Prompts: An iPhone App For Hopeful Writers

Although I have never taken a creative writing class, I think Prompts is a lot like a creative writing class would be. I can imagine sitting down on the first day of the course and the professor walking up to the chalk board and writing “banana” in foot high letters. She then turns to the class and says, “You have the topic. I’ll expect a thousand words, typed and double spaced, on the topic for our next class.” She then walks out of the classroom, leaving us just sitting there, wondering what just happened.

I don’t know if my mythical professor is responsible for the Prompts app but am sure it is a definite possibility. The first prompt I got from the app was not “banana”, but the open-ended aspect of the prompt will be familiar to you if you were there the day the professor wrote on the chalk board and walked out.

“In my dreams I ….” No, that’s not quite right. The first prompt says, “In my dreams I,” followed by a blank note. The goal is to complete the note. Are you game? If so, finish the note. There is not a professor to require a thousand words by the next class, but at least finishing the sentence seems like a minimum expectation. Fair is fair. Since you are accepting the challenge, I will play too.

In my dreams I am typically an observer, not an actor. It is as if I am watching the movie. When I am a participant, I usually have a manager or coordinator role. It’s as if I am staging the scene for the other actors in the dream.

Most often, my dreams are quite innocuous and frankly boring. They are neither memorable nor especially interesting. If I recall them – and I seldom do – five minutes later, they are gone. Right now, I don’t remember any dream I have ever had. I have awareness of having dreamed but nothing specific comes to mind. I remember that I have had dreams that were very upsetting and likely qualified as nightmares but don’t remember them either. If you mention a dream prompt, I might recall dreaming about that once, but it’s unlikely that I could conjure up the memory without the prompt.

As you see, what I have to say about dreaming is as boring as the dreams I have. It would be more fun to just make something up, and I’m sure it would be more entertaining. I’m thinking that It would be much more interesting to write about day dreaming. I could write from actual memory. Even better, I could day dream as I write. I think I will be a super hero and save the world or at least save the damsel in distress.

I can at least conclude that the Prompts app got me to write. I think that any of us who have tried to write or thought about being a writer has struggled with what to write and more specifically with how to get started. I plan to give the prompts app a try. Perhaps you will choose to join me on my journey. If you check back from time to time, you can see how I am doing. Even better, you can click on subscribe and join me each time I take a crack at following the prompt. I hope you decide to try your hand at following the prompt along with me. In the meanwhile, pleasant dreams.