Since graduating, I’ve had to work harder to come up with inspiration for writing the last few months. Before, I’d walk into class, be given an assignment, and knock out a first draft, maybe a second, in that hour and a half. My favorites were in my Prose Poems & Mini Stories course, when we would receive a somewhat vague assignment (i.e., “Come up with a what-if question, then write a story based on it”), then get ten minutes or so to work on a piece. Sometimes we’d read them then, sometimes in a later class after we’d done a few more drafts. Sometimes they’d get lost in the long list of assignments we would do during the semester. Prose poetry and mini stories (flash fiction, short short stories, whatever you’d like to call them) quickly became one of my favorite exercises, and I even stared a zine to share some of mine because even if they aren’t the best, they’re fun and different from my usual writing.
This is why I’m thankful there’s Typetrigger. Every six hours (four times a day), Typetrigger will post a word or short phrase and give you three hundred words of space to respond to it. It’s basically my spring course on the internet–and without the bill. You can write in any genre you choose, and I know some of my own pieces have come out to seem so far from the original trigger posted, but it’s a fantastic exercise and a clever way to find inspiration when you need it. Everything posted on my account is the first draft, usually done in just a few minutes, but some of the pieces became ones I turned into class or ones I’ve continued working on offline.
The ambitious dreamer part of me wonders if someday I could put together a book of a bunch of pieces–traditionally or self-published, I’m not really picky–because while I generally have NOVEL flashing through my mind like a neon sign when I’m working, poetry and mini stories are other little loves of mine. It’s simply writing in general that I adore, in so many forms. It’s why I write reviews for IGGPPC, why I worked at a newspaper for two years and wrote articles in addition to being the copy editor, why I write journals, blogs, tweets, letters, everything. And right now, Typetrigger is another (fantastic) outlet for that passion.