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How to work with a creative prompt

Have you noticed how creative prompts seem to be popping around the internet ? I see them all around Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

Chances are, if you’re like I was before beginning my creative journey, you don’t know what the hell you’re supposed to do with them.


What is a creative prompt?

It is an idea, a picture, a quote, a poem or a song that is meant to inspire you, a « coup de pouce » that is intended to help you start something personal.

If you don’t come from a creative background, you might be tempted to treat the prompt like a test, trying to figure out the right answer.

But there is no right or wrong answer with a creative prompt.

For example, two weeks ago, I published Order and Creativity, illustrated with a picture of my erasers neatly organised.

I would never have thought of such an article if I wasn’t responding to a creative prompt. In this case, the prompt translated into a blog article.

Answers can go in all directions. It really depends on who’s responding.

Check the prompt response page and you’ll see that everyone came up with a different proposition.


So, how to work with a creative prompt?

Best case scenario, the prompt sets your imagination on fire and inspiration is flowing like water out of the tab.

Rush to your work table and work these creative juices to your advantage.


Other case scenario, you feel like creating but the idea generating department of your brain is going MIA.


Don’t give up just yet. Try a methodic approach.


1/ make a list of everything that comes to your mind in relation with the prompt

2/ mind mapping works too

3/ sit back and spot your favorite association/ideas. Don’t second guess yourself, just go with the flow

4/ lightly sketch/ plot your ideas

Don’t go into details yet.

Play around with your ideas and figure out what gives the best result.

When you’ve settled for an idea that appeals the most to you, try to refine it a little bit, adding details.


5/ It’s time for research.

Feed your idea. Give it flesh and bones.


6/ Once your project looks good to you, go go go and only stop when you’re done.


Try not to put « perfection » pressure on your shoulders.

When working with a prompt, the process is more important than the result.

Breathe. Dive In. Enjoy.

TOP 4 : [How to ] Create a list (To do not included)

We all make lists almost everyday : to do lists, grocery list, people we need to call lists. They are tools, they rarely last for long. Since I’ve lanched the Great Book of list event a couple days again, based mainly on emotional and inspirational lists, I won’t deal with to do’s ins this article because they are so specific, they call for an entire category. Let’s talk about long lasting lists with a great value

They require attention and call for a different approach than the brain dump.

1/ Title, date, place
These elements help to give perspective to the information lists contain. they  and might motivate you to update it. A kid luggage checklist changes every 6 months, especially in the early years.
If the list is meant to appear on your blog, you might want to add a tag.

2/ A precise theme
The more precise it is, the greater value it gives to the list.

Let’s keep the luggage check list example. Luggage check lists vary depending on whose luggage it concerns and where  this person is heading to. A general luggage checklist won’t really have a great value if used by everybody in the household.
The same goes for emotional lists. For example,  classmates list; it just gives one type or information. »Favorite classmates list » provides more information.

3/ A minimum of 5 entries
It’s a personal point of view, there’s no golden rule saying you must write at least 5 items in a list but 5 is a good number to reach for.
First, because it will provide you a good amount of information, ready for you to use or reflect upon later. Second, because by the time you’ll hit your fifth item, more ideas are likely to pop up in your mind.

4/ With a personal spin
List prompts are everywhere. If they do not inspire you, maybe you can give the prompt a little twist that’ll ignite your creativity.

For example, let’s take a Favorite movies list. Too vague or maybe too long to write ? You can turn it into Favorite cross over movies (where all the MCU movies could find a spot 😉 ). Or maybe Favorite movies shot in New Zealand by someone else than Peter Jackson.

The list is yours, it’s more important to enjoy doing it than to stick to the letter of the prompt.