The Most Effective Writing Prompt

PokeEarlier today a friend, and fellow poet, Thom Ingram posted a tweet on Twitter that said:

“You Can” for @WillBrown at

Rightfully intrigued, I followed the link and found a poem entitled “You Can” for Will Brown.

It was a short poem that I interpret to mean that you should always be ready to receive inspiration. Not only that, but to somehow capture the thought, the seed, and save it for later. For a time when you can be alone and plant that thought again in your mind.

But that was not the important part.

The greater realization came from the fact that Thom reached out to inspire a fellow poet.

As poets, in order to be effectively inspired, we must link arms with other poets. Friends that, whenever you have any contact with them, ask you if you are writing. Gordon Buss asked me this very question a couple of days ago in an email. I was inspired then as well.

But inspiration can only go so far. As Thom says in the last lines of the poem: “Your pen before ink runs dry. Sins to just think.”

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Will Brown

Will Brown is a poet, blogger, and a scanner of all things new. He also currently blogs at Help Desk Helps where he discusses tips and issues affecting the help desk professional.

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  1. Will tells half the story. Indeed it was his post… that was the writing prompt for me. But then again, that is how inspiration works. It is passed among us, like disease or love or a bottle. Shared. Inspired. Comes out everywhere. Art is not a lonely business. That is just the bubkus they tell you. It is communal. Like love.

    • Thanks, Thom.
      “Art is not a lonely business”. So, true.
      That is something I always have struggled with.

      • Hi Will

        yes, are you writing? I'm writing bits here and there and beating myself up over always wanting to write about the same things. Then I stop myself. Then last night I wrote a poem from beginning to end about nothing I had been working on. Bit lost with poetry at the moment 🙂 I was part of a fund raiser for a local arts centre on Saturday. I had responded to an e-mail to lots of people saying they needed a couple of poets to share a 45 minute slot. It was busier than I thought it would be but still close and all together in a room. The other person in our slot stood reading their poems and I just sat and soaked it all up. The honesty, the poetry and the people listening. The week before I stood in line to do a poem at a local music open mike. V crowded, v noisey and one song or poem because so busy. Amongst friends and people who had seen it all before, new poem though, and really cool stuff on the bill. Not sure where I want to go with it all? I think I would like to be able to work on written pieces that stay somewhere, not swept up where they fell at the end of the evening. I love poems on paper bound in a book. I also really love hearing others and getting my work out there for better or worse in a crowded room. I have the website and so should maybe pull off lots of things and write for it. Yes, I'll think about that, how much do I owe you will for the listening and advice? I'm following the Literary Magazine theme on indie feed at present too, which is another way to go perhaps?

        • Hey Gordon,
          Thanks for sharing that. There is something about being in the midst of all that creativity and participating and just soaking it all end. It is an inspiring place to be. I do miss it. It has been quite a while since I attending a poetry reading. Even longer since I have performed or recited.

          I am writing some, but nowhere near the frequency that I know that I should. It's conversations like these that make the poet within me restless. Shifting uncomfortably beneath my skin.

          I would like to read and hear more of your poems. Please let me know whenever you put anything new up. Definitely keep writing. Even if it seems that you're writing about the same subjects. Each poem is its own creation with a life of its own.

          I'm not familiar with Literary Magazine. I'll have to look it up. Thanks.

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