If you've resolved to write more in 2012, a daily email with writing prompts could put you in the mood.
If your resolution this year is to write more, the challenge is twofold. Cultivating a daily practice takes discipline, while the search for inspiration can feel time-consuming and fruitless. Figment, a digital community for young fiction writers, is tackling both impediments with its new "Daily Themes" newsletter. Every morning between January 2 and March 30 Figment will hit subscribers' inboxes with a different writing prompt, reminding aspiring writers to put their thoughts into words every day and giving them fresh guidelines to get started.
Four days into the three-month experiment, Figment's prompts have asked writers to draft a journal entry describing a character's aspirations, dream up a scene in which disaster strikes just before a major event is scheduled to take place, and draw out the tense moments leading up to a decisive action. Figment's prompts will occasionally come from guest writers, including today's by Nell Freudenberger, author of forthcoming novel The Newlyweds, and a whole week later this month hosted by author Lev Grossman.
According to Figment vice president Katie Robbins, the idea for the daily email was inspired by the Figment community's demand for more ways to get inspired. Among Figment's many services are social networking, feedback exchange opportunities, and writing contests, but users were "always eager for more," Robbins says. "We wanted to do something that would encourage writers of all ages to get into the daily practice of writing and make good, carefully crafted writing prompts available to them on a daily basis."
Robbins encourages all participants to share their pieces on Figment with the tag DailyThemes. Writers who respond to prompts 10 times before the end of the project will receive a digital badge and maybe even some editorial shoutouts.
If you already have too many resolutions on your plate to add another, there may not be a reason to rush. "We’re already getting such a positive response, we’re thinking that we’ll probably extend it indefinitely," Robbins says. Click here to subscribe to the Daily Themes email.