ideas bounce off individuals. I’m taking stock of how many I do, but I still have my favourites!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Melanie B Cee September 22, 2018 / 10:19 am

    Speaking strictly for myself? I LOVE the Daily Prompts. I was so glad people stepped up after WP dumped the idea. I don’t know if you read yesterday’s “DP” by me, but I said this “I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently, some new ones and some old favorites.   Some folks have spoken up about the Daily Prompts.   So I thought I’d add my two cents to the hue and cry.    I like or even possibly LOVE the Daily Prompts.   They give me some fodder for my brain mill on mornings like this one where nothing much is getting done.  Where pain and resultant brain dumbs render me speechless in writing.   I thanked the valiant souls who post a prompt recently, and I reiterate that today!  They’re magnificent!!  ” So that’s my two cents, for what it’s worth. You do what you feel best doing of course, it’s YOUR blog…and flash fiction isn’t for everyone..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 11:20 am

      Of course I read your “DP” post yesterday. I love what you do with the daily prompts. Thanks for your support for mine (and the others). And thanks for adding your two cents.


  12. crushedcaramel September 22, 2018 / 10:38 am

    I think prompts are great. They definitely put ideas in my head, or give the ideas already there some direction, some momentum. I am very grateful form them.
    Different bloggers use prompts differently, some of us weave multiple prompts into one story or poem. Others make a prompt the whole theme or subject of a post.
    Plus…the bloggers hosting writing prompts are providing a huge aid to a supportive network of bloggers who will kindly look at your response to the prompt mainly to encourage the supportive spirit of bloggers.
    Each to their own…but I am extremely thankful for prompts and those who are providing them!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. JT Twissel September 22, 2018 / 10:38 am

    I only blog if I have something to say – in response to a prompt or from thin air. Doesn’t matter. Inspiration is inspiration. I want to know about someone’s inner life more than their everyday activities but it all depends on the writing. Some folks can make washing their hair a joy to read!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 11:26 am

      If I had any hair on my head left to wash, that would be a joy.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. XingfuMama September 22, 2018 / 11:19 am

    Prompts are just a jumping off point. As a photo blogger I have learned a lot about composition by seeing the may different ways the same prompt can be approached. The prompts also provide a sense of community. Using them doesn’t mean that you always use them, some speak to you and others don’t…or maybe I should say I have thoughts to share on some and not others.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Christine Bolton September 22, 2018 / 11:22 am

    I love the challenge of Daily Prompts. The more I do, the more I share, the more of others’ work I get to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Marleen September 22, 2018 / 11:34 am

    I learned something about your personal life recently because of your flash fiction in response to a promt. That was fun. [You don’t want to know how I knew.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 12:36 pm

      Uh oh. I need to be careful about revealing too much about myself in my flash fiction.


  17. V.J. Knutson September 22, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    I have to say there are so many prompts, and I exhausted myself trying to keep up, but what I do now is pick and choose. will confess, though, that sometimes I skip over reading posts that are prompt driven and I did not join in. Especially if there have been multiple posts from that blog in one day. Seems to me, that said, that we all do what suits us and it works out.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Renard Moreau September 22, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    🙂 A prompt is another aspect of blogging.

    In the past, I mentioned to you that you filled the void for a lot of people when WordPress gave up on their prompts.

    As a matter of fact, prompts allow bloggers to exercise their creativity.

    You should not give up on your various prompts because some blogger would rather read something else.

    Each blogger has their preference and I respect that.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. J-Dub September 22, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    I say to each his own and variety is the spice of life. What I enjoy defies explanation. Prompt or no prompt I’ll continue reading your blog because I find your content interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Irene September 22, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    I would not have found your blog and many others I really enjoy if not for the prompts, especially the prompts that appeared after WP discontinued theirs.

    J-DUB said it right; the Blogosphere is vast enough for each visitor to choose whatever they prefer.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. cagedunn September 22, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    Did you get enough responses? Wow, I mean wow! People like to have their say, don’t they?

    Whether it’s through the little stories (where they do show a little of their undies, but only as much as they’re comfortable with), poetry (much deeper insights come from those lines), all the way to tirades – which are very personal.
    Every time a person creates something, there’s a bit of themselves in it whether they accept it or not. Every word comes from some level of life experience, so the voyeur who doesn’t like to respond to prompts and prefers reading ‘personal insights’ is missing out on most of the subtext that is in the prompt responses …

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Frank Prem September 22, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    Yep. I agree. My responses go to my archives for work I have already done to my own satisfaction, and to my own prompting.

    Sharing when prompted is quite fine, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The Abject Muse September 22, 2018 / 2:47 pm

    I much prefer writing prompts to blogging (or reading) about what’s going on in day-to-day life. My life is personal and what goes on in it doesn’t need to be broadcasted. Writing to prompts provides me with a nice, temporary escape from the “real” world.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. sonyavdg September 22, 2018 / 4:54 pm

    As a blogger I love prompts including yours. Maybe the writer of the post would say that creativity should come from within, but it’s a big world out there. As a photographer sometimes the thought of ‘let’s just go out and take a photo’ seems a bit overwhelming. A prompt can provide focus. I’m trying to take and post at least a photo a day and I like the game of hunting out something that fits one of the daily or weekly prompts I have on the go. I also love the community that prompts build up – seeing how others have interpreted the theme.
    As a reader of your blog I do tend to read your ‘rants’ more closely than your flash fiction – but that is a result of my particular interests and isn’t a reflection on the quality of your fiction. As an observer from afar who is fascinated by US politics I really enjoy seeing your take on some of the things going on over there
    But it’s your blog. Unless a blogger is using the blog to make money – either through advertising or by selling something then isn’t it about what gives you pleasure?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 10:09 pm

      For my own mental health, I use prompts and flash fiction to try to escape what’s going on in US politics. It’s too frustrating, depressing, and scary. But there are times when I can’t help but rant. I’m glad you enjoy them. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. ArtisanX September 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    Isn’t what you write, whether from a prompt, or not, a reflection of you? Who am I to argue with the opinion of others. That is what I LOVE most about this community. You have the ability to pick and choose what you want to read and respond only if you feel the desire. I would like to think my posts are exactly what they are looking to read, and just because I use other prompts, doesn’t change the fact that they are my stories, my history and my thoughts. I think my trouble with this, is the fact that the person who wrote it, actually posted it. But I digress, I have written way to much already on this comment 😳😛 Seriously though? There are other forums that they may find more pleasure in frequenting. After all, that type of comment is what Facebook is fo .😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      You, like me, pack in a lot of prompts into the posts you write, but while many of mine are used for flash fiction posts, yours are more personal. You post about things you’re doing, places you’ve visited, your local weather and how you’re dealing with it. I think the person who wrote that comment would appreciate your prompt responses more than she would mine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ArtisanX September 23, 2018 / 8:30 am

        I guess. But I love yours. I’m not saying that to suck up or anything, but the creativity that goes in to flash is so much more captivating. Then again I am that creative type and I am sure if I did more than just my 365 I’d be doing a lot more story telling. (I just don’t think I’d be too good at it.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango September 23, 2018 / 10:15 am

          Based upon your posts that I’ve read, you would be very good at storytelling.

          Liked by 1 person

  26. Sight11 September 22, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    I think we three started writing flash fiction around the same time (and it was more because of my stickler nature that you and Sandi tried prompts, you can thank me later, ha!), that said I do miss post of Sandi and how she would weave her life in prompts, although Jim does that too (his posts I love too..especially in which his mother saved the cake), the point being whatever floats your boat…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 10:18 pm

      I guess Sandi has quit blogging, as it’s been three or four months since last posted anything. Or maybe she moved her blog to another platform.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 September 22, 2018 / 10:21 pm

        I occasionally drop a comment to see any signs of life on her blog.. By the way no vegan cake for me with big words Thank you… For pushing you to flash fiction?

        Liked by 1 person

          • Sight11 September 23, 2018 / 12:29 am

            I didn’t inspire you more like push you.. Haha! You although inspired me Sensei, I have to tell you your humour is one of a kind..

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango September 23, 2018 / 7:05 am

              It’s a good thing it’s one of a kind. Can you imagine a world full of Fandangos with the same, strange sense of humor?

              Liked by 1 person

  27. DailyMusings September 22, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Prompts can help to get ideas going. They allow me to see what others have posted, and follow new people. Some of my posts become personal in nature due to the prompt. The fact that someone only wants to read personal information about people and their lives I find a bit jarring, but whatever. Glad you will continue writing and posting and prompting


  28. Marilyn Armstrong September 22, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    I like the prompts — and I like reading about real people, real lives, real feelings. I do not enjoy the current trend to turn prompts into some weird blog version of scrabble. But it occurred to me that no one was forcing me to do it, so … I don’t. A prompt can be a useful way to dig out something interesting from your subconscious. it’s not a substitute for creativity, but it’s a nice sidebar.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. znjavid September 22, 2018 / 10:20 pm

    To be honest nobody really reads my posts if I write about my life. All the views I get on my 2 blogs is from posts I write in response to prompts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 22, 2018 / 10:35 pm

      I, too, get more views, likes, and comments on my prompt response posts.


  30. leigha66 September 30, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Depending on what the prompt word is it can trigger anything from pure imagination to something very personal. I realize everyone has their favorite genres to read, put prompts can still fit into them depending on the writer. I enjoy your prompt posts, it shows a different level of writing when you accomplish the multiple prompts in one post. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’re readers will find you!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. NamiTalwarrior December 28, 2018 / 2:07 am

    I completely agree! I really miss the daily prompts because I don’t find my day-to-day life very inspirational, and that has an effect on my blogging. I would love to see more prompts and responses to those, because the responses are always coloured by an individual’s experience, and so that brings in the personal touch anyway! Where do you normally go to find writing prompts now?

    Liked by 1 person

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