I was reading an exert from Writer’s Digest about writing prompts and I couldn’t help but control a quick grimace. See, I’ve had an awkward experience with a writing prompt that makes me leery of any I hear about now. When I was in this group once, I took a prompt and wrote a whole short story from it. It was so cool and I was really proud of myself. The prompt was something like, “talk about something embarrassing,” and this sparked this entire story line in my head about a girl who gets locked in a closet with a guy in this house that neither of them was supposed to be in.
Neat story right? At least I thought so. I was so excited to present the story to my group and it actually met with the majority of great comments about how well it was written and made most people laugh. (which I consider one of the highest compliments when it comes to my writing)
Yes…you have guessed where I am going with this. There was one guy, one guy that hated what I wrote. He gave me so much cra# about the fact that I wrote this from a writing prompt, and he even went so far as to say that I plagiarized the idea! I was so mortified, my face turned red, and I wanted to cry because I have never been accused of doing that before. I can take some harsh criticism but I’ve never had someone make me ashamed of what I wrote before.
(Image curtesy of Google Images)
It took me a long time to get over that and come to appreciate what writing prompts are for and to understand that as writer’s we draw inspiration from everywhere and that I didn’t need to be upset by what this one person thought. But it took me awhile.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you had an experience like mine?