Good times in writing. Image credit: www.pixabay.com

Most of the writing prompts I’ve ever used were required by either a teacher, a therapist, or a parole officer. Still, I know that such prompts are a mainstay in many corners of the writing community (I’m not judging — whatever works, am I right?).

So for the following bits of inspiration, consider them as from a sojourner passing through welcoming but unfamiliar territory. And like an Appalachian hillbilly of yesteryear bumbling through the chic lights of Paris, this is not so much my attempt to fit in, but an earnest effort at procuring a participation trophy.

Here are 10 Terrible Writing Prompts:


Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

If you’re thinking about dabbling in cryptocurrencies, that’s fantastic! Many people (including yours truly) believe that digital coins will be a big part of the future of finance. And even though it seems like everyone is talking about crypto, you are still way ahead of the curve. Mass adoption is a long way off and there is plenty of value to be found in many coins.

Don’t worry, this post is not a sales pitch for any coin. Rather, I want to provide a simple, clear, introductory picture of the cryptocurrency landscape. After talking to family and friends, I realized…


I need to begin this article with an apology. This account is supposed to be about writing. I want to celebrate and uplift writers. I write science fiction. I read science fiction. But in real life…until my writing pays the bills…I study politics. I write and read politics. I study and use statistics. I evaluate surveys. I analyze and critique peer-reviewed articles.

From where I sit, in that world, you should know that popular media is destroying civil political discussion. There are many reasons how and why this is happening. If people want to see the evidence for this let…


This isn’t me. Photo by Ramiz Dedaković on Unsplash

In case you were wondering, the person in the image above isn’t me. It’s a lovely picture, but my name is Josh. I have no idea who this person is or how she prefers to be addressed.

I’ve noticed many Medium authors use images of people to advertise their article that are probably not them.

Is it just me? Do you notice this too?

I get that this isn’t a terribly earth shattering observation. Still, let me ask, does it bother you?

At present, I’ll say I’m neutral. But, I must admit it’s become one of the first things I notice when I click into an article.

I mean, when the author’s name is something like George McManliguy…


Pixabay.com

It took almost a year of on-again, off-again deliberation, but I no longer describe myself as an aspiring author — I’m a writer. I know I’m not the only one to wrestle with the dilemma of how to best describe my writing status.

It’s common to many unpublished writers. It may seem an odd thing to ponder perhaps. And, sure, writers tend to be a self-conscious group, but this debate is not without consequence. There is a meaningful distinction between these appellations.

“Writer” is much preferable.

In fact, I cringe whenever I see “Aspiring Author” on social media profiles. Too…


Image credit: www.pixabay.com

Humans are attracted to what is simple. In every area of life and culture, we are drawn to it. Yet somehow our relationship with simplicity is complicated. It is an ideal we constantly strive for and yet consistently rebuff.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Consider how we celebrate the simple…

In Science

Those that pursue knowledge have always held simplicity in high regard. This is because simplicity is frequently a hallmark of truth. Take, for example, Occam’s Razor.

This philosophical principle dates back to the 14th century and holds that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Reinterpreted and appropriated…


Getting to meet with other writers is a blast. It’s a niche world of amazing people doing incredible things that most people aren’t even aware exists. But it’s not utopia. I’ve noticed a disconnect between givers and receivers of critiques that will plague writing sessions from time to time.

Some writers clearly experience difficulty receiving feedback. Especially if they feel their work is misunderstood. But that’s the nature of art. Once you put it out there, other people get to interact with it. Even if they don’t like it. Even if they don’t understand it.

“THERE’S FIFTY ALIENS TALKING ABOUT…


I Did. Here’s what I learned.

So I took a giant leap and did what so many writers dream of doing… I quit my job to work full-time on writing my novel. It was an amazing experience. One of many things I’ll forever be grateful to my awesome wife for allowing and encouraging.

But this article is not a celebration of getting to live that dream as much as it is a cautionary tale for those of you considering doing the same. There were many lessons I learned over this last year that I wish I knew before it began. If you’re thinking of making this…


“You must have a bias for action.” The Admiral leaned far over the podium as she delivered the closing lines of her commencement speech. Her voice echoed off grey pockmarked cement walls and she rocked as she spoke. “You can’t fake it. You can’t pretend it. You act or you don’t.”

Students and staff all sat rigid, straining to show respect. All but Emily.

“It’s easy to defend inaction, but easy isn’t a reason — it’s an excuse. And you’ll always do it from the starting line.”

Her skirt was pulled high on toned, crossed legs. She sat in stunning…


I’m about a third of the way through editing my first novel and I definitely miss penning the first draft. Sure, maybe this is a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but I don’t think it’s just me.

When I was writing the first draft, I often went to YouTube for inspiration (and maybe some procrastination). There were a ton of options for the first draft author. Most videos were funny, encouraging, and insightful. After all, it’s the first draft that ushers an exciting new idea into the world. By contrast, YouTube’s video selection on editing…

Writes Josh

Writer. Doctoral student & wannabe Astronaut Theologian. My WIP is a SciFi Thriller. www.writesjosh.com & writesjosh@gmail.com

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