When I was a little girl, I used to write stories all of the time. I even typed them all out and made them into books to give to my family. Some of the stories didn’t make any sense at all, but I was so proud of them. Somewhere along the way, I became more self conscious about my writing. Somehow I figured out there was good writing and bad writing, writing that made sense and writing that didn’t. Maybe a little bit of that kept me from writing as often as I should or wanted to. Even in college after majoring in English, knowing how much I liked to read and write, I still was timid about my writing. I felt good when a professor praised my work, and it affected me deeply when they had negative comments or when they would highlight a peers work. I felt like they were pointing fingers saying, “This is good. Yours was not.”
Now that I am out of college, I don’t have anybody giving me grades for my writing, but I think sometimes those feelings still keep me from writing. That feeling that maybe I am not good enough. That nagging feeling keeps me staring at a empty page, mind blank, and not knowing where to even start. The epitome of writer’s block is when you can’t even start.
Writing can be so intimidating, especially if you haven’t done it very often. One of the ways I have found that helps push past the blank stare is having some kind of prompt. Today, I want you to pull out your paper and pen or open up a word document and write a short story. To help get you started, you get to go to a Random Word Generators to get five words that you must put into your story. This can be so helpful to give you an idea that you might never have thought of just sitting and staring at a page. You can find these online, or if you have a smart phone, you can even find word generator apps.
Go to Creative Random Word Generator, and click on the number 5 to generate five words for your short story. You can choose up to eight on the site, but for this exercise, you can just choose five. Then using those words, come up with a story. You can focus on one particular word to base your story on then add in the rest, or you can just start writing and add those words in as you see them fit in.
When I tried it, I got the words DIGGING, BARGAIN, HANGERS, TROPHY, and MOUSE. This is the short story I wrote:
Digging through the New Item Bargain Bins at the thrift store, Melody methodically searched for the one thing she wanted the most. She had been at it for a half hour already, tossing aside a package of hangers, a scrub brush, and old trophy, and a stack of pot holders. She had that hopeful feeling in her stomach that today she would find it. She came to this thrift store every week at the same time after finding out when they put their new donated merchandise out every wednesday morning. So every wednesday after school, Melody came to look for it. Three weeks ago, her mom had finally had enough of her messy room, picked up all the stuff that was on the floor, threw it all in trash bags, and donated it to the thrift store. Sure, it bothered her to lose so much of her stuff, but more than anything, she was most affected by losing one thing in particular. Most people wouldn’t think much of it, but this thing in particular was special.
When she was ten years old, her best friend gave her a small porcelain mouse to show their friendship. The next year, Lola moved away, and it was one of the hardest times in Melody’s life. Normally the mouse sat on top of her dresser, but that day her mom had put her foot down about keeping her room clean, it had somehow gotten knocked down by her pesky little brother onto the floor into a pile of clothes, trash and who knows what else. She didn’t care about the clothes or other things that she lost, all she wanted was to get that mouse back. It meant everything to her. It meant friendship and happy times.
Tossing aside a pencil holder, she thought she caught a glimpse of a pink tail under a purple dish cloth. Was it? Had she finally found it? There it was! And just a measly $.25. Such a small price to pay for such a priceless treasure–to have spent weeks looking for it. Melody knew that keeping her room clean was much easier than searching through other people’s old useless junk to find her treasure.
Now it’s your turn to write a short story with five random words in it! Write in the comments what words you used.
Check out these FREE Apps on iPhone or iPad to help you get past writer’s block:
WordDot:a random name and phrase generator by Endless Dot Lifestyle (This app gives you two words at a time in fun fonts and colors, and you can change one word to always be a name that you input. This app can also be upgraded to be ad free).
InspireMe–Inspiration Generator by myice92 (This app gives you three words at a time, and you can copy or email them).
WordGen by Antillas dev (This app will give you one or five words at a time and has a timer with game ideas to play).